Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Health Benefits of Greens

I have recently learned that leafy greens do a lot more for health than I knew about. Leafy greens like kale and spinach are the best source of the B vitamin folate. Beans are also a great source of folate. For folate eat greens and beans.

A recent study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that those with the highest folate levels, lose 8.5 times more weight when dieting. When folate levels drop, levels of obesity, heart disease, stroke, cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease and depression goes up.

Also studies show that as folate consumption goes up, the diseases of aging like cardiovascular disease, cancer and arthritis go down. Joel Fuhrman M.D. says that leafy greens have something else in them, other than folate, that prevents plaque from forming on the arteries. They help to make the inner lining of the arteries more resistant to plaque. The plaque clogs the arteries leading to heart attacks and strokes.

I have seen a couple of articles that say that kale is the new beef. Kale tastes so good if you add tahini to it as or with a dressing. Tahini is sesame seed butter. I add to the tahini a little lemon juice, olive oil and raw apple cider vinegar-- all good for health. I cannot emphasize enough how good this combination tastes since I am not a big lover of salads usually. You can even add some raw sunflower seeds. If you are not a big eater of seeds or nuts, just add them to your salad.

In vitamin supplements folate is called folic acid or vitamin B9. But folic acid is an artificial form of folate. Also folic acid (pteroylglutamic acid) is a substance forming only a very minor component of the folates in unfortified food. Folic acid is dangerous to your health.

Now if someone said this to me I would ask "who says this?" This is according to Joel Fuhrman M.D. He has spent decades treating people with fasting and a change of diet instead of using drugs (medications).

Here is an article about him being on the Dr. Oz TV show explaining how Medications Do Not Really Work. Medications or drugs are very profitable and the purpose of medicine in our society is to make money. He says to not take multi-vitamin supplements that contain folic acid. He says:
Folic acid supplementation is dangerous – especially for pregnant women.
Folic acid is chemically different from dietary folate, which results in differences in uptake and processing of these two substances by the cells in the intestinal wall. 
 According to American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, taking supplemental folic acid increases your chance of getting breast cancer by 20 -- 30%. Another study showed that taking folic acid supplements increases men's chances of getting prostate cancer by 163%. Women do not get prostate cancer since they do not have a prostate, but men can get breast cancer.

They did a 6 year study in Norway and found that patients taking a folic acid supplement were 43% more likely to die of cancer. Pregnant women taking folic acid supplementation increases chances of childhood asthma by 26% according to a study done. His article above has the references to all of these studies and more.

Although it is even more dangerous to take iron supplements. They have killed many babies. To learn why iron supplements are so bad for your health see The Essential Supplements and the Dangerous Ones.

Trader Joe's food markets have an organic herb salad mix (all organic). It has in it dill, frisee, arugula, radiccchio, romaine, oak leaf, Lollo Rosa, tango, red & green chard, mizuna, parsley, and cilantro.

Then there is kale which is the new beef, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens and a lot more. My neighbor told me that I can have the radishes growing in his yard and told me to take the whole plant. I checked and saw the greens from radish plants are edible. So I ate some raw radish greens in my salad and also cooked some. It tasted much better than spinach but it may be because they were grown with compost and freshly picked.

The Healthy Benefits of Leafy Greens