Chomp down on those raw green veggies! But WHY?! Why does every health resource preach this same message over & over again? The reason ~ It’s not what you’re thinking…
I mean ~ yes of course it’s true that green veggies contain invaluable fiber which ‘keeps you regular’ and drags harmful toxins right out of your body. And yes ~ certainly some green vegetable varieties contain more Vitamin C than oranges, more Vitamin A than carrots, more Vitamin E than whole wheat and some in particular even have quality proteins (with good amino acid profiles). Those green veggies also provide you with essential alkaline minerals such as calcium and magnesium which are simply only found in really insufficient quantities in fruit, nuts and seeds. But, there’s something even more important that’s rarely discussed.
Greens maintain your Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio. You see, minerals and other nutrients interact in a way that affects their absorption in your body. A good example of this is that without the presence of Vitamin D, your calcium absorption is impaired. The same goes for a variety of vitamins and minerals.
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One of those special interactions is between calcium and phosphorus. This calcium/phosphorus ratio is very often discussed in animal science, for example with regards to creating diets for herbivorous animals. Science has shown us that whenever domesticated animals and pets are fed diets which are high in phosphorus but, low in calcium, they will develop dental problems and bone disorders.
Why? It’s believed that when diets have more phosphorus than calcium, the body will resort to stripping calcium from its own reserves (the bones) in order to compensate. This affects the bones in a negative way both long and short term. This is the reason that many nutritionists will recommend a calcium-to-phosphorus ratio that is at least 1 to 1. This simply means that there should be at least as much calcium as there is phosphorus in your diet. This is an average, meaning that this doesn’t actually have to happen in one day, but on average in the course of a week, or a month.
Those fruits we love, while full of nutrients, simply don’t contain enough calcium or other alkaline minerals to help you to maintain proper health over the long term. For instance, the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio of bananas is 0.3 to 1 (translation ~ for every 100 grams of phosphorus in bananas, there are only 30 grams of calcium). Sure, oranges and figs contain lots of calcium BUT, that high-mineral concentration isn’t found in the meaty parts of the fruit that you and I enjoy. Nope. Most of the calcium in figs is found in the tiny seeds that aren’t digested, even when eaten. The majority of calcium found in oranges is mostly found in the white pith which most of us don’t eat.
So, face it ~ you need those green veggies not only for the nutrients that they themselves harbor but in order to provide enough minerals in your diet for proper absorption of nutrients from OTHER foods.
AND you need good variety of those green veggies — so, just having an occasional romaine lettuce salad or a little celery will not be enough to provide your mineral needs. Even if you ate a huge head of romaine lettuce, weighing more than a pound, it contains only about 200 mg of calcium (yep! even organic lettuce).
One more essential factor is the need to eat green vegetables in such a way that the nutrients can be easily assimilated by your body. Firstly, most people tend to avoid some of the best greens (kale, collards, broccoli, mustard greens, etc.) because those are often too tough and fibrous to enjoy raw. Salads are absolutely great, but a lot of the tough fiber in greens is not chewed or broken down well enough in order for the nutrients to be well used. This is in addition to the fact that the digestive tract of most people ~ isn’t as optimal as it could be to begin with.
So, you need to include green vegetables in your diet ~ daily; in particular the richer greens that contain the most calcium in a form that’s easily assimilated. The consumption of green juices or green smoothies are also a great alternative to raw. This is another good reason to consider using Field of Greens.
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