While working out is an important part of weight loss and fitness, nutrition also plays an important role. We have local farmers in Lakeland, FL, that grow some of the healthiest options, such as leafy greens. You get many health benefits from adding leafy greens to your diet. They’re high in fiber and water content, so they’re filling, yet have only a few calories, improving weight loss potential. Depending on the green, there are a wide variety of nutrients, too. The potassium in leafy greens like spinach can help reduce bloating, relieving you of excess water weight.
Combine dark leafy greens into a salad or make them into a smoothie.
Dark leafy greens contain folate, which is sometimes called vitamin B9. It’s the natural B9, with the synthetic type that’s harder to digest called folic acid. Many people already know that a healthy folate level is important for anyone that wants to get pregnant or is pregnant, since it reduces the risk of defects of the neural tube of the baby, plus lowers the risk of congenital heart defects and cleft palates. It also increases fertility rates in both men and women. Folate improves cognitive development and functioning and reduces the risk of cognitive decline. It boosts heart, vision, bone, and immune system health. It helps fight cancer and is a natural mood enhancer.
Leafy greens prevent premature aging.
Your DNA has a protective cap called telomeres. They perform the same function as the plastic ends on shoelaces, preventing the DNA from unraveling. The longer they are, the longer the cell lives and replicates. Leafy greens help delay telomere shortening, just as regular exercise does. Dark leafy greens also contain beta-carotene that helps reduce the potential of sun damage to the skin and prevents fine lines, while stimulating cellular turnover for clear skin.
Improve your immune system with leafy greens.
Inflammation is beneficial if it’s acute and lasts a short period. If it’s out of control and chronic it can damage the body. Acute inflammation occurs when you’re injured and helps start the healing process by increasing blood flow to the area and triggering the release of proteins and antibodies. Those fight off microbes that invade the body and cause illness. Chronic inflammation is different. It lingers and leaves your body in a continual state of alertness, negatively impacting all the tissues and organs. The nutrients in leafy greens, such as kale, collards and spinach, help regulate the immune system. Leafy greens contain vitamins A, C, and E, folate, antioxidants, D, polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids, and lutein which reduce oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.
- The combination of electrolytes, dietary fiber and glycosylates supports liver health and facilitates the production of enzymes that aid in digestion and reduce constipation.
- The USDA—United States Department of Agriculture—studied the effects of consuming 2 to 3 servings of leafy greens daily. It found it lowered the risk of stomach, skin and breast cancer.
- Leafy greens provide anti-inflammatory compounds that maintain blood pressure and nerve functioning. It also contains vitamin K that aids in arterial health and normal blood clotting.
- One of the biggest benefits of eating more leafy greens is weight loss. Obesity is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States. Adding extra servings to your daily diet can help shave off extra pounds.
For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness