Healthy Green Foods for Saint Patrick’s Day

Saint Patrick’s day is coming up and I hope everyone has a fun celebration! For those of you who would like to consume something other than green beer, here are some healthy suggestions from the website the Worlds Healthiest Foods.

Broccoli

Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli contains the phytonutrients sulforaphane and the indoles, which have significant anti-cancer effects
 
Broccoli has been singled out as one of the small number of vegetables and fruits that contributed to the significant reduction in heart disease risk. 
 
(Shutterstock)
Broccoli helps prevent Cataracts and builds stronger bones (Shutterstock)
 
A Birth Defect Fighter
 
Especially if you are pregnant, be sure to eat broccoli. A cup of broccoli supplies 94 mcg of folic acid, a B-vitamin essential for proper cellular division because it is necessary in DNA synthesis. Without folic acid, the fetus’ nervous system cells do not divide properly. Deficiency of folic acid during pregnancy has been linked to several birth defects, 
 
 

Avocados

 
One of my favorites, avocados are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. Adequate intake of potassium can help to guard against circulatory diseases, like high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Association has authorized a health claim that states: “Diets containing foods that are good sources of potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.”
 
One cup of avocado has 23% of the Daily Value for folate, a nutrient important for heart health.
 
(Kurman Communications/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)
Avocados may help fight breast,prostate and oral cancer (Kurman Communications/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)
 
  

Spinach 

 
“We all know that Popeye made himself super strong by eating spinach, but you may be surprised to learn that he may also have been protecting himself against osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer, arthritis, and other diseases at the same time.”
 
  • Researchers have identified at least 13 different flavonoid compounds in spinach that function as antioxidants and as anti-cancer agents.
  • For atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, few foods compare to spinach in their number of helpful nutrients. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A,
  • Spinach promotes gastrointestinal health
 
 (Kurman Communications/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)
SpinachCilantro Cheese Sticks (Kurman Communications/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)
 
The nutrients in spinach can also help with conditions in which inflammation plays a role. For example, asthma, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis are all conditions that involve inflammation.
 
Mental performance normally declines with age, but the results of Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP) suggest that eating just 3 servings of green leafy, yellow and cruciferous vegetables each day could slow this decline by 40%, suggests a study in the journal Neurology (.Morris MC, Evans DA, et al.) 
 
Cooked spinach is an excellent source of iron, a mineral that it particularly important for menstruating women, who are more at risk for iron deficiency. Boosting iron stores with spinach is a good idea, especially because, in comparison to red meat, a well-known source of iron, spinach provides iron for a lot less calories and is totally fat-free. To read more about Spinach click here
 
 
Jennifer Dubowsky, LAc, is a licensed acupuncturist with a practice in downtown Chicago, Illinois, since 2002. Dubowsky earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from University of Illinois in Chicago and her Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, Colorado. During her studies, she completed an internship at the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Beijing, China. Dubowsky has researched and written articles on Chinese medicine and has given talks on the topic. She maintains a popular blog about health and Chinese medicine at Acupuncture Blog Chicago. Adventures in Chinese Medicine is her first book. You can find her at www.tcm007.com.
 
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