28 Nov The Importance of Fibre and Leafy Greens
We hope that you have enjoyed the blogs that we have written this months on Men’s health. In our final blog this month on Men’s Health, we look at diet, and the role of dietary fibre.
Leafy greens are some of the easiest and most beneficial vegetables to incorporate into your daily routine. Densely packed with energy and nutrients, they grow upward to the sky, absorbing the sun’s light while producing oxygen. Members of this royal green family include kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens, dandelion greens, watercress, beetroot greens, bok choy, green cabbage, spinach and broccoli. All can be used for any spring cleanse recipe too.
How do greens benefit our bodies? They are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous and zinc, and are a powerhouse for vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed full of fibre, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals. Their colour is associated with spring, which is a time to renew and refresh vital energy.
The Importance of Fibre
You need to include enough fibre in your diet to enable regular movement and to facilitate peristalsis, to prevent the waste matter being reabsorbed through the intestinal wall.
For a healthy gut you require a combination of soluble and insoluble fibres. Soluble fibres help you to feel full by attracting water and creating a gel-like substance during digestion. This slows the rate at which the sugars that are broken down in the body enter the bloodstream, thus regulating insulin response. This, in turn, reduces the harmful effects of insulin in the body such as weight gain and the accumulation of fat around the middle. Soluble fibres also interfere with the absorption of cholesterol.
Good sources of soluble fibre can be found in:
You should include foods that are full of insoluble fibre. These give bulk to the stools and prevent constipation. Because these fibres do not dissolve in water they pass through the intestinal tract intact, promoting the passage of waste matter. Good sources of insoluble fibre can be found in:
- Brown rice
- Whole grains
- Dark leafy greens
- Green beans
In Auyerveda, the colour green is related to the liver, emotional stability and creativity. Greens aid in purifying the blood, strengthening the immune system, improving liver, gall bladder and kidney function, fighting depression, clearing congestion, improving circulation and keeping your skin clear and blemish free.
Start with this very simple recipe below. Then each time you go to your grocers, pick up a new green to try:
Kale Shiitake Mushroom
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms
2 spring onions, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 cloves crushed garlic
1 bunch kale, chopped
pinch of salt
- Warm oil in pan on medium heat, saute garlic and spring onions for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add chopped shiitake mushrooms, stir-fry for 5 minutes.
- Add chopped kale, stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
Add a splash of water and pinch of salt to pan, cover and let steam for 4 minutes.
For more tips on how to live a healthier lifestyle, check out my new book, which is available on Amazon, and all leading bookstores, including Waterstones and Borders.
For your top tips on creating optimal health in the mind and body, read Chris James new book –‘Mind Body Cleanse’ by Chris James (Penguin Vermilion, £14.99). Available from Amazon.
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