Quality of Life – 7 steps to perfect health part II: greens

A traditional doctor would say “take an aspirin, and call me in the morning”. Why not say, as Dr. Robert O. Young might, “take a cucumber, and call me in the morning”?

We know that fruits and vegetables are good for us and we should credit our parents for telling us to eat our greens and salads to grow big and strong, because they were right. To enjoy more energy in life it is a good idea to add more greens to the menu. But why is green food such a powerful source of energy? In this chapter our health detectives dive into the secrets of green power and where to get the best green fuel for sustainable energy.

Green fruits and vegetables contain chlorophyll, and this is the magic ingredient, the blood of the plants. It has so many health benefits it makes greens an essential part of our diet. However, the most amazing benefit comes from the fact that the molecular structure of chlorophyll is identical to hemoglobin except for the central atom, which is magnesium instead of iron. Hemoglobin makes up about 75% of our red blood cells and carries oxygen to all the other cells and carbon dioxide to the lungs to be expelled, so it is a vital component of the blood. During my years in medicine I have seen that one of the best ways to prevent disease is to have a good blood count, with lots of hemoglobin. When we are anemic too little oxygen is carried around to the cells in the body, and not only do we get tired, the organs do not get enough oxygen to work, and they start rotting and rusting leading to all kinds of imbalances and diseases. Because chlorophyll is nearly identical it helps doing the job of hemoglobin. It is filling in for hemoglobin, rebuilding red blood cells, boosting our energy and increasing our wellbeing almost instantly. Chlorophyll has the power to regenerate our bodies at the molecular and cellular level and is known to help cleanse the body, fight infection, help heal wounds, and promote the health of the circulatory, digestive, immune, and detoxification systems. Chlorophyll is highly alkaline, hence contributing to maintain the acid-alkaline balance in the body. It also protects against carcinogens from our food and environment. It is a powerful antioxidant, and chelator (eliminator) of heavy meals in the body, like mercury. It is antiseptic, acts as a deodoriser and eliminates odours in the mouth and throat, by repairing the digestive tract. It is a vitamin and mineral booster, containing vitamin K, C, folic acid, B12, iron, calcium, potassium and protein.

Now we know that greens are powerful and energising, where do we get them from? Fortunately, here on the Costa del Sol there are abundant fresh and organic sources. Remember, the greener they are the more chlorophyll they have and the more energy and regeneration they provide for the body. So when you are shopping focus on the following 7 green alkaline power fruits and vegetables.

Cucumber – high in alkaline water content – up to 95% – it is hydrating and full of alkaline minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium. It is a natural base for smoothies, juices and soups.

Broccoli – proven to be powerful in inhibiting the acids that cause cancerous conditions, broccoli supports the digestive system, the cardiovascular system and the detoxification processes in the body. If you are serious about living with health, energy and vitality you simply have to eat broccoli, if not on a daily basis, then at least 4 times per week. Eaten steamed or raw it’s a hugely alkaline and nutritious food. Put it in salads, smoothies or soups and the stock is ideal for juicing.

Avocado – easily accessible in Spain and it goes nicely in salads, smoothies and soups. It is full of good fats, which can also help to balance cholesterol. Beneficial omega oils also help speed up the metabolism actually leading to weight loss rather than gain. Avocado also contains a wide range of other nutrients that are anti-inflammatory, help with heart and cardiovascular health, are anti-cancer, and will naturally lower blood sugar acid. Avocado is the perfect snack, easy to carry and can be eaten directly out of its shell.

Spinach -All leafy greens and herbs like parsley, coriander, chives and basil should be eaten in abundance but spinach is one of the easiest to buy, and goes well in juices, smoothies, soups and steamed. Baby spinach or fully grown spinach are nutritional powerhouses and are incredibly alkaline. Because of the high chlorophyll content spinach is a perfect blood builder.

Celery – has high water content, so is used frequently as a base in juices and soups. Because celery is a great source of sodium. The high sodium level in celery help to transport energy ions in the form of electrons and is fundamental in the production of sodium bicarbonate, the key to maintain the alkaline design of the body.

Kale – another leafy green beauty that is widely known for its cancer-fighting, cholesterol-lowering, antioxidant-rich and detoxifying goodness. Less popular than spinach, but only because it has a history of being cooked poorly (like cabbage) – when done right it is absolutely delicious. If you eat kale 2-3 times per week you will decrease dietary and metabolic acids. It also goes well in juicing.

Green pepper / bell pepper – rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, A and E. Because it is crunchy you can use it raw in salads, steamed or lightly roasted and it goes well in smoothies and juices.

Drink your vegetables
Sometimes we don’t have the time to chop, steam or boil our greens, so the easy way is to drink them. Make juices, smoothies or soups and you will not only receive an alkaline chlorophyll boost but you’ll also get it in an easy to digest form. Powdered greens are another option, with different blends available from health food shops. Consider making fresh sprouts too – beans, seeds and wheat are also rich in nutrients. So go green for more sustainable energy, and call me in the morning.

Pernille Knudtzon,MD
Tel: 678 253 510

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