Warrior Greens for Your Diet to Cut Down the Festive Season Damage
Have more of these 11 greens that are perfect to prevent the damage caused by the overdose of acidic festive foods.
Festive season indulgences can create havoc in our system. Too much of the rich, calorie-dense food can not just lead to weight gain but also mess up our digestive system leading to severe acidity and a general unshakeable feeling of lethargy and brain fog.
One way to minimise the damage is by including the damage cutters proactively in our diet during this time. Have more of these 11 greens that are perfect to prevent the damage caused by the overdose of acidic festive foods.
Spirulina can be an acquired taste but is absolutely amazing as it supports cardiovascular, eye and brain health, boosts immunity and keeps the energy levels high. It is one of the most complete food sources in the world with over 100 nutrients, 60% protein content and contains high levels of antioxidants known to promote health and longevity.
Tip: Just mix it up with coconut water to make it more palatable.
This is a natural energy booster and inflammation cutter. It is loaded with antioxidants; it contains flavonoids, polyphenols, and ascorbic acid, all potent antioxidants and free radical terminators. The polyphenols in it also help protect our liver against oxidation, toxicity, and damage.
Tip: Sprinkle onto salads, eggs, roasted veggies, pastas and risottos or just add to buttermilk and drink everyday.
It is a tonic for the skin as it keeps the gut alkaline, constipation away, boosts the immune system and helps ward off skin disorders. Plus its juice is a very good source of Vitamin A, B, C, E and K, calcium, potassium, iron, and amino acids, which makes it one of the most effective natural liver detoxifier.
Tip: Drink wheatgrass juice in the morning, on an empty stomach, and wait an hour before eating anything. This will help you to avoid nausea.
They bolster our immune system, protect against free radical damage, delay the ageing process and keep the heart ticking along fine too. Turnip greens also deliver some copper, B vitamins and here’s a surprise - some omega 3 too.
Tip: Simply sauté them and season with some soy sauce, lemon juice and cayenne pepper.
Spinach delivers thylakoids (green leaf membranes) which help control cravings, and this can help prevent unnecessary overeating during the festival season.
Tip: add to scrambled eggs and casseroles or blend into smoothies.
These the young soft green shoots which crop up on the barley plant are very nutrient-dense. They are rich in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes and amino acids and deliver some fibre too. The biggest benefit though is the high level of chlorophyll and beta carotene they have, which work like a mop and help clean up and detoxify the body from harmful toxins and also correct the alkalinity, besides boosting the metabolism and immune system.
Tip: extract a juice or mix barley grass powder with water and sip. You can add it to soups too.
Mint is a great appetiser, promotes digestion, soothes summer cramps, and prevents acidity and inflammation in the stomach. When pollutants invade our body, the body releases a chemical called histamine to fight them, and the side effects of this fight are symptoms like nasal congestion, mucous formation, and sneezing. Antihistamines in mint leaves are perfect antidotes for this.
Tip: Add mint to your fresh juice and stir fry’s liberally.
Remember that age old practice of adding coriander leaves (dhaniya) over subji’s! It makes sense to go back to that practice, as these greens are natural diuretics. Helps lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the levels of good cholesterol (HDL). Plus, it is very good food for digestive system, coriander promotes liver functions and bowel movements.
Tip: keep the green chutney always ready in the fridge.
Its high content of antioxidants and small amounts of caffeine makes it a perfect replacement for caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee. EGCG, a polyphenol in matcha helps boost metabolism, which translates into better weight management. It contains five times more l-theanine as compared to regular green tea; this compound induces relaxation without drowsiness. It also contains a lot of easily-absorbable dietary fibre, which helps stabilise blood sugar.
Tip: mix a teaspoon of matcha powder with about one-third cup of hot water and then whisked with a spoon until it froths. Sip the goodness
Seaweeds like nori, kelp, dulse, etc. are great for our metabolism and for keeping our thyroid gland healthy and happy due to their rich content of iodine and minerals. And thus, help keep the hormones happy and non-chaotic during these chaotic festive times.
Tip: Add to your soups liberally.
Great things come in small packages. The baby versions of kale, and broccoli tend to be higher in nutrients like vitamins C and E compared to the regular, mature plants. And when we are eating so much nutrient vacant foods, it helps to get some extra help from these tiny warriors.
Tip: Try adding a handful to sandwiches and salads, or sprinkle on soups. Or just whiz into pesto, or simply blanch (as their texture is a little tough) and dress with sesame seeds and olive oil.
(Kavita Devgan is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of ‘Don't Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico)‘. Her next book ‘Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa)‘ is out.)
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