Kale, one of my favorites, can be eaten several ways. Serving sizes are generally 1/2 cup, for most vegetables. Kale has approximately 100 milligrams of calcium, per serving, and eating it raw, is considered a superfood. Younger kale is more tender. Organic is best. I like adding it to my salads, smoothies, or stir-fries. Kale chips have become quite popular by cutting it up into bite size pieces, brushing them with olive oil or butter, salt, if desired, and baking them for about 10 minutes. You have to keep a close eye on them, as they can burn, easily.
Spinach is good for your bones, and also your heart. It can be eaten raw, or cooked, or as mentioned above, in smoothies. It contains iron and folate, and is low in calories. Both kale and spinach can be home-grown, and doesn’t need a lot of space, to do so. If you don’t have garden space, you can plant them in pots, or rectangular planters, placed in a sunny area. Don’t over water, but be sure the soil doesn’t dry out, either.
Broccoli has three phytonutrients, and is rich in vitamins A and K, which help your body process vitamin D. What a great vegetable to couple with the calcium rich kale! Raw or cooked, alone or mixed with other vegetables, broccoli is a no-brainer. Eat it, daily. And there is no better flavor to it than home-grown. Once you cut off the big stalks, leave the plant in the ground for smaller stalks, to appear, and harvest.
Seaweed is an ocean vegetable; therefore, rich in minerals. There are many varieties, such as, kelp, nori, Irish moss, dulse and have a salty flavor. Kelp is one of the best natural sources in iodine. Recently, I did an iodine test on myself to see if I had enough iodine. Putting liquid iodine the size of a 2×2 inch patch on my inner arm, suggests that if the patch is still there for 18-24 hours, then I have a moderate to enough iodine in my body. My patch disappeared within 3-4 hours. (Maybe I should paint myself with the stuff!) I wasn’t shocked, but I was shocked. Kelp, is also rich in the B vitamins, vitamins D, E, and K, magnesium and calcium. Kelp can aid in your body getting rid of heavy metals. Dulse is a dark red color, rich in iodine, iron, potassium, phosphorus, B6,12, and can rid yourself of heavy metals, as well. Seaweeds come in many forms; supplements, sheets, powdered. Follow the instructions on the packaging, use in flavoring foods. Seaweed can help in several physical benefits, like the mucous membranes, nervous disorders, joint pains, and skin irritations. I definitely need to add more to my diet. We like to flash fry it, and roll sticky rice into it.
My nutritional post are to encourage you to look at the foods you eat, more closely. Eating as close to Mother Nature as you can, will benefit all areas of your life. Taking care of your body begins with you. Taking care of it from the inside and outside will make you a healthier person. When you feel good, you look good, and you act good. Your confidence rises, and you give others the permission to take care of themselves, also. We can mimic what we see. I follow the 80/20 rule; 80% healthy, 20% not-so-healthy… I Read labels. Know what you’re eating.
Mary EK Denison, M.Om, L.Ac., Esthetician, LMT
Owner of Rapha-El Alternative Therapies, LLC
dba BeautifyNaturally Facial Rejuvenation and BodySculpting