Health Boosting Benefits of Leafy Greens in Your Diet
If you're wondering what THE BEST VEGETABLES are when it comes to losing weight and melting off belly fat, leafy greens are #1!
There are hundreds of varieties, from leaf lettuce, Boston lettuce, butterhead, Romaine, and spinach being the most likely to be eaten for the adult veggie haters. And, of course, the more pungent-tasting arugula, kale, and Swiss chard.
Leafy greens are the superstars of the thermogenic plant-powered world. You can't overeat on these leafy greens unless, of course, you drown them in heavy dressings.
They are extremely low in calories and carbs, yet high in fiber. They are full of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, making them THE BEST choice when it comes to choosing your vegetables when you're trying to lose weight.
Leafy greens are best consumed in their natural, whole food form versus juicing them or adding to your smoothies because they help our bodies produce digestive enzymes when chewed, which activates their release. Of course, it's better to throw some in your Metabolic Boosting Smoothie versus not eating veggies any at all.
That's why we don't sell the uber-popular organic greens powders. Our bodies like leafy green vegetables in their natural state best of all, and everyone should be having at least one salad and eating vegetables (whichever ones you will eat) daily to support and strengthen immune health, which improves weight loss!
All fruits and veggies are good for us, but leafy greens are the best, especially when it comes to protecting our health and jump-starting metabolism and weight loss. Thankfully, leafy greens are popular even amongst kids. They are packed full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fiber, and phytonutrients. Not only that, but dark leafy greens are very easy to fit into your diet, are versatile, allowing you to incorporate them into your diet in delicious and fun ways.
Leafy greens power your weight loss and are THE BEST anti-aging food you can eat. Here is the short list of leafy greens' benefits and how to include them in your metabolic boosting diet.
Leafy Greens Fight Belly Fat and Bloat
If you struggle with belly fat and/or bloating (which are almost always connected for many reasons, constipation being one of them, often due to lack of vegetable consumption), leafy greens can help. Leafy greens are loaded with mineral electrolytes, potassium being one of them, which is essential when it comes to keeping proper fluid balance in our body. Most diets today are high in sodium (often due to an over-reliance on processed, prepackaged foods) that can cause bloating and trigger water weight gain. By eating more leafy greens you increase your potassium intake, naturally helping to keep your fluid balance in check.
Leafy Green Veggies Make Your Skin Glow
Leafy greens are loaded with beta-carotene, the plant pigment that most associate with orange veggies like carrots and other yellow-orange veggies, and is also abundant in leafy salad greens.
Beta-carotene give skin a healthy, youthful glow and has some skin-protecting benefits, protecting the skin naturally from damaging UV rays. Kale is one of the best sources of beta-carotene. Did you know that research shows that cooking kale makes it easier for your body to absorb the carotenoids in it? However, avoid this leafy green if you suffer from hypothyroidism. Kale is goitrogenic and can disrupt the production of thyroid hormones.
Leafy Greens Relieve Stress and Ease Anxiety
Leafy greens are an excellent source of folate, which helps our body produce the mood-regulating neurotransmitters, dopamine, and serotonin.
For a natural way to relieve stress and calm anxiety, EAT YOUR GREENS! Try adding some to your metabolic boosting smoothie. You may not even realize they are in there.
Leafy greens are an excellent source of magnesium that helps keep you regular and protects cardiovascular and eye health.
Leafy Green Vegetables Regulate Inflammatory Response
A healthy inflammatory response is the secret to living a healthy, happy long life. To many that may be a no-brainer, but I can't say enough how important it is to support and protect our body's natural inflammatory response.
Regulating inflammation is the key to just about every condition on the planet, from headaches, back aches, autoimmune issues, Alzheimer’s, and a whole host of illnesses, both chronic and acute.
Leafy green vegetables, especially spinach, kale, lettuces, and collards are all good sources of vitamin D, which together with all of the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes promote regulatory T cells that are responsible for differentiating between outside/foreign invaders and its own healthy cells. Vitamin D essentially makes our immune system smarter, teaching it not to attack itself, helping to prevent autoimmune disease from developing.
Leafy Green Vegetables Support Bone Health
Most people think that milk or dairy products are the only way to build strong bones and teeth, but research shows that consuming milk and dairy products does not have a positive effect on fracture risk and may even increase the risk of hip fractures among women. Milk is also not conducive for weight loss, so ditch the dairy and reach for the plants instead.
You get plenty of bone-strengthening calcium consuming dark, leafy greens, and you won't have to worry about kidney stones that are common from dairy consumption and lack of H2O. Green veggies such as broccoli and kale are notorious for their abundance in vitamin K.
Leafy Green Veggies Strengthen and Protect Brain Health
Wanna power up your memory and protect brain health? Eat your leafy green vegetables! A study in the National Library of Medicine found that those who ate the most leafy greens each day had slower rates of cognitive decline compared to those who ate the least. They also lost more weight and belly fat and kept it off.
Leafy green vegetables contain high levels of B9/folate, which boosts the production of neurotransmitters in the brain. Our brain needs neurotransmitters to regulate many crucial functions including heart rate, breathing, sleep cycles, digestion, mood, concentration, appetite, and muscle movement to name a few.
Folate is abundantly found in leafy green vegetables, spinach, and broccoli, which are also some of the best sources when it comes to weight loss.
Leafy Greens for Anti-Aging
Leafy greens make it easy to age healthfully. For starters, eating dark leafy greens has been found to promote skin health by protecting against the sun’s harmful UV rays. The beta-carotene found in leafy vegetables converts to vitamin A in the body, helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and stimulates cell turnover for clear skin.
Leafy greens contain plant-based compounds that demonstrate immunomodulatory, anti-oxidative stress, and anti-aging effects, the latter of which are associated with longer telomeres.
What the heck are telomeres?
Telomeres are the protective caps on our DNA that shorten with age. Once its telomeres are completely gone, the cell dies. Broccoli sprouts, although not technically a leafy green, in particular, seem to have a superb ability to preserve telomere length.
Green Veggies Stabilize Blood Sugar and Protect Thyroid Function
Simply eating a serving of leafy greens with every meal can help keep blood sugar levels balanced. Just including an extra serving of green leafy vegetables daily can make a large enough difference to be measured by a blood test. This is especially helpful if you have a thyroid condition as thyroid disease can make blood glucose levels fluctuate more than usual, making it harder to manage and make it impossible to lose weight and weaken immunity.
Dramatic swings in blood sugar encourage your body to convert more T4 to T3, the inactive form of thyroid hormone that causes extreme fatigue, weight gain /difficulty losing weight, muscle aches, brain fog, and all the other hypothyroid symptoms.
Leafy Greens and Gut Health
Most people who struggle with food sensitivities, leaky gut, or autoimmune issues avoid leafy greens, but research proves that eating more dark leafy greens can help.
Leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, and Brussels sprouts switch on a gene known as T-bet that instructs precursor cells in your intestinal lining to produce innate lymphoid cells (ILCs). The ILCs found in leafy greens protect your body against gut infections and inflammation, control food allergies and intolerances, support a healthy immune response, and, in short, seal the leaks in your gut.
They also protect your body from bad bacteria, while the fiber in dark leafy greens feeds our good bacteria, making leafy greens an all-around great choice for anyone dealing with gastrointestinal distress of any kind, in addition to powering your weight loss and fat burning.
Greens Provide Crucial Digestive Enzymes
For weight loss, fat burning, and whole-body health, we aren't what we eat; we are what we absorb, and what we metabolize!
Absorption starts the moment we begin chewing our foods. Chewing leafy greens activates our digestive enzymes that break down our food, making it easier for our bodies to absorb. If you are deficient in digestive enzymes, you are likely to experience all sorts of gastrointestinal issues that can include weight gain, bloating, constipation, nutrient deficiencies, leaky gut, acid reflux, and the list goes on and on.
In today's stress-filled world, leaky gut and other digestive issues are a few of the moist common health issues affecting every aspect of our health. Leaky gut is one of the main causes of enzyme deficiency, as well as chronic stress, aging, genetics, and inflammation from food sensitivities.
Eating leafy greens (the darker the better) is one of THE BEST ways to support your body’s natural ability to produce these life-changing (and weight-changing) digestive enzymes.
Now you know why I am so persistent at reminding everyone why they need to eat a huge salad every day!
Leafy Green Vegetables Naturally Detoxify and Cleanse
Clearing toxins from our bodies is an essential component, or should be, of everyone’s health care plan, especially when it comes to losing weight. Eating your greens every day makes it easy.
Leafy greens, especially the dark ones, are superstars when it comes to removing toxins, due to the chlorophyll they contain, which is also the pigment that makes them green.
Chlorophyll is also found in LynFit Cutting Edge and chlorophyll-rich foods such as spirulina, chlorella, parsley, and alfalfa bind (found in LynFit Thyro-Boost) because of its ability to bind to heavy metals and other toxins in our blood and gently carry them out of our body for safe removal.
I emphasize gently because the last thing you want to do is strip your body of the crucial protection your microbiome whose job is to keep the bad guys out and attract more good guys, meaning pro-, pre-, and post-biotics.
Chlorophyll helps detoxify and cleanse the liver, supporting your body’s natural detoxing nutrient, glutathione. This intricate built-in system supports and strengthens immune function, helping to keep toxins from collecting in your body in the first place.
Leafy Greens Strengthen Our Immune System
One more reason EVERY living person needs to eat leafy greens every day is… their amazing ability to strengthen our immune system and protect it from harmful health-destroying toxins that can damage every aspect of our health.
Making sure you eat enough dark leafy greens, even if you are taking nutritional supplements every day, is still the best way to support and protect our bodies from oxidative damage which, if left untreated, can lead to all kinds of health havoc, including autoimmune issues.
Studies specifically suggest dark greens like kale, broccoli, and arugula, as the best vegetables to eat to best support several of our bodies internal processes, which includes the all-important modulation of our immune system and regulating inflammation.
Which is better: Raw Vegetables or Cooked Vegetables?
As a clinical metabolic nutrition and fitness expert, the biggest mistake I see people make when trying to lose weight and improve health is, yup, you guessed it, NOT EATING ENOUGH LEAFY GREENS!
When we don’t consume enough green vegetables, we feel hungry all the time, don’t burn off belly fat, become constipated, and are more prone to regaining lost weight and slowing metabolism and we are more prone to toxicity and disease.
Studies prove that regularly and consistently consuming dark leafy green vegetables helps keep the weight off and reduces the risk of chronic disease, of course, with the help of clean metabolic boosting grass fed, pasture raised Complete Protein Shakes and essential omega 3 fatty acids assisting.
So, which is best raw or cooked?
Most assume that eating your veggies raw is best due to raw not destroying nutrients like folate and other water-soluble vitamins. But here is the catch; the nutrients in cooked vegetables are easier to absorb, especially if you're hypothyroid or have thyroid disease.
If your lifestyle is keeping you from eating your leafy greens every day, a simple, yet highly effective way, to get all of the benefits vegetables deliver is to take LynFit Daily Power Shot and or make a LynFit Vegan Metabolic Boosting Complete Protein Shake. Our popular vegan protein is powered by plants and contains an antioxidant and superfood blend added to make it more powerful than just using plant-based protein.
Unlike most green powders, neither the Daily Power Shot or Vegan Protein Powder will block you up by making you constipated, which is exactly the opposite effect we are working toward when it comes to losing weight and becoming as healthy as possible.
Why doesn't LynFit Nutrition's Vegan Metabolic Boosting Complete Protein Powder constipate the way other vegan shakes can? Since we specialize in weight loss (metabolic to be exact, which means we can help the most stubborn metabolisms become faster, making it easier to lose weight and burn fat off), we use the MOST BIOAVAILABLE forms of protein and nutrients, making sure they are broken down and easier for your body to use versus block. Your body absorbs more (98% more, to be exact) and we make sure they have enough fiber in them without causing any gastric distress.
Remember, we aren't what we eat, we are what our body absorbs!
What's the Easiest and Best Way to Eat More Leafy Green Vegetables?
Eat a huge salad every day and you'll nail your leafy green goals! (Check out my Mega Salad recipe on page 49 in my Metabolic Kitchen Guide. All you have to do is eat one Mega Salad daily, or when it's cold outside and you're craving warm, you'll love my delicious Sautéed Mixed Greens with Garlic on page 50.)
When it comes to weight loss and health, your first goal should always be to increase your leafy vegetable consumption from real, whole foods. Since not all of the foods we need to eat are in season, and are grown in nutrient-depleted soil, making it impossible to keep your body nourished and get all of the leafy green benefits through diet alone, it's a good idea to also supplement your new cleaner, leaner diet with Daily Power Shot and/or our Vegan Complete Protein Powder. Make sure you have some on hand for the next time you're too busy to prep a big salad or drink your smoothie, or you need something more convenient for those on-the-go days.
One ounce of Daily Power Shot or one scoop off our Vegan Complete Protein Powder delivers a powerhouse of nutrients from organic, plant-powered foods, making it the perfect solutions for anyone who...
- is looking to save a lot of time and money versus trying to get in all of the leafy greens needed, and also wastes a lot of produce.
- prefers a more delicious and nutritious, not to mention much less expensive, alternative to over-priced juice bars that also spike blood sugar levels and taste horrible.
- is on the go or travels frequently, and wants a more efficient, healthier source of metabolic clean keto nutrition.
- wants to help balance hormonal health and lower stress hormones (cortisol).
- wants to super charge their health.
Daily Power Shot and Vegan Complete Protein Powder (as well as Thyro-Boost) are fast, easy, more convenient ways to ensure your body gets what it needs, including all of the disease-fighting, anti-aging, and immune-boosting benefits of leafy greens!
1. Nutrients and Bioactives in Green Leafy Vegetables and Cognitive Decline: Prospective Study. Martha Clare Morris, Yamin Wang, Lisa L Barnes, David A Bennett, Bess Dawson-Hughes, Sarah L Booth. NCBI. 2018.
2. 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. US Department of Health and Human Services, US Department of Agriculture. 2015.
3. How Much Potassium Is In Raw Spinach. Erica Wickham. LiveStrong.
4. Natural Sun Protection From the Inside Out. Serenity Aberdour. Alive. 2017.
5. Kale - A Top Source of Beta Carotene . Health With Food.
Lisa Lynn, Clinical Metabolic Nutrition & Fitness Expert. Best known for her 18+ years as Martha Stewart’s trainer, who was responsible for Martha’s over-50 amazing physical transformation that caught the attention of Dr. Oz, leading to her many appearances on the Dr. Oz Show. Lisa is not just another trainer; she herself lost 40 pounds and has kept it off, even with a sluggish thyroid and menopause.
- Lisa Lynn