Natural Cures Not Medicine: 05/25/13

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Learn Why Leafy Greens are a Power Food and 20 Ways to Cook Them

By Rick Davis, founder at the eatlocalgrown project

SUPERFOOD- Leafy Greens
Leafy Greens are a Superfood!

Leafy greens are one of the most nutritious, inexpensive and easy to cook real foods! They're also very tasty and one of the simpler things to cook. Leafy greens are available for a large part of the year in one form or another and are usually available at most farmers markets for great prices.

Below you find some great recipes, tips and nutritional facts for leafy greens!

The Quick Lowdown

  • NUTRITIOUS- Lots of nutrients in just one serving! Vitamins, essential minerals, fiber and much more.
  • VERSATILE- Easy to add to lots of different recipes. Like smoothies for breakfast, salad at lunch, sauteed at dinner.
  • DETOX- High levels detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, and cancer fighting compounds

Leafy Greens Nutritional Facts

Not many foods can compare to the high nutritional value of leafy greens. Researchers are finding that eating your greens may be even more important than previously imagined. In putting together this article I found lots of quotes that stated "it was common for our ancient ancestors to eat up to six pounds of leaves per day". I could not find a accredited source for the quote but I can see that it makes sense. Recent research shows that a gene that is essential for producing critical immune cells in your gut, responds to the food you eat—specifically leafy green vegetables (Dr. Mercola).

We now know that these greens contain an array of antioxidants and other disease-fighting compounds. Researchers also believe that these vegetables play an important role in controlling food allergies, inflammatory diseases and obesity, and may even prevent the development of bowel cancers (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute).

Here's a nutritional breakdown of the top readily available leafy greens:


Excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K
High in Calcium (for a vegetable)
Also supplies Folate and Potassium

Collard Greens

Excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K
Good source of Folate, Manganese, and Calcium
Cancer preventatvive glucosinolates (glucoraphanin, sinigrin, gluconasturtiian, and glucotropaeolin)
Similar in nutrition to Kale but more chewy with a stronger taste

Swiss Chard

Excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K
Good source of Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Iron and Vitamin E
At least 13 different Polyphenol Antioxidants, including Kaempferol and Syringic Acid
Unique source of Phytonutrients called Betalains (provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support)

Turnip Greens

Excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K
Good source of Folate, Manganese, Calcium, Copper, Vitamin E and Vitamin B6
Bitter taste linked to high Calcium (4x more than cabbage, 2x more than mustard greens)
High glucosinolate content (phytonutrients with cancer-preventing properties)


Excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K
Good source of Manganese, Folate, Iron, Vitamins C, B2, B6 and E
Showed evidence of significant protection against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer.
Glycoglycerolipids help protect the lining of the digestive tract from damage — especially damage related to unwanted inflammation.

Beet Greens

Excellent source of vitamins A, C, E and K
Good source of Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Zinc, Vitamins B6
Valuable source of Lutein/Zeaxanthin (good for eye health)

How to Choose Leafy Greens

When choosing your greens, the number one rule is to look for leaves that are crisp. You want to hear a slight snap when you crack the stems. If they are wilted, soggy, or slimy, keep looking. Ideally, they have been stored in a cool place but watch out for greens stored in ice. Greens are loaded with water. Ice can crystallize the water and the greens may end up mushy by the time you get them home.

Color is also important. If you have a choice, pick the darkest leaves. Don't worry about a few brown spots, that's perfectly normal, especially at the farmers markets. However, if the edges are consistently brown throughout all the leaves you may want to pass.

Last but not least, is smell. The leaves should smell fresh and, well, really green!

NOTE: Non-organic greens can be very high in pesticides. This is one of those items that are definitely worth buying organic. I'm assuming that because you are an reader, you know how important it is to buy from a local grower when possible. Make sure your growers are practicing sustainable farming practices and not using heavy chemical pesticides and herbicides. If buying from a local is not an option, then make sure to choose organically-certified greens at the grocery store. (read more about Local vs Organic.)

How to Cook Leafy Greens

A lot of people (me included) love the taste of bitter greens. I especially like to pair them as a side dish with a rich, fatty main course like a grass-fed rib eye, or a hearty lamb stew. The bitter greens cut through the fattiness of the main course and bring a nice balance to the plate. But there's also many ways to temper the bitterness of leafy greens by adding golden raisins for sweetness or some toasted pine nuts or sesame seeds for richness. This can completely transform the dish and if you get creative you'll find something that even the pickiest of eaters will love.

On the more sturdy greens like Kale and Collards you'll probably want to remove the leaves for the stalks. I do this for Swiss Chard as well. You can cut the stalks away or just rip the leaves off. The stalks can be used for stocks, or in the case of Swiss Chard I just cut them up into bite size pieces and saute them for about 5 minutes to make them tender before adding the greens to the pan.

Here's a great collection of recipes that we found at

Beet Greens Recipes

Sometimes beets in the market have beautiful, unblemished,...
The entire beet plant—roots, stems and greens—can be used...
This root vegetable stew is flecked with sausage and topped...

Chard Recipes

Acorn squash’s natural shape makes it just right for...
Fragrant lemon zest, briny olives and salty feta balance...
Tangy green olives, sweet currants and creamy goat cheese...
In this one-skillet supper, we toss dark leafy greens,...

Collard Greens Recipes

Antioxidant-rich collard greens and fiber-packed black-eyed...
Here we’ve combined two favorite Southern side dishes—grits...
Jamaican pepperpot soup is usually a long-simmered...
This homey pasta dish uses pancetta (Italian bacon) in the...

Kale Recipes

This boldly flavored spin on Hoppin' John replaces...
A stunning main course for the holidays, this ginger-...
Serve as a side with a steak or pork chops or set a poached...
Kale is matched up here with white beans and chunks of lean...
Kale becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender in this recipe....

Spinach Recipes

EatingWell's updated version of creamed spinach has a...
Like many spinach salads, this one features lots of chopped...
This take on the classic bacon-wrapped appetizer uses...
Restaurants all over Singapore have chile crab on their...
Frilly layers of phyllo dough surround the festive spinach...

Do you have more Recipes?

Got Grandms'a favorite recipe stashed away somewhere? Did you come up with something brilliant while experimenting? Found a way to get your kids to eat Kale? Please use the comment section at the bottom of the page to contribute to this list!

More Proof that RoundUp is Killing Us

(NaturalNews) The modern age of industrial agriculture and manufacturing has dumped heavy metals, carninogens, plastics, and pesticides into the environment at alarming rates. These toxins are showing up in most human tissue cells today. One distinct chemical may be trapping these toxins in human cells, limiting the human body's ability to detoxify its own cells. In a new peer reviewed study, this sinister chemical, glyphosate, has been proven to inhibit the human cell's ability to detoxify altogether. Glyphosate, found in Monsanto's Roundup, is being deemed by publishers of the new study "one of the most dangerous chemicals" being unleashed into the environment today.

Download the PDF of the study here:

How glyphosate destroys human cells

Glyphosate, most commonly found in conventional sugar, corn, soy and wheat products, throws off the cytochrome P450 gene pathway, inhibiting enzyme production in the body. CYP enzymes play a crucial role in detoxifying xenobiotics, which include drugs, carcinogens, and pesticides. By inhibiting this natural detoxification process, glyphosate systematically enhances the damaging effects of other environmental toxins that get in the body. This, in turn, disrupts homeostasis, increases inflammation, and leads to a slow deconstruction of the cellular system. Toxins build up in the gut over time and break down through the intestinal walls, infiltrating blood, and ultimately passing through the brain/blood barrier, damaging neurological function.

Important CYP enzymes that are affected include aromatase, the enzyme that converts androgen into estrogen, 21-Hydroxylase, which creates stress hormone cortisol, and aldosterone, which regulates blood pressure.

Getting to the gut

Even as evidence mounts, Monsanto asserts that glyphosate is not harmful to humans, citing that its mechanism of action in plants (the disruption of the shikimate pathway), is not present in humans. This is not true.

The shikimate pathway, which is involved in the synthesis of the essential aromatic amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan, is present in human gut bacteria, which has a direct relationship with the human body, aiding in digestion, synthesizing vitamins, detoxifying carcinogens, and participating in immune system function.

By inhibiting the body's gut flora from performing its essential function in the human body, glyphosate heightens many health issues facing the Western world today.

These conditions include inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn's disease, obesity, and even dementia and depression. Also, by restricting gut bacteria from absorbing nutrients, glyphosate voids the body of essential life-giving vitamins.

Depletion of serum tryptophan and its link to obesity

Glysophate's damaging effects on gut bacteria lead to depleted sulfate supplies in the gut, resulting in inflammatory bowel disease. As more chemicals are absorbed from the environment, alterations in body chemistry actively promote weight gain by blocking nutrient absorption. By effecting CYP enzymes in the liver, obesity incidence is compounded, impairing the body's ability to detoxify synthetics chemicals. Since serotonin is derived from tryptophan and acts an appetite suppressant, the depletion of tryptophan encourages overeating in the brain, leading to obesity.

In need of urgent, massive awakening

Authors of the new review point out that "glyphosate is likely to be pervasive in our food supply and may be the most biologically disruptive chemical in our environment." Monsanto is already lashing back at these claims, calling this peer reviewed study, "bad science" and "another bogus study." What Monsanto fails to is mention that most of the studies on glyphosate's "safety" are conducted by Monsanto themselves, which is bias to the core.

The authors of this new study instead call out for more independent research to be done to validate their findings. They are concerned with glyphosate's inhibition of the cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes in the body, which are hindering the body's natural detoxification ability.

There is certainly a need for more empowering education on chemicals like glyphosate. There needs to be a kind of public mass awakening that correlates Monsanto's Roundup with skull and crossbones. If anything, Americans have the right to know how their food was produced, engineered, and poisoned, and everyone should pitch in and stop using toxic glyphosate-laced Roundup at all costs.

Sources for this article include:

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Make Your Own Chemical Free Shampoo and Rinse

You don't have to sacrifice your health in order to have lovely hair and skin. 

 Photo courtesy of Diane Cudo, Wikimedia Commons

Toxic ingredients in today's cosmetics are harmful to skin. Ingredients such as isopropyl alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate, DEA and MEA are known to have cancer causing properties,  generally strip your skin and hair of all its natural goodness, and can cause premature aging, dermatitis and inflammation. [1]

There are natural alternatives to these chemicals. After all how did people wash many years ago, before chemical cocktails were introduced into our daily cleanliness regime?

Here are two different methods to make your own shampoo and rinse.
1> The 'no-poo' Method. This involves using  baking soda to wash your hair and apple cider vinegar rinse (or lemon juice if you feel the smell is too overwhelming). This is a lovely video showing how to make it and how to use.
2> Make a simple natural ingredient shampoo, using castile soap. This video is a great demonstration of how to make it.

Source:  [1]

Related posts from Natural Cures Not Medicine: 

Make Your Own Toxin Free Natural Room Deodorizer

The Dangers of Air Fresheners

Argan Oil is Liquid Gold


Before trying anything you find on the internet you should fully investigate your options and get further advice from professionals.

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