There can be little doubt that due to the exceptionally fast pace of our modern lifestyle, many people simply do not take the time to eat properly; thus the popularity of the various multi-vitamin supplements on the market today. However, the fact is that the human body absolutely requires the presence of certain vitamins and minerals in order to function correctly and, because we have evolved as omnivores, our anatomy is specifically designed to extract those essential vitamins and minerals from the plants that we eat. Therefore, taking the time to prepare a meal that contains green, leafy, vegetables is the best possible way for us to obtain the nutrition we need. However, in a survival situation, we obviously do not have access to modern multi-vitamin tablets and thus, in order to prevent the occurrence of such debilitating conditions as Beriberi, Pellagra, Scurvy, and Rickets, it is imperative that we forage for, and consume, green, leafy, vegetables as a regular part of our diet.
In fact, of the forty or so different vitamins and minerals nutritionists have identified so far, there are about a dozen or so that the human body absolutely requires sufficient intake of to maintain proper function. However, while Vitamin D (prevents Rickets) is synthesized whenever our skin is exposed to sunlight and Vitamin K (causes our muscles to contract) can be synthesized by bacteria in our digestive tract, other essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A (necessary for eye health) and Vitamin B3 (prevents Pellagra) must be extracted from the plants that we consume. Also, it should be noted that while the Human body is capable of storing certain vitamins such as A, D, and E in our body fat (known as fat-soluble vitamins), it is not capable of storing others such as B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, Biotin, Choline, and Folic Acid (know as water-soluble vitamins). Therefore, unless we consume “greens” that contain these vitamins on a daily basis, our bodies quickly begin to experience the adverse side effects that accompany the lack of these essential vitamins.
Also, it has recently been discovered that “greens” contain something scientists have named “phytonutrients” which include all of the unique substances that give foods their brilliant colors, their delicious flavors, and their unique aromas and are believed to be closely related to the prevention of certain debilitating diseases as Cancer and Type 2 Diabetes. In addition, greens that are rich in vitamins A, C, and E help to maintain proper eye and skin health and provide essential fatty acids that help heal cuts and wounds and, greens that contain Iron and Folic Acid aid the body in the production of red blood cells.
Furthermore, green, leafy, vegetables are the best possible source of dietary fiber which is also essential to healthy bodily functions. In fact, dietary fiber is critical to our continued good health on both a daily basis and a meal-by-meal basis as well as a snack-by-snack basis due to the fact that food cannot pass through our digestive tract in a healthy manor unless it is fiber-rich. Thus, because greens are some of the richest sources of dietary fiber in existence, they are absolutely essential to preventing constipation. Plus, dietary fiber helps to reduce Cholesterol which, in turn, helps to prevent heart disease.
Fortunately for us, green, leafy, vegetables contain all of the essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber our bodies need to maintain proper health and, with the use of modern agricultural techniques, they are readily available to us year round regardless of whether we choose to purchase them from a grocery store or grow them ourselves in our backyard gardens. So, although the thought of fresh Spinach salad or a bowl of steaming Brussels sprouts may not make your mouth water the way that thoughts of a steak and baked potato do, the fact is the Human body has evolved in such a way that the inclusion of greens in our diet is absolutely essential to maintaining good health.