Greens Pack A Powerful Punch
What are the main causes of poor disease resistance and generally poor health in America today? You may think its the excess fat in our diet. Or maybe its eating garbage, empty calorie food that causes the most problems. Some may argue that its the high consumption of animal foods such as dairy, meat, chicken, and fish that leads to premature death. Although all of these factors are important, the main reason why so many people suffer the same the problems over and over again, is simply that they don’t eat enough produce. Let’s take a look at some more of the reasons why plant foods are so protective and essential for human health.To illustrate the powerful nutrient density of green vegetables, let us compare the nutrient density of steak with the nutrient density of broccoli and other greens.Now, which food has more protein — broccoli or steak? You were wrong if you thought steak! Steak only has 5.4 grams of protein per 100 calories and broccoli has 11.2 grams, almost twice as much!
Remember that most of the calories in meat come from fat, by comparison … calories from green vegetables come mainly from protein. (All calories come from fat, carbohydrate or protein). The giants in the animal kingdom; elephants, rhinoceros, giraffes, hippopotamuses, gorillas etc … all eat plants. So how did they get all the protein they needed to grow so big? Predominantly from green vegetables and grass. The cow didn’t go around eating other cows … and by the same token, the protein wasn’t formed out of thin air. The cow ate grass! Most people have been conditioned to think that without animal products they would have a protein deficient diet. Nothing could be further from the truth. And as an added bonus you gain protection from risky, cancer producing substances such as saturated fat. Have this expression written somewhere prominent in your house: “eating more plant protein is the key to achieving safe and successful weight loss”.
Where do you think cows get their protein from?
Now, which has more vitamin E or vitamin C — broccoli or steak? I’m sure you are aware that steak has no vitamin C or vitamin E. It is also almost totally lacking in fibre, folate, vitamin A, beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, vitamin K, flavonoids, and thousands of other protective phytochemicals. Meat does have certain vitamins and minerals, but even when we consider the nutrients that meat does contain, broccoli has lots more of them . For many important nutrients, broccoli has more than ten times as much as steak. The only exception is vitamin B 12 , which is not found in plant fare. When you consider the fibre, phytochemicals, and other essential nutrients, green vegetables win the award for being the most nutrient-dense of all foods.If you were to give different foods a mark out of 100 for containing the most healthy nutrients, leafy greens would score 100 … and all other foods should be judged by this criterion. As an interesting side point … which food would you think has been scientifically proved to have the greatest impact on increased longevity in humans? Once again … its leafy greens … also know as salad! In particular, honourable mention has frequently been made with reference to romaine lettuce, kale, collards, Swiss chard and spinach, which are generally regarded as the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.
It would be interesting to know what a healthy eating gorilla makes of the American diet!
Most vegetables contain more nutrients per calorie than any other food and are rich in all necessary amino acids. For example, romaine lettuce, which gets 18 percent of its calories from fat and almost 50 percent of its calories from protein, is a rich powerhouse with hundreds of cancer-fighting phytonutrients that protect us from a variety of threatening illnesses. When you hear people talking about a disease resistant body being a question of luck and genetics, the fact is they are very much mistaken. A healthy body is earned and developed over a long period of time. For example, one recent review which considered over 200 human population studies came to the conclusion that raw vegetable consumption showed the strongest protective effect against cancer of any beneficial food. However, less than one in a hundred Americans consumes enough calories from vegetation to ensure this defence.
100 calories of broccoli is about ten ounces of food, and 100 calories of ground sirloin is less than one ounce of food? With green vegetables you can get filled up, even stuffed, yet you will not be consuming excess calories. Animal products, on the other hand, are calorie-dense and relatively low in nutrients, especially the crucial anti-cancer nutrients. What would happen if you attempted to eat like a mountain gorilla, which eats about 80 percent of its diet from green leaves and about 15 percent from fruit? Assuming you are a female, who needs about 1,500 calories a day, if you attempted to get 1,200 of those calories from greens, you would need to eat over fifteen pounds of greens. That is quite a big salad! Since your stomach can only hold about one liter of food (or a little over a quart), you would have a problem fitting it all in. You would surely get lots of protein from this gorilla diet. In fact, with just five pounds of greens you would exceed the RDA for protein and would get loads of other important nutrients. The problem with this gorilla diet is that you would develop a calorie deficiency. You would become too thin. No one would seriously expect you to eat like a gorilla. However, the message to take home is that the more of these healthy green vegetables (both raw and cooked) you eat, the healthier you will be and the thinner you will become.
Now you may consider our “Gorilla Diet” silly and extreme. And it is … no human could follow it over a sustained period of time. But the “Gorilla Diet” is nothing compared with another extremely silly and extreme way of living … the American diet. As we have already seen, the fat laden burgers, fries and doughnuts and all the rest of the dietary lunacy that most Americans seem addicted to is a recipe for an early death. Even if you followed carefully the United States Department of Agriculture dietary recommendations … six to eleven servings of bread, rice, and pasta (consumed as 98 percent refined grains by Americans) with four to six servings of dairy, meat, poultry, or fish — you would be eating a diet rich in calories but extremely low in nutrients, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and vitamins. You would be overfed and malnourished … the precise nutritional profile that causes heart disease and cancer.