Should I be rotating my Leafy Greens?
01 Aug

Should I be rotating my Leafy Greens?

We say it quite a bit here in the Raw Blend office and you have probably heard other green smoothie enthusiasts say the same thing!

Rotate your greens!

The superstar of your green smoothie is the leafy green – bursting with phytonutrients, protein, antioxidants, fibre… the list is never ending. They are nutritional powerhouses so make sure you rotate them around!

Why?

By rotating your greens you will be getting a more balanced amount of vitamins and minerals. Different greens have different amounts of nutrients and you want to be promoting nutritional diversity in your day to day diet.

It’s not all spinach and kale! There are so many other herbs and greens out there that deserve a look into. So branch out and explore!

Pardon the pun!

Here is a small list of some that you might have used before:

• Kale
• Coriander
• Spinach
• Chard
• Watercress
• Dandelion
• Parsley
• Mint
• Lettuce
• Cabbage
• Mustard greens
• Bok Choy

… etc etc….

Nutritional Diversity isn’t the only reason though! The next reason is perhaps the biggest reason why you should be rotating your greens.

In order to protect a plant from predation all leaves contain small amounts of toxins as a defence mechanism. Pretty cool when you think about how clever nature is but not cool when you think of how detrimental to your health “overdosing” on a certain green can be.

Oxalic acid is one of the main ones that I hear everyone talking about. It can be found in spinach and can be trouble for people who are prone to kidney stone formation. There are greens as well that contain goitrogens some of which suppress thyroid function. This can induce hypothyroidism and goiter Goitrogens. Goitrogens can be found in kale, kohlrabi, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and bok choy. Eating a lot of raw cruciferous veggies can suppress your thyroid, leading to a slower metabolism and increased metabolic hormone disturbance.

This doesn’t mean to completely stop consuming spinach or kale or any other greens from the same family. For people who don’t have a pre-existing health condition aggravated by these toxins it is perfectly safe to consume a couple handfuls of spinach or kale in a green smoothie every day. The chances that you will experience any sort of toxicity from eating larger-than- average portions of leafy greens as a part of a healthy diet and lifestyle is pretty slim.

It only becomes a problem if you currently have a medical condition that may be exacerbated by certain toxins present in certain leafy greens. Of if you go on a greens frenzy! We’re talking three or more bunches of greens every single day though…

Rotating greens becomes more critical for people who follow a raw vegan diet, where the amount of leafy greens is generally higher in order to obtain sufficient calcium and iron. Be sure to look for the signs of “alkaloid buildup” if you are getting your green smoothie fix everyday. Some symptoms include nausea and tingling in the fingertips. This is more so for those who are quite prone to thyroid issues so listen to your body and rotate your greens on a regular basis.

How do I rotate my greens?

Make it a weekly thing. Sometimes fresh Kale isn’t always available at your local market place and you don’t want to make Green Smoothies boring and monotonous. One week use spinach and then switch it up to Kale on your next trip.  Always try to rotate your leafy greens based on their family type as they have their own minor amount of toxins and you don’t want to be rotating within the same family as you are getting the same minerals and toxins each week. Switching to one cruciferous vegetable like Kale with another cruciferous vegetable like bok choy isn’t a good rotation because you are still getting the same toxins that are in all crucifers.

CRUCIFERS

Kale

KALE BUNCH EDITED1

Arugula (rocket)

Aragula Image Edited1

Collard Greens

Collard Greens Edit

Cabbage

CABBAGE IMAGE EDITED

Bok Choy

Bok Choy IMAGE EDITED1

AMARANTH

Spinach

Spinach Image Edit

Beet Greens

Beet Greens Edit

Chard

Chard Image Edit

ASTERACEAE

Dandelion Greens

Dandelion Greens

Romaine Lettuce

Romaine Lettuce

APIACEAE

Celery

Celery

Coriander

coriander

Carrot Tops

Carrot tops

Here’s another handy table that I found.

Rotate Greens Table

So not only will you be doing your health a favour, you will be keeping your creations fresh, tasty and different!

Don’t have a boring and monotonous routine in the kitchen!

Stuck for recipe ideas? Here are some Green Smoothie Recipes from our Kitchen. You can use any blender for your smoothies but our blender of choice is of course the amazing Vitamix Blender.

GET CREATIVE AND DO YOU HEALTH A FAVOUR!

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