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Drink Kale for Healthier Lungs

By In Wellness, Workshop, Yoga On March 30, 2012


 

A juicer and blender make it convenient and fun to increase our intake of greens and add significant value to our “green living”! Forget turning on the stove if you don’t want to, because you can certainly get a highly nutritious “green” meal or snack pretty quickly by juicing and/or blending. And, more greens in the body means more oxygenated lungs. How so?

Let’s take the dark, leafy green, kale, for instance! Observe the shape of the leaf. It looks similar to the shape of the lungs, right? Therefore, it’s not surprising that this valuable green, rich in vitamin A, supports the health of our lungs. Antioxidants-Guide.com tells us that “just one portion of kale is only 36 calories but it provides a massive 192% of your daily vitamin A needs” and, therefore, helps with “respiratory problems.”

Need some extra lung ‘fuel’ to get you through a power yoga or Zumba class? Add kale to your diet. DanceMagazine.com tells us that “for years, musical theater dancer Melissa Ryan drank coffee to get through two dance classes without a break, but she felt dehydrated and tired. Then she discovered kale.”

As Ryan explains in “Your Body: Green Energy” by Lauren Kay in the January 2012 issue of Dance magazine, “The first time I had it, there was literally a spring in my step. Now, if I have kale in a juice in the morning, I can take two classes with no problem.”

“You will get more minerals, vitamins, and enzymes in just one glass (of green juice) than you might normally get in several days on an average diet of cooked food,” explains Tonya Zavasta in “Your Right To Be Beautiful: The Miracle of Raw Foods.”

“Juicing not only eliminates the need for munching and chewing high quantities of greens and vegetables,” says Zavasta, but “it also minimizes the body’s digestive effort, since nutrients are absorbed in the bloodstream within minutes.”

A diet rich in kale helped Collin Powell of Orange Park to significantly lower his blood pressure. After seven days of increasing his kale intake via drinking green smoothies that consisted of blended kale, banana, water, and a touch of raw honey at times, Powell said, “Okay, this is going to be the true test” as he prepared to test his blood pressure, which, in the past, had been higher than it should be.

“Oh my goodness!” he exclaimed when the results popped up. “This is the lowest my pressure has been. This is the pressure of a 28 or 29 year old.” Powell was in his early 40s at the time.

“Our blood is very similar to green juice,” Zavasta explains in her book mentioned above. “The main difference between a molecule of chlorophyll in green juice and a molecule of hemoglobin in the blood is the central atom. Hemoglobin, the protein that makes our blood red, has iron as its central atom. Chlorophyll, the protein that makes plants green, has magnesium at its center.

“Green juices rich in alkaline minerals help to purify the blood. Your cells become more disease resistant and regenerate more easily in an alkaline environment. Vegetable juices supply minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, silicon, sulfur, and zinc — all in correct ratios to one another. These minerals protect hair, skin, and teeth. Increasing your supply of potassium naturally discourages sodium invasion of the cells and, hence, reduces water retention,” writes Zavasta.

Need a simple and tasty kale juice recipe to help prevent cell destruction? Try this:

 GREEN LEMONADEJuice

 Equipment Needed: Juicer

Kale, approx. 4 large kale leaves or a few handfuls of chopped kale; enough to get about 1/4 green liquid in glass

Apple, approx. 4 or to taste

Lemon, 1/2 or less (You can leave the peel on organic lemons.)

Push all ingredients through juicer. To squeeze as much green liquid as possible from kale when using a centrifugal juicer, push through the juicer WITH apple. You can even stack your juicer chute in the order above, juice, and enjoy! Optional: Serve over ice.

*Note: Masticating juicers will literally “chew” the greens for you, thus, extracting the maximum amount of liquid from the greens possible.

Don’t have a juicer as yet but have a blender? Try this smoothie below as yet another way to increase your kale intake. Or, have a kale juice for breakfast and a kale smoothie for lunch or a snack.

BLENDED FRUITY KALE

Equipment Needed: Blender

Kale, approx. 4 or more kale leaves or a few handfuls of chopped kale

Banana, approx. 2 to 3, however, the number of bananas you use will vary according to the desired sweetness you want. Only use banana if you are in normal health — that is, not fighting cancer or such. Banana will help to not only sweeten the kale but will also give your smoothie a creamy texture. However, half an avocado makes a smoothie creamy, too. If using avocado for a creamy texture, you can also add a fruit or two of choice, such as pineapple, pear, etc., to sweeten the smoothie.

*If using banana and you prefer an icy smoothie, freeze the bananas first and use in place of ice.

Water, approx. 1 cup. Varies according to desired texture

Honey, to taste (or another natural sweetener). Optional.

Want to make your “Blended Fruity Kale” smoothie purple? Add blueberries!

Since fruit can typically lighten the color of a kale smoothie, I enjoy blending the kale (or other greens) and water first for the dark-green visual of what will be nourishing my cells. Then, of course, I add fruit to sweeten the kale and make it more palatable and enjoyable to drink.

Now, that’s some green living!

Want green juice and smoothie visuals and samples of your own by way of juicing/smoothie classes? Give us a call at 904-276-3115, email us at info@lifesjourneywellness.com, or visit Life’s Journey Workshops for upcoming seasonal Juicing/Smoothie workshop dates.

Private juicing sessions for individuals and groups are also available by appointment.


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