As we go further into summer, the hot days make us long for cool drinks and lighter foods. The hotter days do, however, drain our energy. We should try our best to maintain our healthy eating as the festive season draws closer and brings with it abundance and even some decadence where our diets are concerned.
The best way to do this is to indulge in wonderful salads and crunchy vegetables with delicious dressings. Green vegetables contain an undervalued nutrient, Chloropyll, which makes them an important contributor to our health and is worth preserving when we cook and prepare our foods. Chlorophyll is the molecule that is stored inside the plants chloroplasts which allows plants to take sunlight and convert it into usable energy. In other words, chlorophyll is one of the keys to plant life.
At the top of our chlorophyll rich foods you will find spinach. This vegetable contains about 24 milligrams of chlorophyll per cup (raw). For most other green vegetables, you will get between 4 – 15 milligrams per cup. One of the herbs that deserves special mention for its chlorophyll content is parsley.
Chlorophyll benefits include helping fight cancer, improving liver detoxification, speeding up wound healing, improving digestion and weight control and protecting skin health. The primary reason chlorophyll is considered a superfood is because of its strong antioxidant and anti-cancer effects.
In order to preserve all heat susceptible nutrients, including chlorophyll, minimal cooking is required. Chlorophyll is a fat-soluble nutrient and a few grams of fat-containing food should accompany it to improve absorption.
So, lets increase our chlorophyll uptake this summer with this wonderful Mediterranean Baby Spinach Salad:
8 cups fresh baby spinach
1 hard boiled egg, preferably organic, sliced
½ cup feta cheese crumbled
1 cup whole cherry tomatoes
1 cup chick peas
2 TBSP red peppers, sliced
3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Divide the spinach onto two plates and top each serving with half each of the remaining ingredients.