Raw Collard Green Salad
Benefits of Collard Greens . . .
Detox Support Provided by Collard Greens
Collard Green detoxing support includes antioxidant nutrients to boost Phase 1 detoxification activities + sulfur-containing nutrients to boost Phase 2 activities. Collard greens also contain phytonutrients called glucosinolates that can help activate detoxification enzymes + regulate their activity. Four key glucosinolates that have been clearly identified in collard greens in significant amounts are glucobrassicin, glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucotropaeolin.
If we fail to give our body’s detox system adequate nutritional support, yet continue to expose ourselves to unwanted toxins through our lifestyle + our dietary choices, we can place our bodies at increased risk of toxin-related damage that can eventually increase our cells’ risk of becoming cancerous. That’s one of the reasons it’s so important to bring collard greens + other cruciferous vegetables (like kale, mustard greens, Brussel sprouts + cabbage) into our diet on a regular basis.
The Antioxidant Benefits of Collard Greens
As an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), and manganese, and a good source of vitamin E, collard greens provide us with 4 core conventional antioxidants. But the antioxidant support provided by collard greens extends far beyond the conventional nutrients into the realm of phytonutrients. Caffeic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, and kaempferol are among the key antioxidant phytonutrients provided by collard greens.
This broad spectrum antioxidant support helps lower the risk of oxidative stress in our cells. Chronic oxidative stress—meaning chronic presence over overly reactive oxygen-containing molecules + cumulative damage to our cells by these molecules—is a risk factor for development of most cancer types. By providing us with such a great array of antioxidant nutrients, collard greens help lower our cancer risk by helping us avoid chronic + unwanted oxidative stress.
Collard Greens’ Anti-inflammatory Benefits
As an excellent source of vitamin K + a good source of omega-3 fatty acids (in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA), collard greens provide two hallmark anti-inflammatory nutrients, Vitamin K acts as a direct regulator of our inflammatory response, and ALA is the building block for several of the body’s most widely-used families of anti-inflammatory messaging molecules. In addition to these two anti-inflammatory components, one of the glucosinolates found in collard greens—glucobrassicin—can be readily converted into an isothiocyanate molecule called I3C, or indole-3-carbinol (I3C). I3C is an anti-inflammatory compound that can actually operate at the genetic level, and by doing so, prevent the initiation of inflammatory responses at a very early stage.
Like chronic oxidative stress and chronic weakened detox ability, chronic unwanted inflammation can significantly increase our risk of cancers and other chronic diseases (especially cardiovascular diseases).
Collard Greens + Cardiovascular Support
Researchers have looked at a variety of cardiovascular problems—including heart attack, ischemic heart disease, and atherosclerosis—and found preliminary evidence of an ability on the part of cruciferous vegetables to lower our risk of these health problems. Yet regardless of the specific cardiovascular problem, it is one particular type of cardiovascular benefit that has most interested researchers, and that benefit is the anti-inflammatory nature of collard greens + their fellow cruciferous vegetables. Scientists have not always viewed cardiovascular problems as having a central inflammatory component, but the role of unwanted inflammation in creating problems for our blood vessels and circulation has become increasingly fundamental to an understanding of cardiovascular diseases. Of particular interest here has been the isothiocyanate (ITC) sulforaphane, which is made from glucoraphanin (a glucosinolate) found in collard greens. Not only does this ITC trigger anti-inflammatory activity in our cardiovascular system, it may also be able to help prevent and even possibly help reverse blood vessel damage.
A second area you can count on collard greens for cardiovascular support involves their cholesterol-lowering ability.
In addition to the support factors described above, it would be wrong to talk about the cardiovascular benefits of collard greens without mentioning their diverse array of B vitamins. Collard greens are a very good source of vitamins B2, B6, and choline, and a good source of vitamins B1, B3, folate, and pantothenic acid. A well-balanced intake of B vitamins – especially vitamins B6, B12, folate, and choline – can be important in controlling cardiovascular disease risk. Since excessive or deficient intake of these B vitamins can have an unwanted impact on your disease risk, it is great to have a food like collard greens that provide a helpful amount of so many B vitamins.
Collard Greens + Digestive Support
The fiber content of collard greens—over 7 grams in every cup—makes this cruciferous vegetable a natural choice for digestive system support. Yet the fiber content of collard greens is only one of their digestive support mechanisms. Researchers have determined that the sulforaphane made from a glucosinolate in collard greens (glucoraphanin) helps protect the health of our stomach lining by preventing bacterial overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori in our stomach or too much clinging by this bacterium to our stomach wall.
Collard Greens Help Fight Against Cancer
Collard Greens provide special nutrient support for three body systems that are closely connected with cancer development as well as cancer prevention. These three systems are (1) the body’s detox system, (2) its antioxidant system, and (3) its inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system. Chronic imbalances in any of these three systems can increase risk of cancer, and when imbalances in all three systems occur simultaneously, the risk of cancer increases significantly. Among all types of cancer, prevention of the following cancer types is most closely associated with intake of collard greens: bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer.
It’s suggested that we enjoy collard greens + other vegetables from the cruciferous vegetable group 4-5 times per week + increase your serving size to 2 cups.
For more benefits on Collard Greens, check out the Wholefoods website.
Everyone in my house loved this salad!
Raw Collard Green Salad . . .
Prep Time 20 minutes Serves 8
2 bunches of Collard Greens (washed)
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of quality sea salt
1/2 c raw kombucha vinegar
2 tbls lemon juice
16 to 18 sliced sun-dried tomatoes (dried, not packed in oil)
1/2 c chopped red onion
4 to 6 garlic cloves (raw + minced)
1 teas red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicy)
Directions:1. De-stem + slice the collards in thin strips. An easy way to de-stem is to fold the greens in half + cut along the stem. Then stack the greens + roll ’em up cigar style + thinly slice.
2. Place the cut greens into a bowl. Add evoo, raw kombucha vinegar, lemon juice + sea salt and massage into the collards. The oil, vinegar + salt help to break down the greens + soften ’em. Set aside.
3. Prepare the sun-dried tomatoes, onion + garlic. Add to greens, along with red pepper flakes + mix well.
This recipe was adopted from Eating Bird Food.
Raw Kombucha Vinegar . . .
Raw Kombucha Vinegar is an excellent fermented food with beneficial bacteria + yeast. This probiotic cleans your gut + can be used in place of apple cider vinegar. Raw kombucha vinegar is said to be milder then ACV + less acidic. Get Raw Kombucha Vinegar @ J. Lexi.
That’s all for now.
Helping to keep you hydrated, exfoliated + well moisturized!