Have you ever heard the saying,
“Two nutritionists, three opinions”
It seems that in today’s age there is more information out there than ever. Which you’d think is empowering, right?
I mean you could simply google anything you want to have effective actionable information to transform your life and health.
Maybe in theory! The internet seems to make it easier to spread confusion and conflicting ideas.
One thing everyone can agree on is that eating more vegetables promotes better health.
Now, out of the vegetables, the most nutrient-dense are those leafy greens.
That’s right, I’m talking spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, mustard greens, collard greens, bok choy, swiss chard, and more!
Because these vegetables contain all the plant pigments in them.
Just think back to fall, when the leaves go from green and slowly turn yellow, then red, and finally brown. At least they do here in New York at Daily Nutrition HQ.
Anyways, the leaves are dying and exposing different phytonutrients clearly seen by the different colors. The color green is what appears when you’ve packed in as much phytonutrients as possible. The darker the green the better!
However, there’s another sign of longevity-boosting benefits.
The chemicals that give spices and herbs their strong flavors also have their own health benefits to increase your lifespan.
The Intersection of Leafy Greens and herbs
There’s potent nutrition here. You have a similar nutrient profile as other leafy greens plus even more herb-specific benefits.
My favorite culinary herbs include basil, parsley, dill, and cilantro, just to name a few. Let’s break these down a bit:
Basil: Full of cancer-fighting anti-inflammatory compounds such as limonene and terpineol. Plus some that are anti-bacterial like citronellol and citral.
Parsley: Reduces inflammation and muscle stiffness. It tonifies the cardiovascular system and even helps cleanse the blood by supporting healthy kidney function.
Dill: Like basil, dill is full of monoterpenes, which beat down inflammation. Not to mention you have flavonoids including kaempferol and vicenin.
Cilantro: Extremely effective at heavy metal cleansing. Used even by Hippocrates and is referred to as the “anti-diabetic herb” in some parts of Europe.
You can add in herbs to season your food, they’re inexpensive and pack the flavor, but there’s a different way to enjoy these too.
Making Herbal Salads
One of the healthiest behaviors you can adopt is to have a salad each and every day.
How can you expect to do that with regular boring iceberg lettuce wedges or the standard Caesar salad?
One way to spruce up your salad and add more culinary herbs to your day is making them a base of your salad.
It enhances the taste of your salad while boosting the nutrition; it’s a win-win. Give this recipe a try and see for yourself:
Tomato Basil Salad Bomb
What you’ll need
- 1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Nutritional yeast
- 1 cup Butternut squash, cut into 1 inch cubes
- ½ cup Black beans
- ⅓ cup Tomatoes
- ⅓ cup Basil
- ¼ cup Cashews
- 2 cups Spinach
What you’ll do
Preheat your oven to 350F and roast your butternut squash cubes for 25-30 minutes.
Toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl and enjoy!
You can even make this in advance as seen in the picture. Just layer the ingredients from bottom to top in the order they appear in the what you’ll need list. The dressing will be kept away from the more delicate veggies and you can store this in the fridge for up to 3 days if you’re tight on time.