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eHow Video: “Southern-Style Mustard Greens”

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Mustard greens are so incredibly healthful, it was hard to decide which of their many benefits I ought to focus on in this post. Here are just three reasons why you’ll want to incorporate more of these luscious leafies into your diet:

Cardiovascular Benefits
Mustard greens support the cardiovascular system in three significant ways. First, they are anti-inflammatory. Inflammation narrows the arteries and increases the risk that they’ll become blocked, so these anti-inflammatory properties are obviously a huge benefit. Second, by binding with bile acids in the intestines, mustard greens help lower cholesterol levels. And third, because mustard greens are exceptionally high in the B-vitamin folate, they help prevent homocystein build-up. Homocystein is an amino acid found in the blood that is acquired mostly from eating animal products. High levels are related to the development of heart and blood vessel disease.

Cancer Prevention
Mustard greens are also powerful cancer-fighters because they are LOADED with a broad spectrum of antioxidants. Chronic oxidative stress is a major risk factor for the development of most cancer types and antioxidants lower our risk of oxidative stress on our cells (hence the name: anti- oxidants). For the record, plants have on average 64 times more antioxidant power than animal products. The few antioxidants that do happen to be found in animal products are only there because those animals were fed plants.

Bone Health
And lastly (though I truly could go on endlessly), mustard greens are an excellent source of calcium. While dairy products have long been touted as “good for your bones,” the countries with the highest consumption of dairy also have the highest rates of osteoporosis. This is because dairy, like all animal products, is highly acidic. The body needs to keep a very specific acid-alkaline balance in order to function, so whenever animal products are consumed, the body must find an alkaline source so it leaches the calcium from our bones (which is high in alkaline). So, in fact, consuming dairy products are quite harmful to our bones. Mustard greens, on the other hand, along with other greens like kale, collards, bok choy, broccoli, and okra, are not acidic and thus only contribute to the strength of our bones.

So while you enjoy this quick and tasty recipe, you can also feel good knowing that you are eating one of the most healthful foods on the planet!

Ingredients:
1 large bunch mustard greens, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3-6 cloves garlic (depending on your garlic preferences), chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup water
Instructions:
1. In a cast iron pot, saute the onion until soft.
2. Add the garlic, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly.
3. Add the mustard greens, and stir until they are coated with the spices and just wilted.
4. Add 1/4 cup of water and let simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes. Remove cover and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Resources:
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=93
http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/calcium.php
http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/calcium-and-strong-bones

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2 Comments

  • Reply Marie Roxanne December 14, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    I know it’s optional, but why would you add the salt to the pot instead of ton the plate?

    • Reply Kate Goldhouse December 15, 2013 at 4:13 am

      Hi Marie Roxanne. You can certainly do that as well 🙂 Traditional Southern-style mustard greens call for bacon, butter, and LOADS of salt. I’d much rather people eliminate the butter and the bacon but keep a tsp of salt if that will help them incorporate more greens into their diet. But of course, no salt would be most healthful.

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