Green Vegetables Protect the Heart

I know that there are other people who are as enthusiastic about drinking green smoothies as I am, but where I live, I really have developed a reputation as the Green Smoothie Lady.  It’s not a bad thing.  In fact, I like being so closely associated with such an important food group – dark leafy greens.  And here’s one reason why.

Green leafy vegetables are superior to other foods in their nutrient density, and unsurprisingly, greater intake of leafy greens is associated with reduced risk of and/or reversal of many diseases
and disorders.  One of these is cardiovascular disease, which accounts for a very high number of unnecessary deaths each year. Greater consumption of dark leafy green vegetables and  cruciferous vegetables are associated with lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease from all causes .  The cruciferous family includes many leafy greens, such as kale, cabbage and bok choy. It also includes broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts.

A significant contributor to the development of cardiovascular disease is oxidative stress.  Our antioxidant defenses are a combination of dietary compounds and the body’s own antioxidant enzymes, and there is evidence that when we eat cruciferous vegetables, their phytochemicals signal the body to produce its own protective antioxidant enzymes.  They activate a protein called Nrf2, which can increase or decrease the expression of certain genes.  Essentially, Nrf2 is a messenger through which beneficial phytochemicals from the diet turn on the body’s natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection mechanisms. The bottom line here is that cruciferous vegetables are essential for excellent health and the promotion of maximum lifespan. 

The leafy greens that I’m always so excited about are worthy of extra mention, because, regularly drinking green smoothies, which have a high proportion of dark leafy green vegetables, is an easy sure-fire way to get this protection, not only from heart diseases, but a host of other diseases and ills  as well.  If you’re not on board yet with green smoothies, here is a recipe to get you started.  If you’d like to receive my Green Smoothie Guidelines sheet for additional suggestions, email me at, or contact me through my website at

Here’s to your great health and longevity!


Add this drink to your healthy-habit regimen.  It’s packed with cleansing nutrients and fiber to help  sweep you clean – a good thing after all the fancy food and holiday drinks.  Additionally, because it contains ginger and cayenne, it will have a warming affect in these winter months .  The heat will also help to speed up your metabolism.  Cayenne pepper helps increase circulation, which is an important aspect of a successful cleanse.  It also breaks up mucus in the body, helping dissolve and release toxic buildup.
1 cup or 3 leaves kale
¼ green apple
1 inch slice fresh ginger
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp real maple syrup
½ cup water, warm if you like
½ cup freshly made apple juice (or water) 

Add all  ingredients to the blender, pouring the liquids over the top.  Blend until everything is smoothly mixed.  Sip  it slowly.
From Best Green Drinks Ever, by Katrine Van Wyk 


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