Increasing Your Green
Phil Cameron | Friday Apr. 1st, 2016
We have all heard the famous saying by Kermit the Frog, “its not easy being green”, and in a lot of ways that relates to our lifestyle and diet as well. Living a green lifestyle has many positive benefits for our health and for our environment, but those choices are often more difficult to make because they are often inconvenient or not what our brains are craving to eat. Choosing a green lifestyle however can truly have a major impact on your overall health and wellbeing.
To quantify the statement “going green” lets stop and assess what that really means. There is a lot of hype and marketing around the words green, natural and organic. Often this is a good thing to help us understand that we are getting products that are more safe for use in our homes and environments to keep us healthy. Or in the case of our food, grown using less chemicals or artificial products to keep us from being exposed to more toxins that will negatively affect us. That also means not using the “green” products has negative impacts on our health and wellbeing and creates negative affects on us.
When going green, we want to limit our exposure to harmful products, which at the same time reduces the impact on our environment from the production of those products. This means being an informed consumer and caring about the choices we make when we spend our dollars at the store. When making choices to spend your money, stop and think about where that money actually goes. When buying a product, money has to be distributed to its production, marketing, transportation, and distribution. Considering what has to be done to create a product for sale, and the transportation of that product to the shelf greatly affects how “green” that product really is.
On the other side of “green”, are the greens we consume. Greens are the way our body gets minerals and fiber into our diet to keep us healthy. Plants utilize the energy from the sun by absorbing sunlight in the leaves and using chlorophyll to produce energy. That energy then gets utilized by the plants cells or stored in the plant for later use. When we consume the plant we can utilize that stored energy for our own use. The plant is also simultaneously absorbing minerals and nutrients from the soil and incorporating those minerals into the plant. Those minerals are then used for metabolic processes to keep the plant alive. Consuming plants is the best way for our body to absorb the minerals that our body needs to fulfill our metabolic functions. Our body does not absorb minerals directly from the soil so if we do not eat our greens we become mineral deficient.
Consuming organic vegetables is different than consuming non-organic vegetables. The organic vegetables are grown in different soils that have higher nutrient contents to them. It is important to realize that the food we consume was also consuming food before we ate it, and therefore we are the product of what we eat has eaten. This is the biggest difference in the choices you make when purchasing vegetables at the grocery store. Choosing locally grown products from healthy soils or organic products from healthy soils gives you a product that has a higher nutritional value than non-organic plant products that have been grown in soils that have not had proper crop rotation or from soils that are nutrient depleted.
One fascinating characteristic between plants and animals is in our similarity between chlorophyll and hemoglobin, “plant blood vs. animal blood”. When looked at biochemically chlorophyll and hemoglobin are virtually identical molecules but the difference is chlorophyll has a molecule of magnesium in the center of the molecule, and hemoglobin has a molecule of iron at the center. Iron is used in hemoglobin to bind and transport oxygen, which is the necessary molecule to make ATP (adenosine triphosphate) the energy molecule of animals. Because of the similarity of molecular structure chlorophyll is actually very healing and useful to the physiology of animals as well. Chlorophyll can be used to treat many irritations of the body. It can be used to sooth irritations of the digestive tract. It can be used to help reduce inflammation in the body. It can be used topically to help with wound healing. The best type of chlorophyll to use comes from chlorophyll that has been distilled which can be difficult to find over the counter, however your health care practitioner usually has access to those products like chlorophyll complex or chlorophyll ointment from Standard Process which is only sold through health care practitioners.
Increasing your “green” is very important for your health and the environment. The best place you can think about being “green” is when you are out shopping as a consumer. Your “green” money talks, in more ways than one. Choosing to buy products that are higher in nutritional content and grown environmentally ethically has a substantial impact on what is sold in the stores and what will be available to purchase in the future. Keeping your internal environment clean by consuming minimally processed foods, organic and locally produced foods, and foods that are high in nutritional content will keep you healthy. Because those products are healthy for your body usually means they have been produced in ethically and sustainable ways that are better for the environment. The more those products are consumed the more of a demand is placed on having products produced that way, which means even bigger and better things for our environment as a whole. Small choices can make big differences. Use your “green” money to make “green” choices and you will live a healthier, more natural, and more optimal life.