Why It’s Important to Rotate Your Greens

Why Rotate Your Greens?
Photo by Rachel

I write a lot about green smoothies and the benefits of drinking green smoothies. I’m also a huge advocate of juicing your greens. But one of the important aspects of drinking your greens is the rotation of plants.

Let me explain.

When you consume the exact same variety of green leafy vegetables, your body is always getting the same nutrients. Each variety of plant will give you different nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants.

But it goes even further than that. You see, each plant has a self-defense mechanism to keep animals from completely devastating their favorite plant. For example, if monkeys loved spinach and decided to eat all the spinach around then the plant could not procreate and it would die out.

Nature’s system is so smart because it knows that it’s important to keep greens around (hello! most nutritious food pound for pound!). So green leafy plants actually have a minute amount of alkaloids, which act like a poison if ingested regularly.

That’s where rotating your greens comes in! If you switch between different types of green plans, your body’s immune system is actually getting a boost because it is working on different alkaloids all the time.

So my recommendation, backed up by Victoria Boutenko is to switch between at least 10-12 types of greens. You can have say two or three days on one green like spinach, and then two or three days on kale, then two or three days on gai lan, you get the picture.

This actually ties in well with the Traditional Chinese Medicine system of hot and cold foods. Some people do well on certain types of greens, while others are better off with different types.

I think it’s super important to swap greens regularly! Oh, and the reason we don’t need to focus on swapping fruit as much as greens is that fruit were designed to be eaten and spread by animals. Greens would rather grow, and have their seeds blow in the wind or be pollinated by insects.

Greens are the most powerful healing foods out there, so it’s great to make them a staple part of your diet!

List of Greens to Get You Started

Your best bet is to go to a farmer’s market and look a the vast array of colorful greens. Pick some up, smell it, ask the farmer what it tastes like, and give it a try! If you’ve got the space and inclination, I’d highly recommend you start a garden. Plant a few of these vegetables and see which ones you like!

  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Kale
  • Bok Choy
  • Gai Lan
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Mustard Greens
  • Carrot Tops
  • Yu Choy
  • Sunflower sprouts (sprouts in general)
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Buttercrunch lettuce
  • Boston lettuce
  • Arugula (Rocket)
  • Collard greens
  • Cabbage
  • Watercress
  • Purslane
  • Sorrel
  • Tatsoi
  • Turnip Greens
  • Radish Greens
  • Beet Greens
  • Basil leaves
  • Coriander / Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Mint leaves

What other greens do you enjoy?

There are literally hundreds of different green edible plants out there. Which ones are your favorites and what have you tried that you didn’t quite like?

Love, Nathalie