Whoop whoop! I found asparagus at the grocery store! It's from California and it's delicious. While I'm a serious advocate for eating locally, I don't think asparagus will be coming up anytime in the next couple of weeks where I live (which is "Ontario's Garden," according to our governmental signage -except in the winter, of course). So, thank you, Californians, for consistently being amazing at providing me with a plethora of energizing vegetables and fruits, any time of year.
This noodle bowl is inspired by the first signs of spring that are appearing at the markets and grocery stores. While you may think this is a pretty sad looking rainbow, I work with what I can find, people! It does, however, feature one of my favourite colours to pop up in spring: green! Green produce is energizing, and that's not a bunch of hocus pocus. Chlorophyll (the green in your greens) is quite simply, plant energy.
Have you ever been to a snazzy spa and been given chlorophyll water? I haven't, but my sister has, and she likes to brag about it every time I mention chlorophyll... There's a reason those fancy spas give you that emerald water; it's because chlorophyll is a natural detoxifier, blood cleanser and beautifier, among many other things. But no need to go to a spa -just eat your greens.
I'm positively crazy for chlorophyll. Here's what this green goddess can do for you:
Health Benefits of Chlorophyll
- Blood Brothers: The basic component of the plant's "blood," chlorophyll, is nearly identical to that of human blood, hemoglobin. The hemoglobin of red blood cells in humans, and the chlorophyll of plants, differ only in molecular structure by their centre atom. The centre atom of hemoglobin in humans is iron, and the centre atom of chlorophyll is magnesium. This magnesium centre is also why most green vegetables are so high in the mineral.
- Energizer: Chlorophyll is produced as a result of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis converts the energy from sunlight, carbon dioxide and water, into glucose. Glucose is the main source of fuel for all living things. It's simply plant energy! As a blood-builder, chlorophyll helps to increase hemoglobin. More hemoglobin, means more oxygen throughout the body. Oxygenated blood, is healthy blood, and more efficiently delivers nutrients to every nook and cranny. Having more oxygen in your system can even help to increase sports performance, naturally.
- Anti-Inflammatory: According to Andrew Weil, M.D., inflammation is the root cause of disease. Eating a well-balanced, anti-inflammatory diet is necessary for optimal health. To be clear, this inflammation is invisible to the naked eye (a low-grade, chronic inflammation, that's not to be confused with inflammation that occurs when we cut ourselves, for example). Chronic, low-grade inflammation is linked to cardiovascular disease, some forms of cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases, according to a study published in the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research. The same study also noted that, "by means of anti-inflammatory activities, a plant-based diet may contribute to the lower risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer."
- Alkaline-Promoting: Most plants, especially greens, promote an alkaline environment in the body. An acidic body is a breeding ground for bacteria and disease. Chlorophyll is both oxygenating, which disease and bacteria don't like, and promotes an alkaline environment, which they also despise. In turn, this strengthens the immune system (along with the abundance of immune-boosting vitamins found in green produce). If you want to learn more about the alkaline diet, I recommend heading over to The Alkaline Sisters blog -it's a fabulous resource.
- Detoxifier: Chlorophyll is like a scrub brush for your cells. It binds with toxins, heavy metals and impurities in the blood stream, safely ushering them out of the body. (Cilantro, which is featured in this salad, is a fantastic heavy metal detoxifier on its own.) Amped-up blood flow form chlorophyll's oxygenating capacity, also works to speed up toxin removal. Additionally, after a winter full of carbohydrate-rich root vegetables to keep us warm and cozy, the body is looking for a little help to detoxify and purify. Bitter greens, such as dandelion, are now in season; that sharp-tasting edge stimulates your liver's bile production, revving up the detoxification process.
- Beautify Food: Chlorophyll is beauty food for three main reasons, including its detoxifying, anti-inflammatory and oxygenating features. If your diet is full of processed food, your liver is working overtime in order to get rid of the additives and preservatives. This can show up as skin issues. Chlorophyll's detoxifying features safely remove the unwanted compounds. Chlorophyll's anti-inflammatory properties helps to calm redness, acne and other skin irritations. And it's oxygenating features, transports those healthy nutrients you're taking in, all the way to your skin and hair, giving you a healthy glow.
- Natural Deodorant: Chlorophyll is a natural deodorant, helping to neutralize odours. The best way to use chlorophyll as deodorant is by eating plenty of greens (food first!) and drinking chlorophyll water. You can find liquid chlorophyll at your health food store. It's very safe, as it's an extract, not a supplement, per se. Just be sure to watch out for any gluten, thickeners and added sugars, as some brands have this.
Real Food Multivitamin
This "rainbowl" can be mixed up with whatever produce you can find. I recommended plenty of greens, of course, as I just went on and on about them above, but other than that, please go crazy! The vegetables, with the exception of the cilantro, are lightly steamed, as I find this is what works for my body. I usually eat mostly raw produce at breakfast and lunch, and enjoy cooked vegetables in the evening. But hey, this is what I do, you can make this completely raw if you want. Even the cooked brown rice noodles can be replaced with zucchini noodles.
This is a multivitamin in a bowl. I always do food over supplements, and when you're eating this many different colours, your body will know what's up, and return the favour tenfold. Eat with your eyes; simply get as many different colours from produce in your meals as possible. Dietary similitude is a one-way ticket to nutrient deficiencies and above all, is boranggggg. Eat the rainbow(l) and enjoy!
What colours do you love on your plate?