Leafy Greens for an Extended Lifespan

Science confirms what we already know – leafy greens are the key to good health.

This video was originally published on NutritionFacts.org and republished with permission. NutritionFacts.org

It may seem counterintuitive, but the vast majority of our daily calories get used up simply existing. There are exceptions to this rule, as professional athletes or special ops soldiers’ high physical demands burn in excess of 4000 calories a day, but for most of us the energy used doing common daily routines is much smaller than the energy it takes just to stay alive. This is why diet and metabolism play such an important role in health and weight, and why we need to make sure we are eating lots of leafy greens.

This is in part due to the fact that leafy greens tend to be extremely high in nitrates. To put it simply, nitrates improve our cells’ ability to use energy. When we make sure to eat high nitrate foods like beets, every breath, every action is done at more efficient rate. Researchers interested in effect of nitrates on metabolic rate noted that when given a dose of nitrate equivalent to a few servings of vegetables found that their resting metabolic rate slowed by about 4%, which would be about 100 calories a day. The rates slowed similarly to those who practiced a calorie restrictive diet. But since no one wants to walk around hungry all the time, it’s comforting to know that just making a smarter meal choice can be enough to help you live longer. If the technical aspects of eating leafy greens doesn’t convince you do do so, consider this: eating leafy greens at least almost every day and maintaining a healthy body weight can increase your lifespan by nearly 25%.

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