Katy Foggin and Amdana Grieveson extoll the great power of greens
Working your way towards the Great North Run, or simply keen to fuel a more active lifestyle, it’s amazing how much difference the power of plants can really make. Try these little beauties:
Watercress: A small amount of watercress daily can help raise levels of antioxidant vitamins in the body, and it’s delicious and versatile. Watercress, according to scientific study, can also alleviate the natural strains put on your body if you are exercising hard, or simply living a very active life, so what’s not to like?
Nasturtium: assuming you like the odd flower in your salad, German research has shown that nasturtium is a good immune-booster and can improve the health of your lungs. Its leaves are great in potato salad or garnish to most dishes, and the flowers for salad.
Parsley: when you’re living an active life, or exercising a lot, your body is most susceptible to infection and your immune system can be compromised. American research shows that parsley can boost your recovery after exercise and acts as an all-round booster for your immune system. Try it chopped and mixed with a little crushed garlic and olive oil and use it to coat steak, chicken, or fish.
Chard: Vitamin K fends off the threat of fragile bones, chronic heart disease and cancer, and the richest source of this essential vitamin is chard. Fry it with garlic and pine nuts or add it in handfuls to stews, quiches and soups.
Basil: Research shows that the oils in basil are antiviral, antibacterial and antimicrobial agents. In fact, Amerian research says basil leaves have the broadest spectrum of nutrients of any food on the planet. Add it to everything, from risotto, to salmon, to soups and bruschetta, and especially insalate caprese.