ABOUT GREENS (VEGGIE)… ‘’BITTER IS BETTER!” and dark leafy greens are one of the best way to get bitter taste pleasantly. We find ourselves recommending dark leafy greens very frequently, as an excellent way of counteracting the heaviness. Light, pungent and rich in vitamins and minerals, dark leafies like kale, collards, arugula, dandelion, chicory, and mustard and turnip greens are all specific healers for the liver and immune system. They also provide superb support for the skin, eyes and mucus membranes. Properly prepare they are easy to digest and will stimulate elimination. They can be eaten as much as 3 to 4 times a week or more for their healing properties. They make an excellent spring tonic. Most greens have a pungent Vipak, which is why it is best to prepare them with generous amount of cooling coriander powder.
Spinach, swiss chard and beet greens are bit different. While fast to cook, they are a concentrated source of oxalic acid. This compounds bind with calcium, preventing its absorption. An occasional meal of these vegetables does no harm, but they are best not eaten as regularly as other greens recommended above.
Spinach cools, nourishes and soothes, with light, dry attributes and a pungent Vipak. In large quantities it is aggravation to Pitta and Vata, and best served to Kapha. Small amounts are well tolerated by all, and are useful medicinally in the treatment of lung and liver disorders.
Some greens are obviously more pungent than others, mustard greens being hotter than collards or kale for example. Pittas especially need to take taste into account when choosing their greens. The more pungent greens – mustard, arugula, turnip greens, water cress are easier for mostly Kaphas and Vatas to catabolize, and are best minimized by Pitta. Vatas do well to take their greens well cooked, not raw. Pitta and Kapha can handle them either way.