Nutrients in low calorie foods feel important

edited June 2018 in General Nutrition

I am eating a lot of mixed salad greens, really fresh and varied types. I also want to grow some. I feel (instinctively?) that the nutrients in each of these little leaves is really good for me and important to my body. Like my body utilizes all of it well, including the water and fibre. But when you put it on Cronometer - and it's totally accurate, i don't mean it's wrong - but even eating 5 cups is like a speck of nothing on the charts.

I guess I mean that although I know I also need a lot of other foods that these type of low calorie foods (probably spouts too, that sort of thing) can still make a very big difference to my well being. Especially if I eat them every day or often. I'm not sure the point of this post. Just that I know I feel a lot better when I'm eating these things, though if you leave them out it doesn't seem like you've changed anything at all.

I also feel like they hydrate me in a different way than other foods and the water in them is purified and full of nutrients - even if they are very little on a scale of other foods, like sweet potatoes for example. I see there's a post about sprouts which I'm going to read next as I've also wanted for _ages _ to start sprouting. I did once before and that too I KNOW it made me feel better.

They are little guys in the world of "Superfoods" but I also wonder if it's partly too that they haven't been studied enough and considered how they contribute to our bodies. I've been watching 2 bunnies eating greens all day, dandelions, sweet grasses - that heavier kind I think and just stuff like that and they are full of health and energy and it sustains them.

Just some food for thought. :)


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    I hear you. There's an instant vibrance.

    And I live right next to an allotment. Why do I go to the shops for my greens, when I could start stealing other peoples' cabbages?

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    @butterfly have you see our blog post about choosing data from specific sources to ensure you are getting the most out of Cronometer? If not, check it out here: https://cronometer.com/blog/6-tips-getting-nutrition-data/

    You may not see a big difference from these greens if you are using food listings which do not contain a full micronutrient breakdown, but try using listings from NCCDB or USDAsr28 . If you're including more micronutrients in your data you'll be able to start playing with specific vitamin and mineral levels and balances; This is where nutrition tracking starts to get fun! It's not only about monitoring energy in vs. energy out; it's getting into the nitty gritty, so ease into understanding each nutrient and its interactions slowly! Be sure to peruse our other blog posts to learn more about the different micronutrients and micronutrient balances. If you want to learn more, there is lots of good discussion about different nutrients right here on our forum, or contact your healthcare professional!

    It might be worth it to start adding notes to your diary as well, or even creating a custom biometric to track how your body is feeling in relation to the foods you have eaten that day which you will then be more easily able to track over time. For instance, if you were to track that 'Biometric' you could then go to your trends graph and find a day where the value spikes; navigate to that day and see what you had eaten/ what activity you have done etc. to make you feel better!

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    Also, keep in mind that there is so much we still don't know about nutrition (which is very exciting!). Leafy greens are full of "phyto-nutrients" that have antioxidant and/or anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to be a powerful buffer in the development of many chronic diseases. However, because we don't yet know what the essential requirement is of these phytonutrients, we can't really track them.

    Keep eating those greens!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

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    edited June 2018

    @Paul I lived in the U.K. for awhile so I know what you're referring to. I never knew anyone who had one but saw them in the distance in Harrow. And yeah, that would be so much more fresh and convenient than Tesco! ;) Thanks for the laugh and image of someone absconding off with the cabbages under their jacket. B) Vibrance is the perfect word because they make me feel more alive.
    @Hilary Thanks for those tips. I found I wasn't using the NCCDB listing and when I changed to that I DID get a lot more micronutrients. which is very important for me right now. I read the link and that helped a lot. Also the idea of tracking the micronutrients and how I feel is excellent. So far I've only thought in terms of specific foods and how they affect me, but not overall nutrients. I'm going to explore this. Thanks so much.
    @Susan_RD_101 I know! It is fascinating to me! I had no idea lettuces and other greens were anti inflammatory. General health articles and sites seem to get caught up on certain foods and only talk about them. (Gogi berries, chocolate, etc). With greens/lettuces I mostly hear "water" and maybe small amounts of a few things but they mostly get written off because they don't feel they are as nutrient dense. I need to read more about phytonutrients and what those are. They have a cool name too. I'm going to try and find what research there is even if it's not much. I will keep eating them. At first it was hard to eat them for some reason but now I am in the green groove and can't get enough! :smiley: Thank you.

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