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Pack on Greens to Shed Pounds

Pack on Greens to Shed Pounds
When the roadies strike the stage and load the trucks for Billy Joe Armstrong’s pop-punk band, some might say that’s Green Day Packing. In 1919, when Frank Peck gave Curly Lambeau $500 for team uniforms, well, that was the start of the Green Bay Packers. And when you go and pack big greens into your diet, you’ll have “The Time of Your Life,” teaming up with these defenders of really good health.

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition says that spinach is packed with thylakoids (little packets of goodness found in plant’s green-making chlorophyll) that actually make you feel fuller, block fat digestion and boost weight loss and reduction of lousy LDL cholesterol.

The researchers used spinach extract -- they fed overweight and obese women 5 grams of it before breakfast for 12 weeks. But we say the smartest move is to make every day a Green Day.

Spinach, kale, collards, beet greens, watercress, Swiss chard and arugula pack the powers of thylakoids, plus much more. They're huge sources of fiber, vitamins C, K and anti-aging A (it makes skin smooth and soft), folic acid (it guards your heart and memory and fights birth defects), lutein (a vision protector) and essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. Go for two servings a day (1 cup cooked or 2 cups raw). Or spin some leaves up in a blender in a tasty green drink with berries for sweetness -- make it 3:1 greens to fruit.

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