Whole Foods, Plant-Based by the KISS principle: Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are vital for a Whole Foods, Plant-Based  (#WFPB) lifestyle, because chewing them makes nitric oxide, which keeps your arteries limber, as it helps support your endothelium.

Levity helps if you want to teach anything as we are reminded by Tom Lerher, who was the one who set the periodic tables to music:

It’s all about the leafy greens

And then there was Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, who made a riff out of the Green Leafy vegetables. We’re still looking for someone to set it to music. Here is a video of Esselstyn with his wife Anne.


Here they are:

  • Bok Choy
  • Swiss Chard
  • Kale
  • Collards
  • Collard Greens
  • Beet greens (and the beets count too!!!)
  • Mustard greens
  • Turnip greens
  • Napa cabbage
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Caulifower
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Spinach
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus

It’s about the principles… I can regularly find other leafy greens beyond this list, such as Malabar spinach (poi leaves), and  Patra leaves (aka  colocasia, or arbi leaves) and numerous others, so the message is that there is plenty of choice.

Dr. Esselstyn’s point is that chewing these veggies produces nitric oxide naturally, which keeps your endothelium young. So, get used to eating a bit of leafy greens four to six times a day. Esselstyn insists on six times a day for heart patients. My favorite way of enjoying this is steamed kale with some cubed (Japanese) sweet potato and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. I can also easily take that with me in a doggie-bag if I need to eat outside and don’t want to risk the food – which is the case mostly if I don’t know the restaurants. I’ve even taken that overseas. Ever since finding out that the Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams brings his own food everywhere, I figured I can do it too.

It’s all simple salads are good for leafy greens, and boiled or steamed or grilled vegetables are good too. Remembering the simple stuff is easy with a little bit of humor like this. We always come back to the basics of the Whole Foods, Plant-Based lifestyle, which is exactly what it says it is, as long as you remember to use no added sugar, oil or salt. There are just a few little tweaks, and one of them is to regularly get leafy greens during the day for nitric oxide.