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One of my favorite seasonal carols is In the Bleak Midwinter.  While singing this song this past week at a caroling event, I was reminded of the seasonal cycle and how it can affect not only our moods but our physical health as well.

It is officially winter this Saturday and the early dusk and cold evenings attest to this seasonal fact.  Another 3 months or so until spring and I am eagerly awaiting the return of more sun, a little warmth and lots of green!

Green is the color of life in s0 many ways, nutritionally included.  Living here in the Pacific NW we have quite a bit of coniferous green however the gardens lie dormant and the deciduous trees are bare.  The nitric oxide producing greens in our diet, whether locally grown or shipped in from more pleasant climes, beef up their content of nitrates to balance the lack of sunshine and lessor availability of fresh greens.

It has been proven that the fall and winter harvests of dark greens (such as spinach) have a much higher content of nitrates than the spring and summer harvests.  Nature’s way of ensuring that the precursors to health producing nitric oxide (NO)  are available.  This is particularly helpful when the NO reserves present in our skin and other tissues is not activated as easily by abundant sunshine.

So eat your greens this winter!  This is nature’s way of trying to make up for a lack of sunshine! Keep the nitric oxide factory of your endothelium (lining of blood vessels) going strong!  And don’t forget the antioxidants in a healthy diet that allow the nitric oxide to work even better!

IN-JOY your spinach today!