Let's explore the colour green leafy vegetables and the benefits it brings to your body!
I’m not talking about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I’m talking about the delicious leafy green vegetables that can really optimize your health.
Packed with fibre, vitamins, and minerals while remaining low in calories, green vegetables are an essential part of any healthy diet. Celebrate St.Patrick’s day this year with reading up on some powerful greens to incorporate into everyday life!
"Green is the prime colour of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.” -Pedro Calderon de la Barca
The Magic of Green
There are countless benefits to adding more dark leafy greens into your diet, they’re almost magic.
Supports your immune system.
Boosts digestive enzymes, making it easier for you to break down and absorb the nutrients from your food. Having a deficit of these enzymes can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as constipation, bloating, or reflux.
Vegetables such as broccoli and brussel sprouts support optimal gut health, protecting against bad bacteria, infections, and inflammation.
Leafy greens contain antioxidants that improve your inflammatory response.
The chlorophyll found in greens fights toxins in your body and helps to detoxify your system.
Eating just one serving of greens a day helps to balance your blood sugar levels!
Leafy greens even help your body to produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters, meaning they can be used as a natural way to reduce stress.
Good To Read: Eating Right for a Healthy Life
Your Lucky Greens
Spinach: One of the most popular leafy greens, spinach can be incorporated into countless dishes! It is rich in folate, which plays a big part in healthy red blood cell production.
Romaine Lettuce: Another common green leafy vegetables with a great crunch that is typically found in salads. It’s a great source of Vitamin A.
Kale: This green has become more and more popular in recent years, which is no surprise as it is known as one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables on the planet! While very versatile, a helpful eating tip is that kale offers the most health benefits when eaten raw. Try mixing some up in your morning smoothie!
Cabbage: This will most likely be on your plate if you enjoy traditional Irish dishes! Cabbage belongs in the same family as broccoli and brussel sprouts so it contains glucosinolates giving these vegetables their bitter flavour. Ferment this veggie and turn it into sauerkraut for a different taste profile!
Arugula: Arugula is a leafy green that delivers a delicious slightly peppery taste. Use as a garnish or spice up any salad. One of the best sources of dietary nitrates, which some studies have shown to widen blood vessels, reducing blood pressure and increasing blood flow.
Watercress: This is an aquatic plant similar to arugula. It is packed with nutrients and high antioxidants. With its bitter and slightly spicy flavour, it’s a great addition to blander foods.
Endive: You might not have heard of this green since it can be difficult to grow. Curly and crisp in texture, it offers a nutty and mildly bitter flavour.
Swiss Chard: Swiss Chard is a leafy green with a thick red, white, yellow or green stalk. Rich in potassium, manganese, and vitamins A, C and K, it has a nice earthy taste and is known to lower blood sugar levels. The stems are highly nutritious and nice and crunchy, so try cooking with the entire plant!
Try it in a Smoothie!
Don’t get bored only eating your greens as side dishes or in salads. Shake it up and try some delicious green smoothie making. Here are a few tips in your journey:
Follow the 60/40 rule. 60% fruit and 40% leafy greens will give you the best taste
Blend your leafy greens first before the fruit to get your smoothest smoothie possible
Forget the ice and use frozen fruits and veggies to get the crispness you want
4. Using naturally sweet fruits like mangos, bananas, pitted dates, and apples will help balance the bitter flavours of your greens
5. Prep ahead by blending the night before and store in the fridge so you never run out of time in the morning to enjoy!
“Let thy greens be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy greens”
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