The Irish have always had a strong connection to green, which of course, is present as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! Green is also connected to the most nutritious foods on the planet. The more you eat, the leaner and healthier you will become, as they’re dense with nutrients, full of fiber and naturally low in calories. Adding greens to your diet on a regular basis offers a wealth of health benefits.
“Greens” typically describe many well-known leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, collards, mustards, turnips and dark salad greens. All are packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals. Greens are also a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C and folate–one of the B-vitamins. Adding greens into your diet will help reduce the risk of certain diseases as they contain antioxidants and phytochemicals. Regularly consuming greens can help maintain a strong immune system, reduce the risks of cancers, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. In addition, greens get their colors from lutein and zeaxanthine, which are two substances that can help protect your eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.
Are you incorporating enough greens into your diet? There are plenty of other ways to include more leafy greens in your meals than just from a salad!
Easy Ways to Add Greens to Your Diet
• Smoothies/juicing- Instead of endlessly chomping down on greens, drink them instead! Incorporate your greens into a smoothie or juice using mostly vegetables and a small amount of fruit for sweetener. Even for those who enjoy salads, adding a smoothie into your daily diet is worth trying!
• Eggs- Start your day off with a nice portion of greens by adding some chopped spinach, kale or collards to your scrambled eggs towards the end of the cooking process. Loaded with fiber and protein, adding greens to your eggs with help you feel full for a long time.
• Soups- Just like with eggs, you can easily add leafy greens to any soups or stew you’re making. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir a big handful of spinach into your one-pot meal.
• Raw wraps- Raw wraps are the latest revelation! Replace tortilla shells and buns with romaine or Bibb lettuce leaves, de-stemmed collards, cabbage leaves or Belgian endives and fill with your favorite ingredients.
• Simply sautee- Toss your favorite leafy greens in a hot pan with a drizzle of olive oil and whatever ingredients you like!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from General Healthcare Resources!