I'm sure growing up you've heard your parents say, at some point, to eat your greens and you grimaced with total disgust, wondering how can something so good for you, taste so bad. Well, it doesn't have to be that way! There are plenty of ways to make greens taste quite delicious and the health benefits are tremendous!
"Leafy vegetables are ideal for weight management as they are typically low in calories. They are useful in reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease since they are low in fat, high in dietary fiber, and rich in folic acid, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, as well as containing a host of phytochemicals, such as lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene. One study showed that an increment of one daily serving of green leafy vegetables, lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease by 11 percent. In the Adventist health study, the frequent consumption of green salads by African-Americans was associated with a substantially lower risk of mortality.
Because of their high magnesium content and low glycemic index, green leafy vegetables are also valuable for persons with type 2 diabetes. An increase of 1 serving/day of green leafy vegetables was associated with a 9 percent lower risk of diabetes. The high level of vitamin K in greens makes them important for the production of osteocalcin, a protein essential for bone health. The risk of hip fracture in middle-aged women was decreased 45% for one or more servings/day of green, leafy vegetables compared to fewer servings." (Source)
And that's just some of the benefits! You can click on the source link for even more information on the health benefits of leafy greens. Now, onto the fun part, these are just some of the tasty ways you can incorporate more greens in your diet!
- Turn up with Turnips: Can you imagine a ratchet song about turnips? Basically, the beat would be a classic trap sound and the lyrics would just be "turn up with turnips." Of course, whoever is rapping the song has to use that drunken, autotune voice. I bet that could be a hit! I'd get down to that. And who knows? Maybe First Lady Michele Obama could jump on the remix version for her Let's Move initiative. Unfortunately, none of this has materialized but it doesn't mean you can't get ratchet for some turnip greens right now! Whenever I think about this vegetable, I automatically think of good ol' Southern greens. However, it doesn't have to be filled with pork in order to be mmm mmm good. Take a look at this easy and healthy alternative HERE, cook it, close your eyes while eating it and imagine that song. I guarantee you'd start dancing like Future is in the place.
- Get chippy with Kale: There is a chip that we can all enjoy without any guilt or shame. We can have a whole plateful with no worries about sodium intake, saturated fat or calories. And that chip is made out of kale! Yes, kale. How fascinating is that!? It's super easy to make too. All you have to do is wash your greens, pat them dry, drizzle a little oil, season with salt and bake them in the oven! If you want a more exact recipe, check out this simple recipe demonstration HERE.
- Sip on some Spinach: Instead of sipping on some sizzurp, let's sip on some spinach! How? With a green smoothie of course! I make green smoothies quite often because it is such an easy way to get a daily dose of greens. I typically make my green smoothie with two handfuls of spinach (or one handful of spinach and one handful of baby kale), one or two bananas (depending on the size), frozen mangos (or peaches), frozen mixed berries (or just strawberries and raspberries), hemp protein powder, chia seeds, ground flax seed, water, cinnamon and coconut sugar (if necessary). Although technically it is not really green in color, my smoothie recipe definitely incorporates a great heaping amount of greens. If you must have an actual green color smoothie, then try this tropical smoothie recipe from JJ Smith, the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse, HERE!
So hopefully, you are now armed, if you weren't already, with some great recipes to add some vital greens in your tummy! If you wish to learn more about green veggies and simple ways you can cook and prepare them, click HERE.
Alright so now it's your turn to share! Do you get your greens on in your personal diet? If so, what are some of your favorite ways of adding them to your meals? Let's talk about it!