Healthy Living Tips  |  Posted 09.29.14

Eat Your Greens!

Eat Your Greens!

You might have heard that greens are considered a “superfood”. Dark green, leafy greens such as Swiss chard, collards, kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, arugula, bok choy and chicory are excellent sources of folate, fiber, and carotenoids. People consuming diets rich in carotenoids (found in fruits and vegetables) generally have a lower mortality and are healthier, overall, than people whose diets do not contain carotenoids. Foods containing carotenoids probably protect against cancers of the mouth, pharynx and larynx, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Also noted, from AICR, is that foods that contain fiber probably reduce one’s likelihood of developing colorectal cancer. There are many ways to add greens into your diet. You can replace part of your salad with spinach, arugula, or romaine lettuce. Steam Swiss chard and/or kale, add olive oil and garlic, and toss it with your pasta. Top with freshly grated parmesan or toasted breadcrumbs for a quick and delicious dinner. Add dark, leafy greens to your next smoothie…green smoothies are bursting with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, and that the fiber from the blended greens acts as a “sponge” to cleanse toxins from the colon. Soups are another great way to slip more greens into your diet. Some vegetable pairings are already standard in soups, such as kale with beans. Swiss chard is a key ingredient in many Italian soups, and bok choy goes beautifully with noodles and miso in Asian-style soups. See if you can invent other ways to increase your consumption of greens. Do not let it be a chore; rather, experiment with different greens and see what works best for you. You will benefit greatly from having more greens in your life!