How to Get More Green Vegetables in Your Diet
By Sara Butler
If you take the axiom “you are what you eat” to heart then you should endeavor to be a green, leafy vegetable. In a world of pre-packaged and processed foods, it’s important to eat foods that are not processed, that are free from preservatives and chemicals. If you feel sluggish, tired and not as mentally sharp as you used to, your diet may be to blame; this is why you need more green vegetables in your life, and especially on your plate. Here are some easy ways to incorporate more green vegetables into your day.
Why Green Veggies Are So Nutritious
You have probably heard that some of the closest relatives to humans in the animal world are apes, and studies of apes in captivity have shown that when they are fed diets more closely resembling human diets full of starch, sugars, and grains, they suffer from the same maladies humans do, which isn’t seen in wild populations of apes. With heart disease as the number one killer of Americans, it’s important to understand how incorporating green vegetables into your diet can keep you healthy.
Leafy green veggies are packed with something called phytonutrients. These nutrients provide Vitamins B, C, K and E, and they are rich in potassium, iron, magnesium and calcium. They help with inflammatory processes in the body through their generous content of antioxidants and naturally help to lower the risk of heart disease through lowering cholesterol levels and slowing cellular degeneration.
Devise Delicious Strategies
There are some very simple and painless ways to get more leafy greens in your life. You can:
- Add them to juices or smoothies – If you like to juice our own fruit and vegetables or you like whipping up a smoothie in the morning, don’t be afraid to add a little kale, spinach, cucumber and celery into the mix. If you really want to go crazy, throw in some dandelion greens!
- Add them to soups and salads – Using greens with tough leaves such as collard or mustard greens, kale and chard are great to add to soup. They’ll still have a little bit of structure and won’t turn to mush; they also add a lot of good flavor. If you want to add them to a salad, you may want to experiment with softening some of the tougher greens by sprinkling them with a bit of olive oil or lemon juice. That helps to make the leaves a bit more palatable when raw.
- Add them to sandwiches – Who says you have to use bread to make a sandwich? You can easily replace the bread with the large leaves of green vegetables such as Swiss chard or collard greens. Just make sure you remove the stem first!