GREENS! GREENS! GREENS!
When it comes to clothing, I don’t own a thing that’s green. But what I lack in wardrobe, I more than make up for in food. I love everything green! So, for St. Patrick’s Day, you won’t find me in a green hat or shirt, but I’ll definitely have my green on, in the form of a green juice or smoothie. And with my preschool cooking class, we’ll be celebrating with a green green salad. What’s to love about the most missing food in our family’s diet? Just about everything, here’s the details:
Greens are loaded with fiber, folic acid and chlorophyll. They are high in calcium, a great alternative for those of us not drinking dairy. They contain magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K (good for the eyes) and more. Greens are so essential to good health. n fact, if you do just one thing for your diet, this could be it. Adding in greens will improve your family’s health ten-fold.
There are so many green fruits and vegetables to choose from. Here are a few of my favorites:
(1) Lime – Like all citrus fruits, limes are high in vitamin C. They contain limonin, a cancer-fighting compound found also in lemons. Lime is great juiced, and can be added to fresh water for an alkalizing, flavorful treat. Or, squeeze it over salads, tuna or freshly steamed vegetables.
(2) Kiwi – Originally called the Chinese gooseberry, the fruit was re-named to kiwi by New Zealand natives after their national bird. Kiwi is very high in Vitamin C, 230% of the RDA. It is also high in fiber and contains lutein, which supports eye health.
(3) Avocado – Rich in anti-inflammatory nutrients, avocados are a great green. They are also good for the heart, eyes and hair. For kids, try mashing an avocado with a banana for a healthy and delicious breakfast.
(1) Leafy Greens – Kale, Swiss Chard, Spinach, and more. Leafy greens have two times more nutrients than any other green food and five times more nutrients than fruit. That makes them one of the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food, wow! Great for reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis. Also a great immunity booster and mood enhancer.
(2) Green Pepper – High in Vitamin C, B6, beta-carotene and manganese. In addition to the benefits mentioned above, this powerful vegetable helps with arthritis, blood sugar, stomach ulcers and emphysema. They are a good source of dietary fiber, which helps promote a healthy digestive system. It’s also thought that they may help cleanse heavy metals from the digestive tract.
(3) Romaine Lettuce – High in fiber and water, making it a great food for weight loss and cleansing the digestive tract. Romaine lettuce is another heart-healthy vegetable due to its high levels of Vitamin C. Also, the potassium in romaine lettuce is essential for maintaining muscle strength.
(4) Broccoli – High vitamin C, calcium and fiber. Broccoli is linked to reduced risk for cancer and greatly benefits the immune system. Broccoli “trees” tend to be a favorite among kids, and can be used as a gateway vegetable opening the door to a greener diet.
Enjoy your greens today!