Going Green…Tips on How to Incorporate More Greens in Your Diet

Greens are magical superfoods that can help prevent disease and improve your overall health. But many people consider greens to be for rabbits. This is usually because people do not know that there are actually a variety of different greens that you can try until you find the one that you like. In addition, greens do not have to be eaten just one way. They can be grilled, sautéed, pureed and even baked. Check out a few of the ways that you can incorporate greens into your diet.

Try a Variety

Kale might be popular these days, even popping up in fast food salads, but it is not the only green. If you are not a fan of kale, try spinach. Popeye’s famous leafy green contains protein, calcium, iron and magnesium and may help control diabetes, lower the risk of cancer, lower blood pressure and improve bone health.

Not all greens are actually green. Swiss chard is available in a variety of colors and contains vitamins A, C and K as well as minerals like magnesium, potassium and iron. It is also high in fiber and can help regulate blood sugar.

Watercress is not just for fancy tea sandwiches. Skip the buttered bread and enjoy watercress as a salad or side. Benefits of watercress include preventing cancer and improving eye and heart health.

Switch up Your Cooking Method

People that do not eat greens often have visions of soggy, overcooked spinach or plain boiled heaps of dark mush. Instead of dreading greens, find a way to cook them that appeals to you. Tons of recipes exist to make greens tasty and delicious, from soups to side dishes. Some greens can even be grilled for a creative salad. You can also gently sauté greens with a few onions for a tasty dish. When you crave potato chips, try baking up some kale chips instead. Consider making your favorite main course with greens instead for a healthy meal, such as spinach enchiladas or Swiss chard stuffed ravioli. You can even use lettuce (dark varieties, such as romaine, Bibb, endive or cabbage) as wraps in place of tortillas for everything from tacos to spring rolls.

Greens also make a great sauce or addition to dip. Replace the basil in pesto with kale or spinach or add a handful of kale to your next batch of hummus. You will not notice the greens much, except for the color, and you will be able to enjoy the benefits of greens along with your favorite food.

Also, remember that many herbs are actually greens. So be liberal with that sprinkling of parsley on top of your entrees, salads, soups, stews, etc. Parsley contains vitamins A, K and C as well as iron.

Drink Them Down

Speaking of cooking, you do not have to do much to get the benefits of greens. Have a green juice for breakfast—many people love using a combination of greens along with a cucumber, apple and ginger for a morning wakeup or afternoon energy boost. If you do not have a juicer, you can add a handful of chopped spinach to your favorite berry smoothie and spin it in the blender. You will not taste the greens, but you will reap all the healthy benefits.

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