St. Patrick’s Day may have passed, but I still have green on my mind. Green vegetables, that is. We all know they are a nutritional home run, but you might be surprised to learn the scope of health benefits green foods have to offer:
Sharp Eyes – Lutein and Zeaxanthin are two antioxidants found in green leafy vegetables, such as kale and collards, that have been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in Americans.
Glowy Skin – Green vegetables contain a lot of water which helps keep you and your skin hydrated. Plus, most are rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene which, helps protect your skin from sun damage.
Strong Bones – Some green vegetables like collards, kale and broccoli are good sources of calcium, along with Vitamin K, which are two nutrients necessary to keep bones strong and healthy.
Healthy Heart – Green vegetables like asparagus, leeks and parsley are great sources of Folate, which decreases the levels of homocysteine in our blood, preventing cardiovascular disease.
Creative Ways to Add more Greens:
• Throw a handful of spinach or kale into a fruit smoothie.
• Add sautéed asparagus into your morning omelet.
• Pair broccoli and green beans with hummus for an afternoon snack.
• Add chopped greens like spinach, kale or arugula to soups or pasta sauces.
• Add chopped fresh herbs like parsley and basil to grain dishes or blend into a pesto.
• Add a few baby mustard green leaves to your sandwich.
• Try this recipe for Kale chips