Are you green with envy? Do you want to be? Green foods are nutrient packed and so good for you. Have a look at 6 of my favorites.
Spinach – Remember what spinach did for Popeye? It can do the same for you, spinach is a super food and incredibly nutrient dense. Spinach is dark green and full of antioxidants Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Folate, Manganese, Magnesium, Calcium, Fiber, and Protein. Eat spinach fresh, rather than out of a can like Popeye, it works well in salads, in wraps or sandwiches, pasta dishes, or throw a handful into your morning smoothie.
Split Peas– Green split pea soup is one of my favorite soups. I must admit the first thought of it turned me away but I gave it a try and I’m glad I did. Split peas are delicious in soup and are full of protein and fiber. They’re also beneficial for heart health; according to Live Strong: “Eating green split peas may improve your heart health. The fiber from split peas may lower your total and bad LDL cholesterol, thus reducing your risk for heart disease. High blood pressure increases your risk for coronary heart disease, and green split peas may help you maintain a healthy blood pressure.” My soup recipe, which I will share tomorrow, is filling and fantastic on a cold day.
Green Beans – Enjoy green beans steamed, in stir frys, toss in soup, or part of a cold salad. Fresh are best but if it’s out of season frozen is the next best option. Green beans have the standard antioxidants with the vitamins and minerals but also offer “a wide variety of carotenoids (including lutein, beta-carotene, violaxanthin, and neoxanthin) and flavonoids (including quercetin, kaemferol, catechins, epicatechins, and procyanidins) that have all been shown to have health-supportive antioxidant properties.”
Kale – Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat. The rich green color holds a great amount of nutrients “One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.” Eager to add kale to your diet? Shred and mix into a salad, saute with garlic for a quick side dish, toss a handful of shredded kale into pasta sauce and eat with your whole wheat pasta. Then there are always kale chips: “make kale chips by slicing kale into bite-size pieces, toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt, and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven.”
Green Grapes – Grapes offer antioxidants Vitamin C and Vitamin K also Vitamin A, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E, thiamin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, zinc, copper, flouride, selenium, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, folate, choline, betaine and pantothenic acid. Green grapes are a delicious snack. Keep a bunch in a bowl in the fridge or freeze for a snack.
Green Tea – I LOVE green tea. New health benefits of this super food keep popping up. I love it for its earthy flavor and peaceful feel. Experts say that green tea can prevent cancer, heart disease, lower cholesterol, help you stay slim and help prevent dementia. Drink green tea hot or chilled. Read more at WebMD.
What are your favorite green foods? Do you love green tea as much as I do?