By Michelle Briceno, MS, RD, LDN at TGMC Healthy Lifestyles Center
Don’t ignore the power of greens – your body will thank you. Dark leafy greens, like spinach, kale, romaine and collards are a great source of nutrition and provide a long list of health benefits.
Dark greens are power-packed with vitamins A, B, C, E and K, iron, magnesium, potassium and even calcium. They are loaded with fiber to regulate the digestive system, folate to protect the heart, antioxidants to beautify from the inside-out and fight cancerous cells and are a great partner for weight management. One of the best ways to ensure that you are eating enough greens is to incorporate them with every meal and snack.
Smoothies: Most greens have little to no taste making them a great addition to your morning smoothie. Try adding 1-2 cups of spinach or kale and you will not only get the amazing health benefits, but already knock out a few of your recommended vegetable servings for the day. Try our Mean Green, Peanut Butter and Banana recipe for a new breakfast twist.
- Salads: Think outside the box. Add a variety of dark leafy greens to your salad to keep the color, texture and nutrients varied, and include your favorite vegetables to increase nutrients and make it more appealing to your palette.
- Quick Meals: Add greens to your morning omelet, soup, stir-fry, sandwich or wrap to increase your fiber intake and feel fuller longer.
- Side Dishes: Tougher greens like collard greens, kale or mustard greens are a perfect way to compliment an entrée instead of a heavy starch. Steam the greens until slightly soft or cook them down with olive oil, garlic and onions.