It is no secret that I am obsessed with eating greens. I do my best to have at least one meal per day that is heavy in leafy greens. Greens, such as spinach and kale, are extremely beneficial to overall health.
The main focus of this post are nutrient-dense leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, chard, collard (plus mustard and dandelion) greens, watercress, and arugula. Broccoli also falls into most of these categories. Cabbage and brussels sprouts are also full of nutrients. Other greens, such as celery, green apples, avocado, and even green tea are nutrition superheroes.
SUPERFOODS are key to healthy living. I fully believe in taking care of our bodies through food and exercise. I also know that food, in many cases, can be just as effective as medicine, and superfoods are key to that effectiveness.
Green foods help boost our immunity, stall the aging process of our vessels, detox our liver, keep our blood sugar low, and our cholesterol in check. They also aid in defending against cancer.
P.S.: Here are my 8 Simple Ways to Detox
Benefits of Eating Greens:
- Detoxification (fiber and sulfur)
- Brain Development in Infants (folate/folic acid)
- High in Antioxidants: Vitamin C, A
- Heart Support (lutein, vitamin B6, folate)
- Cancer Prevention
- High in Fiber, Low in Sugar (detox, fights diabetes)
- High in Iron
- Rich in Vitamin K
- Boost Immunity
- Aid in Weight Loss
- Promote Eye Health
- Regulate Blood Pressure (magnesium, potassium, calcium)
- Bone Health (magnesium, calcium)
- Anti-Aging and Skin Health (keeps blood sugar low; antioxidants to boost skin cell regeneration)
K A L E
Per Calorie, Kale has:
- More iron than beef
- More calcium than milk
- More vitamin C then spinach
My friend, Stephanie, recently sent me an article about kale. YOU SHOULD READ IT! Kale is one powerful vegetable!
This is Your Brain on Kale by Drew Ramsey, MD
This post is certainly not an expansive look at all of the health perks of green foods. But I do hope this showcases some of the highlights, and encourages you to incorporate more greens into your daily eating habits!
I eat greens in:
- -smoothies/acai bowls
- -scrambled eggs and frittatas
- -sauteed with vegetables (great with leftover roasted vegetables) or grains (brown rice, quinoa)
- -quesadillas, wraps, or sandwiches
- -soups (I almost always add a large amount of chopped kale to chicken soup)
- -salads (it is amazing how many nutritious foods can be packed into a salad bowl)
- -kale salad – one of my favorite things!
- -tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, enchiladas
- -pasta (I rarely make pasta, but if I do, I typically add plenty of kale or spinach to the sauce)
Here are some examples:
- Kale Salad with Bacon, Rosemary Nuts, Apple, Goat Cheese, and Edible Flowers
- Warm Corn, Kale, Tomato Salad with Shrimp and Feta
- White Bean and Chicken Soup with Kale
- Potato, Kale and Chicken Soup
- Sweet Potato, Spinach & Black Bean Enchiladas with Salsa Verde & Pineapple Salsa
- LOTS of Examples of Eating Greens
- Strawberry, Kale, Avocado, Salmon Salad
- Pinch of Yum’s Pomegranate, Kale, and Wild Rice Salad
- Natalie’s Tuscan Kale Salad
- Stuffed Peppers with Chicken, Black Beans, and Spinach
- Chicken Stuffed with Spinach and Goat Cheese
- Squash and Spinach Frittata
- Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas
- Baked Mini Breakfast Taquitos
- Mexican Brunch Bowl
- Breakfast Burrito Bowl
- Acai Bowl
- Jill’s Chocolate Nut Smoothie (I’d use 100% cacao powder in mine)
- Baby Food: 8-9 Months
Also go to the CSA or Clean Eating categories on the sidebar to see plenty more ways to eat greens.
Important! Leafy greens are often near the top of the “dirty dozen,” aka, they are sprayed with multiple types of pesticides and insecticides. Buy organic as much as possible.
Yes, eating too many raw greens can be risky for a very small percentage of the population. (Cooking greens reduces the amount of oxalic acid). If you have problems with a specific type of kidney stones, involving calcium and oxalates, read this article and consult your doctor.