Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Eat Your GREENS!

We all know that green vegetables are good for us, but why exactly? Sure they have “antioxidants” and lots of vitamins and minerals, but what’s so important about eating them every day? In honor of St. Patty’s Day, we’re taking a look at different types of greens, and the nutritional benefits they offer. So join us for this ‘Green’ journey, and this St. Patty’s Day replace your green beer with some greens that are good for you!

Kale - When diving into the topic of ‘greens,’ we found that Kale has gained a lot of press lately, as it is a ‘superfood’ like no other.  This leafy green, which is actually part of the cabbage family, is extremely high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium. Plus, it’s anti-inflammatory, helping your body to heal itself and prevent illness. We’re krazy for kale!

Chard – Another amazing leafy green to stock up on is Chard. Also known by the common names Swiss chard, silverbeet, perpetual spinach, spinach beet, crab beet, seakale beet, and mangold, Chard is a leafy vegetable that should have a place in everyone’s diet. High in vitamins A, K and C, chard helps the body function smoothly, and is fun to eat – try some rainbow chard to add color to any dish!

Bok Choy -Bok Choy is a great choice for getting lots of vitamin C, calcium and vitamin A. Bok Choy also contain glucosinolates, which may prevent cancer. Also known as Chinese Cabbage, Bok Choy is a versatile vegetable, offering a delicious addition to stir frys and other dishes.

Broccoli – When it comes to cancer prevention, Broccoli is your go-to vegetable. High in vitamin C, as well as dietary fiber; it also contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties, such as diindolylmethane and small amounts of selenium. A single serving provides more than 30 mg of Vitamin C and a half-cup provides 52 mg of Vitamin C.

Green beans- Looking for a green side dish to your favorite meal? Try Green Beans, as they are a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate and Manganese. Need we say more?

Of course these are just a few of the many green veggies out there. Others to enjoy include spinach and other lettuce greens, watercress, beet greens, collard greens and more…but we think you get the point. In whichever form you choose to eat them, greens are great for you, and give you the nutritional power you need to lead a healthy, active life. Eat up, St. Patty!

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