Go for the GREEN

Did You Know?

Go for the GREEN

Green veggies and drink
Posted by:
Mary Ann O'Dell, MS, RDN

We’ve all heard that foods like spinach, kale and broccoli are loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals that can protect our bodies and improve our health.

Why are green foods important? Here are some benefits of adding more green foods to your diet:

  • Alkalizing. They promote healthy pH balance in the body.
  • Antioxidant Protection. They supply a wealth of vitamins and phytonutrients that protect cells.
  • Digestive Support. Green foods are a good source of enzymes, which support digestive health in the body.
  • Energizing. They are rich in nutrients and proteins that nourish the body, green foods provide a non-stimulating form of natural energy.
  • Protein Source. Green foods supply amino acids and protein that is easily digested and utilized by the body.
  • Vitamin and Mineral Source. Green foods provide a variety of vitamins and minerals in easily absorbed forms.
  • Source of Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll's chemical structure is very close to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein & red pigment in human blood. Chlorophyll is often used as a blood builder and overall tonic.

So now ask yourself…are you eating more of these nourishing foods? If not, what’s holding you back?

Here’s a list of several healthy green foods to include in your diet, and simple ways to use them:

  • Spinach: Use raw in salads or stir fry, add chopped frozen spinach to lasagna or soups, or include spinach to make pesto.
  • Brussels Sprouts: Serve roasted for yummy flavor, or slice thin and use raw in salads.
  • Broccoli: Eat raw with dip, or steam, chop and add to soups or spaghetti sauce.
  • Green Bell Peppers: Serve chopped peppers raw in salads, or add to stir fry.
  • Asparagus: Delicious roasted or steamed as a side dish or in of a salad.
  • Kale: Use raw in salads, or season and bake at a low temperature to make homemade kale chips!
  • Avocado: Make guacamole, or slice and use as a sandwich topping.
  • Kiwi Fruit: Sweet and tasty as a snack or in fruit salad or salsa.

If you know you don’t eat enough of these foods, keep trying to use them more. If it’s challenging for you to get these in every day, considering using a green food powder. These nutrient-dense powders have vegetables, cereal grasses (like wheat grass) and algae (like spirulina), which provide a host of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and chlorophyll. Just mix a scoop in a small glass of pomegranate juice or in your morning smoothie or protein shake. It’s a great way to fill in the gap where the current diet may be lacking.