Eat Your GreensMarch 9, 2015
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the Healthy Way!
What better month to eat your greens than the greenest one of them all….March! Getting creative about which ones and knowing how to prepare them can make this task a little less daunting for those new to this. I recommend about 5 servings of vegetables to my clients per day. Yes, that is at least 2.5 cups. Eating veggies rich in fiber help to keep us full and help us go to the bathroom on the regular. We also know fiber has benefits to cholesterol and also for blood sugar maintenance. Green vegetables are also rich in vitamins and minerals that are crucial to the body to function. Did you know we get calcium and iron from leafy greens like spinach and kale? Yes, there are other ways of getting these vitamins than meat and dairy. Check out these 4 green nutritional powerhouses. I challenge you to try one per week this month!
It’s disappointing these are the most hated vegetable in America and a personal favorite of mine. What’s my trick? Roasted, always, Roasted. Try cutting the stem off, cutting in half and tossing them with olive oil (or coconut oil), garlic, lemon juice and seasonings. Then roast in the oven at 425 degrees. Try topping a salad with these first. Roasting them takes that mushiness away that we all remember boiled Brussels sprouts in childhood. Brussels sprouts as part of the cruciferous vegetable family have an amazing effect on cholesterol binding and removal in the digestive tract. Yes, they do cause a little uncomfort when first consuming, but it’s something your body will adapt to as you get used to eating them. J
A whole one does pack about 250 calories because of it’s fat content. While it is energy dense, if you read the last blog post about fat, we know this mono-unsaturated fat is the good kind. Roughly 1/5 of a medium avocado contains 4.5 grams of fat. Use avocados in salads, instead of Mayonnaise, in stir-fry, as a seafood sauce, in deviled eggs, in chocolate pudding, and as an edible bowl. The creaminess also tastes great in smoothies and puddings that are sweet, yum!
Kale is an excellent source of folate, calcium and Vitamin A and C. Finding Kale that is already de-stemmed will help you more easily enjoy it. Start by adding it to smoothies, pastas and stir-frys. It cooks down very easily so a lot will turn to not much in a pan. Cooking it with a little lemon just will help it unlock the vitamins and minerals so your body can better absorb them (the fiber can decrease absorption in many uncooked veggies). If you are feeling ready, try adding diced Kale to an Orange, Spinach, Pumpkin Seed and Goat Cheese Salad!
Asparagus is high in Vitamin K, folate, copper and Vitamin B1. It also packs many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can lower risks of Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular events. Asparagus contains inulin, an indigestible fiber that promotes growth of beneficial bacteria in our bodies much like those probiotics you have been hearing about. Yes, 2 out of every 3 people recognize an odor from their urine within 2 hours following asparagus consumption. However, studies don’t show this to be an issue except undesirable to the consumer. Did you know there are about 300 varieties of Asparagus, but only 20 of them are edible? We recommend sautéing or grilling this nutritional powerhouse to keep the most nutrients in and not lost to the boiling water. Try adding it to pasta, risotto, salads and sandwiches. We haven’t tried smoothies with asparagus, but who wants to be the guinea pig?!
Men, do you feel like you are too manly to order a salad? I would recommend a new book called, Green Foods For Men to get you started on the right track this month!