Eat More: Greens
Since the dawn of dieting, “eat your vegetables” has been a well-used phrase. And rightly so. Beyond their appropriate placement in a weight-loss plan, vegetables contain nutrients that every human needs (whether they want to lose weight or not).
I often tell my clients to “eat the rainbow”. The nutrients that give vegetables their bright hues are the same nutrients that give them their nutritional benefits. So it stands to reason that you should eat all of the colors at various points through out the day.
And greens are everywhere. I bet you can name 10 green vegetables right now before you could name 3 purple ones. But did you know that only 31% of people consume enough greens? What’s that mean? That means that a lot of people are increasing their risk of contracting certain disease simply by not eating enough!
Why You Should Eat More Greens
- Greens fight the growth of cancerous cells. Greens, like kale and spinach, contain carotenoids. Carotenoids (often linked with orange veggies such as carrots), are antioxidants that help to rid your body of dangerous, cancer-causing “free radicals”. More on that research can be found at the American Institute for Cancer Research.
- Greens are nutrient-dense, low calorie foods. Basically, you’re getting a whole bunch of food and nutrients for almost nothing on the calorie scale. Greens are powerhouses of vitamins and minerals and you can, and should, eat them to your heart’s content.
- Greens contain fiber, which help to knock out digestive issues. Dietary fiber is one of those things that’s deemed beneficial by pretty much anyone and everyone you talk to. Studies have shown that dietary fiber decreases blood cholesterol levels, increases satiety, and protecting against certain forms of cancer among other things).
- Greens reduce inflammation. While your body uses inflammation as a form of protection, chronic inflammation is super detrimental. It can lead to chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease and even depression. Greens contain nutrients that work to combat chronic inflammation.
Honestly, the list goes on.
How To Eat More
I’m obsessed with big ass salads, so that’s my first recommendation. I’m not talking about dinky side salads that are a complete after thought. I’m talking about salads that overflow a plate and are filled with texture, flavor and color. One of my favorite articles to write was one about creating a super satisfying salad every time. Get it here. It’s all about using variety in every way imaginable. In any given week I use spinach, arugula, kale, shaved Brussels sprouts, Romaine lettuce and shaved asparagus in multiple meals a day.
I’m also obsessed with smoothies. My fiance’s mom bought us a Vitamix and we’re fairly obsessed with it these days. It’s become our go-to to throw a handful of kale into the blender in the morning with whatever fruit we have in the basket, almond butter and almond milk. However, one of my favorite smoothies is a fairly well-thought out concoction of cacao nibs, kale or spinach, dark cocoa powder, cinnamon and mint. I’ll be working on a recipe for that puppy soon.
Roasting is one of my all-time favorite methods of cooking vegetables. There’s nothing like the crisp that high heat and extra virgin olive oil give to things like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus and green beans.
Instead of throwing tortilla chips in a basket next to your hummus appetizer, put out a beautiful display of fresh, green veggies. Celery, cucumber, broccoli florets, greed bell peppers and snow peas all pair wonderfully with hummus and dips and they even give you that satisfying crunch that a chip would.