During the spring months, we are flooded with an array of greens peeking into our world again. Leaves pop out on the trees, grass begins to grow, plants come back to life. It is almost as if mother nature is giving us a hint about what our bodies need! We need a flood of antioxidant-rich nutrients after the long and dark winter. What is a good source of these nutrients? You guessed it - leafy green vegetables.
Dark green veggies are a great source of minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. They also provide important vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. Greens have a significant amount of folate, a B vitamin that promotes heart health and helps prevent birth defects. The Vitamin K, calcium and magnesium content of dark green leafy vegetables protect bones from osteoporosis and play a significant role in building healthy new bone. Many dark green vegetables contain carotenoids and antioxidants that protect cells and play roles in blocking the early stages of cancer.
Green vegetables are good sources of fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar, reduce cholesterol levels and lower the risk of colorectal cancers. While being high in fiber, dark green vegetables are low in calories, so you can feel comfortable filling up on these nutrient powerhouses without putting on extra weight.
Which Green Vegetables Should You Eat?
There are many leafy greens you can eat. Here is a list of some of some of the commonly available greens:
Including leafy greens is vital to a healthy, balanced diet. Below are some ways to include leafy greens in your meal:
Nu Shamrock Shake
1 cup macadmia nut milk, unsweetened
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 cup spinach or kale greens
1 banana, frozen
10-12 mint leaves
1 Tbsp liquid agave sweetener
1 tsp vanilla extract
Wash and chop greens, avocado and mint leaves. Add ingredients to blender and blend until smooth and creamy. If you prefer a thicker shake, add 3-5 ice cubes and blend. Want a thinner shake? Just use more milk or add a splash of water. Garnish with cocoa powder for that extra yum! Enjoy right away.