In addition to the regular festivities surrounding St. Patrick’s Day this month, consider adding a new tradition – more green foods to your diet. Green foods across the board are healthy in terms of their vitamin, mineral, water and antioxidant content, and St Patrick’s Day is the perfect time to think about how you can incorporate more of them into your regimen.
The following are 7 healthy and delicious tips for going green:
- Stock up on broccoli. Broccoli provides many health benefits, including both soluble and insoluble fiber; vitamins A, C and E (important antioxidants for staving off cellular damage from free-radicals); vitamin K for bone health; and a special antioxidant called sulforaphane, known for its powerful anticancer properties.
- Vary your leafy greens. Leafy green vegetables, such as lettuces, come in varying shades of green. The lighter the green, the less vitamins and minerals they contain. The darker the green, the higher the concentration of vitamins and minerals they contain, such as A, C and folate. Spinach, a dark leafy green, contains lutein which is good for eye health.
- Choose vitamin K for increased bone health. While vitamin K isn’t a substitute for a good source of calcium, eating green vegetables high in vitamin K is good for bone health. Choose vegetables like asparagus, green/herbal teas, spinach, kale, turnip, collard and mustard greens, broccoli, cabbage, endive and brussel sprouts.
- Improve cholesterol with avocado. Avocado is a good source of monounsaturated fats, which can help lower your cholesterol. It’s also a good source of vitamin E. Consider tossing your dark-green, leafy salad with a few slices of fresh avocado and balsamic vinegar for added benefit.
- Enjoy more kiwi kiwifruit. Yes, they certainly aren’t the easiest fruit to eat, but they are loaded with vitamin C and incredibly delicious. And they’re a great source of dietary fiber.
- Snack on green apples. Green apples offer are a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which aid digestion and heart health.
- Drink green tea. If you like to drink tea, consider choosing green tea instead of black tea. Green tea – next to white tea – packs the biggest punch when it comes to antioxidants. It also contains flavonoids, a class of naturally occurring plant compounds that function as antioxidants that are good for the heart.
Whether you like your green vegetables raw or cooked, there are many ways you can incorporate them into your meals. But whatever you do, remember that variety is the key.