Happy Wellness Wednesday folks!
So this post is neither about environmentalism nor envy (I’m in support of the former, and disapprove of the latter, just in case you were wondering). This has everything to do with…you guessed right…food! Green food. Green, good-for-you food! Often times we hear people admonishing others (friends, husbands, children most especially) to “eat their greens.” Were you ever forced to eat your vegetables as a kid? I still remember it, not-so-fondly. However I must admit, it is some pretty good advice.
The great thing about green foods is there are SO many options to choose from. That’s the best part – you get to pick your poison. As a free spirit (yeah right), I get bored easily, and so it is almost impossible to stick to only a few foods. Why should I, anyway?
I read somewhere (I am always reading “somewhere”, ha!) that green foods are the #1 to eat in order to improve health. I also read that apparently, the darker the green vegetable – think kale – the more nutritious. Any doctors care to validate? Anyway here are some reasons why:
- Low in sugar/calories: HELLO! This is what I like to hear. This week I am working on improving my eating even more (it’s a challenge guys, my four pack is a four-flab pack!), and so I am incorporating more vegetables into my diet. One cup of shredded lettuce has about 5 calories, and a cup of chopped kale has 33! Low calorie? We dig that.
- Great source of phytonutrients/antioxidants: Phytonutrients are chemicals found in plant-based foods. Meet spinach and broccoli: your daily guide to antioxidants, which help protect the body from viruses. Avocado also contains lutein, an antioxidant which protects eye health. Quercetin, a type of flavonol (a phytonutrient) has anti-inflammatory powers.
- Nutrient powerhouse: From vitamins A, C and K (superfood kale, again; bell peppers have an insane amount of vitamin C) to omega-3 acids (found in brussels sprouts) to potassium (a kiwi has more potassium than a banana!!), green veggies are packed with nutrients. A lot of them also contain magnesium, iron, calcium and vitamin E, to name a few.
- Easy to prepare: Whether it is grilled zucchini, an arugula salad, collard greens or a green smoothie, I find that these bad boys are quite easy to prepare, even for anyone who struggles in the kitchen.
- Helps to stabilize the blood pH level: The blood in our bodies is naturally acidic and so, green foods (such as spinach) which are alkaline help stabilize the pH level, and help the body function better.
Now you know the benefits, what are your options? I’m glad you asked!
Photo Credit: TransformFX Fitness
Photo Credit: Exhibit Health
- Asparagus (yummiest when made right!)
- Green bell pepper
- Green beans
- Brussels sprouts
- Snow peas
- Snap peas
- Edamame (what is life without edamame, really?)
- Green onion (scallion doesn’t quite sound like a food -__-)
- Green Apples
- Green Grapes
- Green Pears
- Green olives
- Mustard Greens
… to name a few. Did I miss any? Some of my favorites are snow peas, snap peas, broccoli, zucchini, arugula, AVOCADO and edamame. Or EVERYTHING (see smoothie below!) What are yours?
Grab a green food near you today and until next time stay pretty perfect!