Fresh Thoughts: Eating Green

By Sara Scheler

March 19, 2014

It’s March, which means everyone is seeing (and eating) green. Shamrock Shakes are back at McDonald’s, and everywhere you look, there are green cupcakes, green sodas and even green milk. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share some healthy green foods you can try adding to your diet this month.

Kale is pretty popular these days and for good reason! It is full of vitamin A, vitamin C and iron. Kale tastes pretty terrible on its own, but try it in a smoothie or sauté it with some onions and garlic and have in a soup or in a salad dressed with a nice vinaigrette.

Your mother always told you spinach would make you strong, which is not far from the truth. It contains some protein and also a huge amount of vitamin K, vitamin A and folate, which keep your metabolism running, make your eyes strong and healthy and help produce new blood cells.Spinach salads are great, but if you get bored of those, just throw it in a soup, bake it into a vegetable pie or lasagna or add it to an egg scramble.

Green beans are great sautéed with a little garlic and butter, or my favorite, doused in even greener pesto. They contain antioxidants, which have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer.

Broccoli contains loads of vitamins and minerals and it can also lower cholesterol. Cooked broccoli has been shown to have better cholesterol-lowering ability than raw, but feel free to enjoy it either way. Raw broccoli can be added to pasta salads and coleslaws and cooked broccoli is delicious steamed as a side or added to a sauce.

Avocados contain high amounts of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce cancer and heart disease risk, lower inflammation and promote mental health. They also contain fiber, which has been shown to reduce cholesterol and promote fullness. Avocados are delicious in guacamole, on top of salads, on sandwiches or as a substitute for mayonnaise in many recipes.

Most natural green foods are high in nutrients and low in calories. As a general rule of thumb: the darker the green, the healthier it is for you.

Enjoy these recipes and celebrate the month of March the healthy way!

Green Drink

·      ¾ cup plain almond milk

·      1 leaf kale

·      2 slices apple

·      Half an orange (or one small clementine)

·      2 tablespoons of plain yogurt

·      1 tablespoon ground flax seed (optional)

Mix all ingredients until very well blended to make a smoothie. For best results, use the highest setting so the kale gets obliterated. Try mixing in some banana, frozen raspberries or avocado if you want a thicker smoothie.