Dark green leafy vegetables are rich in nutrients and extremely healthy. Many are not only a good source of antioxidants, but they are also great for aiding weight loss.
It is recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture that adults have at least three cups of greens each week. Studies done by the USDA show that three cups of dark leafy greens a week may reduce the risk of stomach, breast, and skin cancer as well as heart disease.
Yet, the most appealing benefit of leafy greens is the low calorie and carbohydrate content. This makes greens one of the best foods for achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight. Eating dark leafy greens is essential to a healthy, balanced diet.
Follow these healthy tips to make sure you are getting the best from your leafy greens:
1. Disguise them. For our 1st tip, we want to acknowledge that many people hate greens. If you hate them, you can disguise them in recipes to give yourself an opportunity to still reap the benefits of eating greens. Try a power packed smoothie with kale or spinach. Cheese is another great option. If you’re a cheese lover try to improve the taste with cheese. Try some cheddar and veggies in an omelette or some crumbled feta on a salad!
2. When shopping for greens, choose the ones with the darkest leaves, such as kale, spinach, collard greens, and swiss chard to load up on vitamins A, C, E, and K. It is important to prepare them properly since most these vitamins can easily be lost in the preparation of your greens. For example, some vitamins will leach into the water when you boil spinach.
3. Prepare your leafy greens right! By soaking, chopping, crushing, and blending, nutrients and important enzymes that protect us against diseases are released, you get the most vital nutrients out of your greens.
4. Important vitamins in greens such as A, C, E, and K are fat-soluble. By eating these greens with healthy fats such as avocado, coconut oil, and olive oil you will help your body to absorb the nutrients these greens can offer.
5. Salads are an easy way to get your dose of leafy greens, but you can also easily incorporate 1/2 cup of greens to your sandwiches, omelets, stir-fries, and smoothies. These small amounts here and there will help you maintain a nutrient-balanced diet.
6. Get your greens straight from the Earth whenever possible. Buying them locally means that you are getting the maximum vitamins and minerals from your food. By the time you buy your greens in supermarkets, they will have lost between 15-60 percent of their vitamins, especially if you are opting for canned or processed veggies.