My third healthy resolution for 2015 is to add more greens to my diet. For the past few years I have been concentrating on eliminating wheat from my diet (see a previous post about this process) and I must admit to sticking to common (in this area) vegetables like broccoli, green beans, mushrooms, and corn. Of course this is partly because these vegetables are the favourites within my family of five.
This year I would like to experiment with a few new green vegetables, since many health gurus promote them as beneficial and disease fighting. Leafy green vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber, all of which contribute to good health, something all of us should strive for.
Mustard greens, collards, kale, broccoli and cabbage all contain magnesium and tryptophan, beneficial for the health of your brain and heart. They are cruciferous vegetables which means they have a role in inhibiting cancer growth as well. Their green color means they are rich in chlorophyll, which keeps your blood on the alkaline side of the pH scale, (see another previous post ) another healthy benefit.
Spinach and swiss chard are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as folate and iron. Iron is important because it carries oxygen to the blood stream. These vegetables also both contain oxalates, undesirable compounds to those prone to kidney stones. Oxalate levels can be reduced though by cooking the greens before consumption.
Leaf, Romaine and Iceberg Lettuce are all common ingredients found in salad bowls. Iceberg lettuce however contains mostly water with very little nutrients, so be sure to use the darker green (or red) versions of lettuce to maximize the health benefits of vitamins and minerals.
I eat broccoli fairly regularly and add spinach to my breakfast smoothies, but that is the extent of my use of green vegetables. I pledge to look for these other “greens” in the produce department of my favourite grocery stores.
Go green with me this year!