4 Reasons to Eat Your Greens Daily
If you’re making a meal, you can always find easy ways to eat leafy greens! They contain the most nutrient dense bang for your buck! Of all the vegetables, dark, leafy greens are the most important serving of plants you will eat all day. Cooking these veggies is actually very simple – it comes down to only 2 options: raw or cooked. If you are unsure about the taste, you can bet that pretty much as long as your greens are cooked until they’re tender, you can hide them in any dish. But they don’t have to hide! you can choose to make it a central part of the meal in a fresh side dish or bright salad. Popular greens include: kale, spinach, Swiss chard, cabbage, collard Greens, mustard greens, bok choy, dandelion greens, and broccoli rabe.
1. Top-Notch Nutrition
Greens are micronutrient dense, which means they pack a big punch in a tiny package. While they should take up the largest part of your plate, they actually contain very few calories. The purpose of filling your plate with greens is to pack a ton of essential nutrients into your diet without needing to consume a large amount of calories.
2. Fight Disease
Plants contain phytonutrients, which are important compounds that are found only in plants! These compounds are so crucial because they prevent age-related diseases like heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. Plants also contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
3. Eat The Rainbow
Plants also contain polyphenols. A type of phytonutrient, polyphenols are the most powerful disease fighting compounds you can get in your diet! Note that the highest amounts of polyphenols are found in colorful vegetables – a.k.a. dark leafy greens! Polyphenols are also abundant in plants like coffee beans, raw chocolate, blueberries, and sweet potatoes. It’s important to consume these regularly so you can benefit the most in the long-term!
Lastly, plants contain naturally occurring fiber. Have you heard about gut health lately? What you need to know is that gut health is the key to overall health… and plant fiber is the best way to feed the healthy bacteria in your gut! The chain of benefits goes like this: plant fiber helps make sure the “good” bacteria is thriving, the thriving “good” bacteria then support a healthy immune system, and a healthy immune system allows your body to fight infection and disease!
6 Ways To Eat Leafy Greens
1. One-Pan Wonder
One of my favorite ways is to add greens to a one-pan meal with chicken, pinto beans, and a garlic/lemon/white wine sauce. Try something similar like my One Pan Beef & Veggie Skillet.
2. Mexican Style
I also love adding greens to ground beef with taco seasoning when I make tacos or burritos. Need an easy grab-n-go meal? Make some DIY Frozen Burritos.
You can also throw your greens in a bolognese sauce to hide it in there with meat and extra veggies over some pasta. I love my Easiest Veggie-Loaded Bolognese!
4. Get Eggy With it
I also use the greens in scrambled eggs and other egg dishes. A classic is my One-Pan Breakfast Skillet.
5. On The Side
If I’m going to use my greens raw, I thinly chop them and add them to salads in combination with other lettuces. It also helps to add sweet fruit like sliced mango or strawberries. Try a spinach salad topped with fresh and summery strawberry avocado salad, it has such a yummy balance of flavors!