“Eat your veggies; they’re healthy for you!”- or some similar statement is probably one of the most universally known “mom” quotes, right? As kids, we were less inclined to dive our fork into those broccoli crowns on our dinner plates and more inclined to talking our mom’s into a quick trip to our local McDonald’s for the latest Happy Meal toy and of course the chicken McNuggets (because chicken is healthy too, right?). Fast forward to now and there’s a universal movement toward eating fresh, incorporating greens in every meal and countless studies on why eating fruits and veggies are beneficial to your health.
But with all of the pizza, pasta and cheeseburger joints out there, it seems difficult to make healthy food choices. Well we promise, greens can be delicious too and just as filling as a cheesy burger; not that we don’t indulge from time to time.
So, if you’re looking to up your fresh “A” game, you’ll want to make sure you keep plenty of greens stocked in your kitchen. Here are 5 good for you greens and the benefits to eating them.
COLLARD GREENS: You’re probably thinking, what is a collard green, right? Trust us, you’ve walked by them in the produce aisle a million times. They’re a large, dark green, flat leaf. They’re related to broccoli and cabbage. But why eat them? Well, they’re extremely beneficial in helping lower cholesterol (so you can indulge in those burgers once in awhile). Side note: if you steam them you reap even more of their cholesterol lowering benefits. They bind to acids in your digestive tract that are made up of cholesterol and make it much easier for these acids to be excreted from your body. So yeah, you need these leafy greens in your life.
PARSLEY: Not just the leafy green garnish on your dining plate. It’s a superfood that’s packed with crazy amounts of nutrients like Vitamin K, which helps promote strong bones, Vitamin C which keeps your immune system strong & keeps your skin from wrinkling, and Vitamin A which helps prevent eye diseases like cataracts. Total bonus, chopped parsley has been shown to help control your appetite. It’s also loaded with iron and fiber.
SPINACH: Want to know why Popeye’s muscles grew when he ate spinach? Well, 180 grams of boiled spinach provides more minerals to your muscles than a 6 oz. hamburger patty. Crazy, right? Bet that spinach salad you didn’t order for lunch yesterday is looking pretty darn good right about now. And for those of you trying to cut back on the calories, spinach is also known to help suppress your appetite. We promise, there are so many AMAZING things you can do with spinach!
CHARD: This strangely sounding green has over 13 different antioxidants. Loaded with a ton of hard to pronounce things like flavonoid & syringic acid, they all help regulate your blood glucose levels which is great for preventing diabetes. It’s another green that provides insane amounts of Vitamin K, C, and B-complex vitamins, which are essential in converting our food to fuel. You can eat both the leaves and the stalks. Cooking tip: we recommend cooking the stalks like you would asparagus and the leaves like you would spinach. Chard is delicious raw, steamed, or sauteéd.
WATERCRESS: The surprising superfood to dominate all superfoods. Who knew this random greenie packs a major punch with preventing cancer, lowering blood pressure, treating diabetes and maintaining healthy bones?! It’s known as a healing herb and was apparently used by Hippocrates to treat his patients. Pretty amazing stuff. So, throw it in your smoothies, add it to your salads, and even use it as a garnish to your soup or pasta.
So if you’re in the mood to prevent diabetes & cancer, lower blood pressure, strengthen your bones, and keep your skin from getting wrinkled, then you’ll want to add these green goodies to your grocery list. Stay tuned for delicious recipes!
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