By Jenna Edwards (www.jennahealth.com)
Greens aren’t just for Popeye! They’re for you, too! Greens serve a wide variety of uses from aesthetic to medicinal to functional. Adding greens to any dish, even if only diced into small pieces, adds color and texture, feeding your eyes and mind in addition to your body.
Making them part of each meal can purify your blood, prevent cancer, improve circulation, strengthen your immune system, promote healthy intestinal flora, eliminate depression, improve liver and kidney function, and clear congestion in the lungs. You might also see a reduction in weight loss and brightened skin!
Greens are high in magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. They are also packed with fiber, folic acid, and chlorophyll. In Asian medicine, greens are associated with emotional stability and creativity.
Open your palate to the vast array of greens for every season. If you shop farmers’ markets, you’ll notice the options for leafy greens with each season. You’ll never get bored with your choices if you eat seasonally.
To get started, try adding greens into meals you already make. Generally, baby greens are sweeter and more flexible for cooking. Throw a couple handfuls of baby mesclun mix into nearly any pasta for a major nutrition boost. If you make fruit smoothies, spinach can easily mix into any fruit combination – just blend well! A simple sauté works for any variety of leafy green, so when in doubt, just sauté in garlic, oil, and onion. Staying simple in the beginning will keep you from becoming overwhelmed.
For the adventurous types, larger leafy greens like collard greens or swiss chard can be used as wraps for veggie wraps.
The whole family can get involved with prepping dinner when greens are involved. Get your kids in the kitchen by having them tear greens into bite-sized pieces before cooking them. It may take a couple meals to get used to seeing them there, but eventually, eating won’t be the same without them!
About Jenna Edwards
As a certified Health Coach, Jenna combines her appreciation for good food with her straight-forward approach to creating new lifestyle habits for her clients. She is “the foodie’s guide to better health.” Trained in over 100 dietary theories, Jenna specializes in helping people find their ideal eating style to reach goals like weight loss, weight maintenance and glowing skin. Reach out to her at www.JennaHealth.com.