There are many conflicting opinions as to what constitutes a healthy diet. Some experts suggest the paleo lifestyle, while others insist on being vegetarian or vegan.
No matter which you choose, there is one timeless piece of advice about which almost everyone agrees: eat your greens.
Greens are the leaves of any edible plant, but they do not all have the same health benefits. For example, iceberg lettuce is technically a green, but contains almost no nutrition other than water and cellulose.
When looking for greens with the maximum nutritional punch, choose dark-coloured leaves such as kale, collard, and turnip. If you are not sure how to include these vegetables in your diet on a daily basis, here are 5 ways to sneak them in.
The simplest method of consuming greens is to put them in your blender and drink them. You can buy mixed greens in powder form in products like Power Life Foundation Four and add a few scoops to your regular smoothie recipe. Another option is to buy frozen spinach and use it instead of ice. You also can add fresh leaves to your blended drink, although they do not always become incorporated as smoothly as the powdered or frozen varieties. Drinking a superfood smoothie for breakfast is a wonderful way to start the day.
If you have ever enjoyed a slice of zucchini bread, then you have tasted how successfully vegetables can be baked into tasty treats. Simply cook the greens by sauteing in a skillet with coconut oil, or steaming them over boiling water. Drain the excess liquid and add them to your usual recipes for muffins, cookies, or cakes in place of other additions like chocolate chips, nuts, or fruit. Once you become accustomed to eating nutrient-dense baked goods it will be hard to go back to regular cakes and cookies.
The thought of green ice cream may make you turn up your nose, but given the chance, some varieties of greens may surprise you with their sweet tastes. Baby kale and spinach are especially well-suited to frozen desserts because of their mild flavors. If you have an ice cream maker, there are many good recipes for spinach ice cream that even children will eat. Juicing greens and freezing them in popsicle containers or ice cube trays is an easy way to make a refreshing summertime snack that won’t cause a sugar crash after eating it.
Add greens to almost any main dish to make it healthier and more colourful. Simply chop them and add to soups, meatloafs, casseroles, mashed potatoes, vegetable dishes, and pasta sauce. Put them in the skillet toward the end of cooking when making stir-fries. Use your favorite varieties, or try Chinese greens such as bok choy, choy sum, or gai lum to make the dish more authentic. When baking potatoes in the oven, throw in a glass dish filled with whole kale leaves coated in olive oil for a crispy appetizer to eat like chips.
Bread made from wheat flour contains gluten, a substance to which an increasing number of people are allergic. However, even those without an allergy find their digestion and energy levels to improve by avoiding this substance. Gluten-free bread also contains many additives like guar gum that can upset the stomach. Ditch them both and make every bite of food count toward your health by replacing bread with a nice green leaf. To create a sandwich, just place your ingredients inside the leaf and roll it up. Try ham and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, or even taco ingredients.
We hope the 5 tips above have opened your eyes to some of the ways that you can eat greens every day. Once you have tried some of them, you will no doubt come up with other methods on your own. Be creative, be healthy, and eat your greens.