6 Nutritious Leafy Greens and How To Easily Add Them To Your Diet

This is why Greens are Superfoods.

Love them or hate them, leafy greens are full of  essential nutrients that your body needs. Rich in Vitamins A, C, K as well as Potassium, they also provide fibre which is good for your bowls, and with only 5 to 40 calories they are a fantastic healthy food that you could eat all day long.

These phytonutrient vegetables are rich in chlorophyll, which alkalises the blood. This is important for good digestion, healthy skin and nails, prevent bone loss and to ensure a good immune system.

There are a wide range of leafy greens available today. Here are some of my favourite and ideas on how to incorporate them into your daily diet. Even if you don’t particularly like leafy greens, there are ways to add them to your meals and you won’t even notice.

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  1. Kale

salad-texture-green-kale

I only discovered Kale recently, probably because its starting to become more popular. Kale is a nutrient-dense cruciferous vegetable and is listed as being a superfood.  It’s an excellent source of lutein and vitamins A, C and K, and a good source of calcium. Kale also contain glucosinolates, which is believed to inhibit the growth of certain cancers. Magnesium and tryptophan are also abundant in these greens. Other benefits include improvements in heart health and brain function.

I like to add Kale to my smoothies, which I eat at any time of the day, but mostly in the morning.

You can add Kale to minced meat dishes. I finely chop it and add it to my lasagne sauce, Sheppard pie and my one pan meat and pasta dish. Add it to your favourite stew, casserole and curry dishes. Even the kids will never know!

Kale can be used as a snack, Kale Chips!  Wash Kale, add salt and lemon juice then bake in the oven, easy.

2. Spinach

salad-healthy-diet-spinach

Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K, folate, potassium and fibre. It is also rich in iron, which carries oxygen to the blood, and it has a high-water content, 91 percent water.

When you cook it, spinach is significantly higher in these nutrients. I like to eat spinach raw in salad or sandwiches. To hide it, I add it to some of my smoothies and Acai bowls for breakfast. I also use it in soups, stews and side dishes mixed with other vegetable.

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3. Cabbage

cabbage-vegetable-power-green

Cabbage comes in a range of colours, it is a fiver rich cruciferous vegetable and excellent source of vitamins C and K. Eating cabbage regularly may help reduce the risk of certain cancers. I love cabbage, raw in coleslaw, steamed with butter or tossed into soup.

I like the colour combination of both green and red cabbage and often use it in salads together.

And of course, it’s perfect for Asian stir fries.

4. Broccoli

Broccoli

Another cruciferous vegetable, broccoli is related to cauliflower and cabbage, including kale and bok choy. As with all the other dark green vegetables, broccoli is a nutrient-dense food.

It is high in fibre, protein, vitamin C, beta carotene, folate, potassium, iron, riboflavin and vitamin B-6, making it an excellent source of numerous phytonutrients, including the cancer-inhibiting antioxidants dithiolthione and indole-3-carbino.

Use broccoli in stir fries, salads, stews and casseroles or serve steamed with butter. When chopped up fine they can be added to most dishes and will go unnoticed, I’ve even been known to add then to my green smoothies in the morning and I have chopped it finely and added it to my omelette.

But I love broccoli, it’s one of my favourite vegetables as will happily eat the raw with dip.

5. Chard

Chard

 

Otherwise known as silver beet, swiss chard or beet spinach, it is another nutritious leafy green vegetable.  It has reddish coloured leaves and white or red stalks making it a colourful addition to a salad.

Chard is often used in Mediterranean cooking it goes well with olive oil and lemon juice and can be added to salads, casseroles and soups. It has a slightly bitter taste which fades with cooking.

Chard is packed full of wonderful nutrients such as vitamins A and K, magnesium, potassium and it has a particularly high level of sodium.

6. Romaine (Cos) Lettuce

salad-restaurant-tomatoes-kitchen

The long green leaves and sturdy stem of the Romaine lettuce, which is also known as Cos lettuce, is commonly used in salads, in particular, the Caesar Salad.

Full of  Vitamin A, C and K, folate, potassium, phosphorous, iron, calcium and as with other green leafy vegetables, it has antioxidants that are believed to help prevent cancer

This lettuce is unique in that it can withstand heat and so you can braise it and use it in soups.

I love the crunchy feel of the Romaine in my salads and on wraps.

I hope you have gained some ideas on how you can use these fabulous leafy greens in your daily meals. I encourage you, next time you’re at the markets, pick up a leafy green that you haven’t tried before and give it a go, you never know you might just fall in love with it.

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To Your Success,

Katherine

Note: “Essential Nutrition Tips” does not offer medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have medical concerns please consult your doctor. See Full Disclaimer.

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