Taking a step: eat more leafy greens!

We have all heard it before: Eat More Leafy Greens! Why should we do that and what exactly is a leafy green? leafy green vegetables

Why you should “Eat More Leafy Greens”

A major problem with the Standard American Diet (SAD) today is we eat too many processed foods. These processed foods contain very low levels of essential nutrients, but lots of calories and fat.  Eating all these processed foods and with very little whole plant foods, provides a diet low in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. These low levels of  nutrients can put you at high risk for chronic disease like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The good news is: leafy green vegetables are abundant  in disease fighting micronutrients, and focusing on including  lots of leafy greens in your diet is a great first step toward improving your diet! They can also help you feel full at mealtimes preventing you from overeating. Dark green leafy vegetables are the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food!  That’s really good news!!!

What is considered a “leafy green”?

Most of us think of vegetables like lettuce and spinach when we think of leafy greens, but there are so many more options to choose from. Arugula, collards greens, endive, escarole, kale, mustard greens, radicchio, swiss chard, turnip greens and watercress are several other options to choose from in the leafy green category.

Different Ways to eat “leafy greens”

green-smoothieThe ideal way to eat leafy greens is raw, because the vitamins and beneficial enzymes remain intact when the vegetable is in its uncooked state. Raw greens can be eaten as a salad, snack, or in a smoothie. Try adding a “green smoothie” made from fresh kale for your breakfast, and a large green salad for lunch!

Leafy greens are also delicious cooked! They make a tasty side dish or entree when steamed or lightly sauteed. Chopped leafy greens added to any soup recipe will add taste, texture and nutrition.

How many “leafy Greens” should we eat?

“Back in the day” it was common for our ancient ancestors to eat up to 6 pounds of leaves per day! YIKES! Probably a lot more than you would consider reasonable to add to your diet! The minimum USDA recommendations for dark green leafy vegetables is only 1 1/2 cups per week. Although that is the recommended minimum, ideal intake is somewhere in between the 1 1/2 cups minimum, and the 6 pounds consumed by our ancestors. Try aiming for at least 3 cups per day, with at least half of that eaten raw. This would be easy to do if you drank a green smoothie for breakfast, ate a large salad for lunch and a side of cooked greens with your dinner. If you are not already eating leafy greens you may wish to start by adding one serving per day, then increasing from there. The best news: there is no limit! You can eat as much as you want! I love to eat volumes of food so this suits me well!!! Woo hoo!!!!

Take a step!

If you are interested in hearing more about how to take steps in this direction, you can learn even more here: https://easyhealthysmoothie.com/how-to-make-green-smoothies/

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