Okay, I’ll admit it, I am over the top at times. I love to shop for food. I love the produce section. I dream about farmer’s markets. I need psychotherapy for sure. I make my husband examine bunches of kale and broccoli rabe up close because they are just so gorgeous. Of all the produce, greens are my favorite by far. Yeah a tomato or an organic carrot with their wispy leaves maybe even a slim stalk of asparagus may catch my eye but the greens are glorious. Oh the greens!
Why is lettuce the only green vegetable that most Americans see on their table? This is probably the most important group of foods, and it is lacking so very much in our diet.
Leafy greens are great for weight loss as they are so low in calories. They are a powerhouse in reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and a myriad of other ailments. They are low in fat, high in dietary fiber, rich in folic acid, vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and contain a host of phytochemicals. Their high content of vitamin K and folate makes them important for bone health and anti-aging. I like that part. Greens are a major source of calcium and iron. They help improve the working of our immune system. Be careful with spinach and Swiss chard as they contain oxalic acid and are not considered good sources of calcium. Leafy greens are loaded with antioxidants that have cancer protective properties.
They add a variety of vibrant colors and texture to any dish and run the gamut of flavor. Green can be used in stir fries, entrees, side dishes and salads. The list of available greens is endless – collards, kale, spinach, arugula, bok choy, Swiss chard and broccoli to name just a few. I make it a point to have something green with almost every meal, every day. We put them in our fruit smoothies, make a beautiful mix in every salad we eat for lunch, and sauté or steam some up for dinner. We even oven-roast kale with olive oil, garlic and rosemary in a 250 degree oven till crisp. This makes tasty kale chips. So go grab a bunch of leafy greens today. Don’t forget, try to get them from farm markets or your favorite produce stand. Organic local greens are the best. Try ones that you have never eaten before.