12 Most Healthful Greens for St. Patrick’s Day
Are you ready to put on your green shirt and go out for a night of drinking green beer? Then now is the time to load up on health-giving green fruits and vegetables to get you through the celebration and beyond. Your liver will thank you and so will your heart. Keep your body strong and help lower your risk for diseases from consuming these nutrient packed foods:
This fruit is full of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients. It contains oleic acid, omego-3 fatty acids, vitamin B-6, and folic acid that help combat heart disease. Avocados also have potassium for lowering blood pressure and lutein for prevention of eye muscle degeneration. Add sliced avocado to sandwiches or salads to give them a tasty nutrient boost.
2. Bok choy
This low calorie leafy Chinese cabbage is full of vitamin C, A, K, B-6, B-5, and B-1. It also contains vital minerals; calcium, phosphorous, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Bok choy can be prepared by boiling, steaming, sautéing, or added into salads or stir-frys.
For thousands of years artichokes have been used for treating a variety of ailments. They are high in fiber, iron, calcium, phosphorous, and potassium. They are great for the liver because they contain cynarin and silymarin and can possibly regenerate liver tissue. Some people use them as a hangover treatment. If you overdo it on your St. Patrick’s celebration, consider eating artichokes.
Citrus fruits are fat-free flavor enhancers and exceptional sources of Vitamin C. Limonin is a disease-fighting compound found in limes and some studies have found it to induce cancer cell death. Squeeze some lime juice into your glass of water or add it to Mexican and Thai dishes for a bright citrus flavor kick. Lime sorbet is a delicious frozen treat.
5. Green beans
These low calorie pods are a rich source of fiber plus many vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids. One of the carotenoids, zeaxanthin, is absorbed into the eyes and provides UV light filtering functioning. Green beans may offer some protection against age-related macular disease. Blanch, sauté, or cook up some beans to keep your vision strong.
6. Brussels sprouts
A lot of attention has been given to these miniature cabbages lately because of their anti-cancer potential. They contain glucosinolates which help detoxify our system. They also contain a high level of vitamin K that helps reduce inflammation. To get the most from brussels sprouts it is best to prepare them by steaming, sautéing, or roasting.
A healthy digestive system can start with asparagus. It is one of the few vegetables to contain inulin, a prebiotic carbohydrate which feeds good bacteria in the large intestine. Additionally, some studies have shown asparagus balances insulin levels helping to prevent diabetes. Try grilling or roasting asparagus to really bring out the delicious flavor.
8. Green apples
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” and the dentist too. Biting into and chewing an apple is a good way to keep your teeth strong and gums healthy. The juice can kill up to 80% of harmful bacteria in your mouth. Plus, apples contain phenols which have a double effect on cholesterol. Phenols lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. Apples are easy to take with you on the go. Power up your snack time with a juicy, crisp apple.
Ready for a good detox? Broccoli could be your answer. It has 3 phytonutrients which play a part in every step of the body’s detox process. There is calcium for strong bones and potassium to regulate blood pressure. Add raw broccoli to salads or steam it for a side dish or an addition to pastas.
10. Leafy greens
Kale, Collards, Chard, Mustard Greens, Spinach, and Turnip Greens are powerhouses in the vegetable world. They are ranked as being some of the highest concentrated sources of nutrition. Leafy greens have fiber, vitamins, minerals, and almost no carbohydrates. They are a great addition to soups, salads, omelets, wraps, and pasta.
This fuzzy fruit has more vitamin C than an orange and as much potassium as a banana. Also packed inside is 16% of your recommended daily allowance of fiber. Peel and slice it to enjoy as a snack. Blend it in smoothies or add it to fruit salads to give them a tropical flair.
Rich in vitamins, high in fiber, and also contains folic acid. Cabbage helps to lower cholesterol and cabbage juice has been used to treat stomach ulcers. What better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than with a traditional Irish dish of corned beef and cabbage?
Green fruits and vegetables are an important part of healthy eating plan. There are so many reasons to enjoy these delicious foods. What are your favorite ones? How do you incorporate them into your daily meals? Share your tips on eating greens and show how easy it is to fuel up on them.
Have a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day and remember to eat your greens!
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Featured photo courtesy of Renee Dobbs.