When it comes to nutrient density, it’s hard to beat green veggies. Yes, other foods are important for balanced nutrition, but green is non-negotiable. Almost every green veggie is considered a superfood, defined as a food packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants with very few unhealthy components. Greens are loaded with vitamins A, K and C, as well as iron, magnesium and potassium — just to name a few. At least two servings of greens per day is recommended, but for most people, the more you can get, the better.
To be honest, healthy foods don’t always taste the best, and greens can be bitter. Most people wouldn’t choose a bowl of spinach over a plate of french fries, right? So getting your greens might take a bit of effort and planning ahead. Here a few tips to get them into your diet:
Break the Rules
Think you need to sit around munching on a bowl of raw green leafies for the most benefit? Nope! The important thing is that you eat them. Too many people get caught up in perfectionism when it comes to eating, and a healthy diet does not need to be perfect or tasteless.
Yes, some preparation methods are healthier than others. Of course, eating broccoli drenched in ranch dressing or smothered in cheese probably isn’t a good long-term health strategy. But if you need a bit of ranch to get you used to the taste, why not? Over time you can reduce or eliminate it.
Eat What You Like
The other mistake many people make when trying to eat healthier foods is to try to force themselves to eat foods they don’t like. If you hate kale, why would you make yourself eat it? Yes it’s healthy, but so are broccoli, spinach, celery and bok choy. Nutrition-wise, all the green vegetables are pretty similar. As long as you eat a variety, there is no reason why you need to eat veggies you hate.
Sneak Them In
The great thing about green veggies is that many of them don’t have an overpowering flavor and can be incorporated into a variety of dishes. Throw some spinach or collard greens into a soup. Purée broccoli and mix it into a meatloaf. Add some sliced zucchini, kale or brussels sprouts to a pasta dish. You don’t have to change what you eat; you just need to be a bit creative.
Snack on Greens
Looking for a healthy afternoon snack? Go back to grade school and have a little celery with peanut butter. You will enjoy the crunch and the healthy fat will keep you full until dinner. Kale chips are another great option. Slice the kale into bite-size pieces, toss with olive oil, and bake in the oven at 350º until crispy (about 15-20 minutes). They turn into a crunchy and healthy snack, and make a satisfying substitute for potato chips.
Blend Them In
Still having trouble getting enough greens into your diet? Try blending them into a smoothie. With the addition of INVIGOR8 shake mix, which contains a host of green superfoods, you can pack a bunch of vitamins into one glass. For starters, try our recipe for an Energizing Spinach & Fruit Smoothie, made with our INVIGOR8 Triple Chocolate Brownie flavor shake. Spinach blends well and has almost no taste when added to a smoothie.
With a little effort and creativity you can easily get the many health benefits of green superfoods into your diet.
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