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THE POWER OF GREENS

24 May 2022 Jenna Amos

We all know we should eat our greens, but they really are as important as you've been told. Loaded with nutrition power, greens deserve the spotlight all year round, not just in the warmer months. 

Green leafy vegetables in particular offer a variety of flavors and textures and provide a healthy dose of Vitamins K, E, C, A, fiber, and iron (more on how to get the most of this iron later). Not sure where to start? Check out some options below and add a serving to your next meal:

  • Kale: Now as mainstream as iceberg lettuce, kale has a hearty texture that makes it ideal for soups and stews. Throw a few cups, chopped, into your next pot of soup. Kale also hold up well in the fridge with dressing for a few days, making meal prep a breeze.  Not a fan of its texture? Dinosaur (AKA Tuscan) kale is a long flat variety that has a more delicate texture than curly. 
  • Baby and Adult Spinach: A versatile staple, both fresh and frozen spinach offer similar nutrition (so no need to be choosy!). Try mixing thawed spinach into meatballs and egg bites and fresh spinach into basil pesto for a nutrient boost. Tip: Give your spinach salad a good squeeze of lemon juice to make the most of its iron. Vitamin C can help with iron absorption.
  • Swiss Chard: Usually displayed next to kale, swiss chard has a milder flavor similar to spinach. It's an excellent source of vitamins but also a good source of fiber. Chard is delicious sautéed with garlic or added to frittatas and egg bites. Plus, the stems cook up more tender than kale, so no need to remove them when cooking!  
  • Arugula: Its signature peppery flavor make it ideal to top avocado toast and include in wraps and sandwiches for a nutrient boost. Like spinach, arugula makes a tasty addition to traditional basil pesto. Include a paper towel sheet in your arugula container to absorb moisture and help it last!

For the most benefit, consume a variety of greens, both cooked and raw. Not all greens are for everyone, but with so many options, explore different options and cooking methods to find your favorite.

 

Thanks to our Contributing Dietitian, Jenna Amos, RDN, for this post. 

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