Up Your Green Veggie Game
Trying to increase the number of greens in your diet? The number one mistake that most people make when trying to eat healthier is not including enough variety!
You may not believe it, but just changing the type of greens you use in your salad can make a huge difference in the way it tastes. Bonus, you'll be providing your body extra nutrients since each vegetable has a unique set of nutrients (and flavors) to boost your health. Here are some greens worth trying.
ArugulaArugula is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family (like broccoli and cauliflower), so it does have a slightly bitter taste to it. Cruciferous vegetables are known for their cancer-fighting immune boosting properties. Arugula is most known for its unique peppery flavor.
Collard GreensThese greens are tough when eaten raw, so they are most often either de-stemmed or blanched and used as a replacement for grain based wraps. They are also traditionally sautéed in the South with delicious seasoning blends. Collard greens are also a type of cruciferous vegetable. Cruciferous vegetables are known to contain properties that support the body's natural detoxification pathways.
IcebergTraditionally written off as providing little nutrients, it contains water soluble vitamins, tons of hydration and a little bit of fiber. Adds a refreshing, crunchy taste to salads or taco/wrap fillings.
Kale Kale is a dense green vegetable that is also a cruciferous vegetable. It's not as tough as collard greens but does have a robust bitter flavor. It can be eaten cooked or raw, but if you eat it raw, it's best to massage the kale with a bit of olive oil (yep, you read that right) to break it down a bit. Kale is one of the most nutrient rich vegetables containing the most number of vitamins and minerals compared to other dark green leafy vegetables.
Mustard GreensMustard greens are a delicious salad addition because of their unique, pepper/mustard flavor. No, they don't taste like you opened a bottle of your favorite mustard, but the hint of flavor is there. They can add a nice dimension of flavor to a salad, or they can garnish other dishes. Mustard greens are among several vegetables that contain Isothiocyanates. These sulfur containing nutrients are known to help support natural detoxification processes.
Romaine One of the more popular green leafy vegetables, it has a mild flavor and is full of nutrients. It doesn't hold up quite as well to cooking, so it's best to use it in cold uncooked dishes. Romaine lettuce, like other dark green leafy vegetables, is an excellent source of vitamin A which helps to maintain healthy eyes, vitamin K which ensures adequate clotting and bone health, as well as vitamin C which is a potent antioxidant.
SpinachAnother versatile green that can add a depth of flavor to any dish, especially salad. It also cooks down to almost nothing in hashes and egg bakes allowing you to get a ton of veggies in at one time. Spinach, again like other dark green leafy vegetables, gets its beautiful color from chlorophyll. Due to its darker color, it naturally contains more chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is thought to help reduce hunger and improve satiety.
Swiss ChardA little heartier than romaine, but not quite as tough as kale or collard greens. This is a good one to have around the house to use in the same way you would spinach or romaine. The stems are edible and have a crunchy sweet taste to them. Like beets, the stems of Swiss chard contain compounds known as betalain which provides antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification support.
Turnip GreensYou'll want to be strategic with the use of turnip greens, like mustard greens they are known for their pungent and sharp, spicy flavor. The high amounts of vitamin C in this vegetable help fight free radicals and support collagen synthesis. Collagen is essential for healthy bones and tissues.