I often say everybody should eat greens everyday. It’s because greens are the number one food to eat to detox naturally and improve your health. Leafy greens are high in fiber, along with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytosterols that can help you to alkalize your body, detoxify and prevent heart diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer and even cancer. Most people aren’t eating enough dark leafy greens, let alone a variety of them! To help you to boost your greens intake, variation is the key. So here are my top 10 leafy greens to add variety to your diet.
Top 10 greens to add to your diet
Spinach: With romaine lettuce, spinach is probably one of the most consumed leafy green. Rich in vitamins A and C as well as folate, spinach can easily be incorporated to a range of recipes, from soups, pastas and casseroles. Baby spinach leaves also makes wonderful salads. Why not try an Asian inspired salad with baby spinach, bean sprouts, sesame seeds, raisins with a lemon/miso/sesame oil dressing?
Kale: One of the most nutritious vegetables on earth! Kale is an excellent source of vitamin A, C and K, as well as in calcium, folate and potassium. Kale makes a nutritious substitution for spinach in recipes, or can be cooked slightly in garlic, olive oil and vegetable broth. But my favorite Kale recipe is definitely crunchy kale chips. As satisfying as regular potato chips, but oh so much more nutritious!
Collards: With a similar nutrient profile as Kale, Collard greens is also a nutrition powerhouse. The great thing about collard is that it comes with huge leaves, the perfect healthy substitution to tortillas. So why not try Collard greens as a gluten-free tortilla to make delicious detox wraps!
Beets greens: I always buy beet and turnips with their leaves. This way, I get 2 vegetables in one! Like kale and collard, beet tops are rich in vitamin C and A, in calcium and potassium. Beets greens tend to cook quicker than other greens. Personally, I like to add some in my detox smoothies.
Swiss chard: Milder in flavor than kale or collard, Swiss chard can be used as spinach in most recipes. Separate the tough stems from the leaves and cook them separately or use it as celery. Swiss chard contains oxalates, substances that can hinder the calcium absorption. Hopefully, cooking reduces the oxalate content, making calcium available for your body.
Mustard greens: With their peppery taste, mustard greens can add spiciness to many dishes. My favorite way to eat mustard greens is in sprouts form. Cheap and quick to grow, they add a perfect kick to salads or wraps.
Broccoli: Broccoli is probably one of the best-known greens. It adds crunch to many different dishes and are great as a side or raw, served with a dip. Don’t throw away broccoli hearts. The center of the stalks makes a wonderful slaw, once you remove the fibrous parts and thinly slice the tender center.
Dandelion: The single best green to cleanse your liver. Instead of fighting against it on your lawn, embrace this nature’s gift to boost your health and detox naturally. Dandelion greens are a bit bitter so blanching them in 2 different waters will help to diminish the bitterness. Tender, leaves of early spring dandelion can be eaten in salads, and tougher or bitterer leaves can be turned in a wonderful soup.
Cabbage: Cabbage saw is always a crowd’s favorite. But a true healthy cabbage slaw has nothing to do with the radioactive green, fat drenched mush some fast food restaurant serves. Try a homemade slaw with a fresh sweet and sour dressing made of apple cider vinegar. Cabbage also makes a delicious detox soups that boost your weight loss efforts.
Romaine: A salad classic. More nutritious than Iceberg, romaine can make a terrific base for delicious nutrient packed salads. Try mixing in other greens to boost the nutrient factor. Using romaine as a base will help your palate to get used to more bitter greens.
What is your favorite green vegetable? How often do you eat dark leafy greens?