Dark Leafy Greens
I absolutely love my veggies, and dark leafy greens happen to be one of my favourite veggie categories! When I was a toddler, my parents had a really hard time getting me to eat new foods, or even foods I had tried before, as all I ever wanted to eat was broccoli. I needed some with every meal, even breakfast apparently!
I know that not everyone shares my love for veggies (or at least might not feel this love as strongly as I do!), but trust me, eating your dark leafy greens is definitely worth it!
Before I get started on all the wonderful benefits of them though, I should probably define what a dark, leafy green actually is.
Dark leafy greens are those amazing vegetables that are, well, dark, leafy and green!
- Lettuce – romaine, arugula, butterhead
- Cruciferous Leafy Greens – kale, mustard greens, collard greens, cabbage and broccoli
- Spinach and Swiss Chard
- Edible Green Leaves – dandelion, red clover, plantain, watercress and chickweed
These little green treasures are nutrient dense superfoods, and provide our bodies with huge amounts of essential vitamins and minerals that are required for a healthy functioning body.
Kale, salad greens and spinach particularly are rich in vitamins A, C, E and K, while broccoli, bok choy and mustard greens are super high in a number of important B-vitamins. These vitamins all help our bodies in numerous ways, including maintaining healthy bones and acting as a natural anti-inflammatory!
But their benefits don’t stop there, no! Dark greens are a great source of antioxidants, which studies have shown help to protect cells and may even play a part in preventing the early stages of cancer. Research suggests that eating 2-3 serves of green leafy veggies per week may lower the risk of stomach, breast and skin cancer!
Lastly, these amazing superfoods are very low in carbs, sodium and cholesterol, meaning you they aren’t going to sabotage your diet and can help you maintain a healthy weight.
I know that some of you might be thinking, well those benefits sound great, but I’m still not going to be dishing up a bowl of spinach for myself anytime soon! And that is fine! There are many ways to slowly incorporate dark leafy greens that will make you come back for seconds every time!
My favourite ways are:
- In a salad (hello chicken, spinach and pesto salad!)
- On a sandwich or in a wrap
- In a stir-fry (my absolute favourite way to eat veggies!)
- In an omelette
Of course these are only some of the many ways you can up your intake of these wonder foods, so please share below if you have any more to add to the list!