Top 5 green vegetables and a guide on how to cook them.
I cannot begin to tell you how important it is to incorporate green vegetables into your diet, they are the most important super foods on the planet and also the most ignored and omitted.
They are so crucial to optimal health but yet people ignore the fact that they deliver a mass amount of vitamins, minerals (magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron …) and phytonutrients and antioxidants. For those who don’t know phytonutrients and antioxidants are very good for our immune system.
Not only are green vegetables filled with all this good stuff they’re also considered to be very low on the glycemic index, with little to no carbs, you can eat as much as you want and it will barely have an effect on your insulin levels.
When buying green vegetables look for organically grown. Dark green vegetables grown in fertilized soil tend to be carcinogenic (causing cancer) in the intestines.
The excuse I repeatedly hear for not eating these super foods is the blah taste or the slimy texture and I say “get over it”, there is no excuse that will justify as to why you’re not eating one serving per meal.
With all that being said … Eat your green vegetables!!!!
Here is a list of the top 5 GREEN VEGETABLES along with cooking instructions.
#1 KALE (my favorite)
This leafy green is part of the cabbage family it is rich in calcium, iron and is the host carotenoids (help protect the eyes and act as antioxidants). It is also high in potassium which helps break down the lactic acid after a tough workout and helps with the recovery process. Kale should always be eaten cooked but not over cooked, it will tenderize when cooked.
To steam: remove leafs from stem, rinse and place in the steamer for approx. 8 mins or until wilted, it can be tossed in a salad or eaten hot. It can also be sauteed in butter over medium heat until wilted. I often throw it a soup or a stir fry. Keep in mind boiling kale will decrease the amount of anti cancer properties.
So if kale is the king of greens spinach is the queen. Like Kale Spinach is exceptionally high in carotenoids and also contains vitamin C. It is high in calcium and iron.
This is something interesting I read about spinach, thought I’d share. ‘Spinach contains oxalic acid that can prevent calcium absorption. Oxalic acid is neutralized during cooking; so while cooked spinach can been eaten regularly, spinach salads should be eaten only on occasion.’ Sally Fallon, Nourishing traditions.
To cook: Cut stems off the leaves and rinse well don’t dry. Place in a large pot or frying pan and do not add more water. Cover pot or pan and cook over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes or until leaves are wilted. Top with a generous pat of butter and serve.
You can also add spinach to just about anything, soups, stews casseroles and eggs.
Eating broccoli is the easiest way for people to get their greens in because it’s the easiest to prepare and because it’s a common vegetable, there’s less of an “ewwwww” factor. This tree like vegetable is loaded with with top notch nutrients such as phyto-nutrients (help protect from prostate, colon, urinary bladder, pancreatic, and breast cancers) and is an exceptionally rich source of vitamin-C. It is also a good source of minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc and phosphorus.
Broccoli may be eaten raw or as salad to gain its maximum nutrients. Boiling and microwaving destroys anti-oxidants and some phytonutrients in broccoli, the other cooking methods such as steaming,frying or baking are your best option to ensure that you get all of the nutrients this green vegetable has to offer.
#4 SWISS CHARD
Swiss Chard is full of nutritional goodness, it has an abundance of vitamins A,C,K. Consuming foods high n vitamin C prevent iron deficiency, and also helps boost the immune system. It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus.
Swiss chard is a powerful vegetable found to prevent osteoporosis, iron deficiency anemia, vitamin A deficiency and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and colon and prostate cancers.
The edible portion is the leaf and stalk. The stalk needs to cook longer than the leaf, so it can be treated as two separate vegetables. If the leaves are smaller the sweeter the leaves can be, put them raw in a salad to add lots of nutrition. Larger leaves can be chopped and cooked. The leafy portions cook a lot quicker than the stalks. To cook the stalks chop them and sauté or steam them for a little longer than the leaves.
#5 ROMAINE LETTUCE
Don’t let the lighter color of romaine lettuce fool you. This not-so-dark leafy green is rich in minerals, vitamins and believe it or not has 7.7 grams of protein per head (complete protein) about 1g per cup.
Vitamin C, beta-carotene and the folic acid found in romaine lettuce produce many heart health benefits by fighting agains strokes and heart attacks. Another health benefit of romaine lettuce is potassium which helps strengthen muscles when combined with physical activity. Potassium also helps lower blood pressure.
I think it’s common knowledge that romaine lettuce is mainly used in a salad. I often use romaine lettuce as a wrap or taco shell and even for a club sandwich. Be creative!
You need a little dietary fat to absorb some of the vitamins found in dark green vegetables so be sure to add a bit of oil (such as olive) butter or coconut oil to your dark green vegetables to make sure your body absorbs all of the vitamins.