If you’re not a fan of green vegetables, it’s likely because of the taste. Generally antioxidant-packed foods are more intense in flavor. And in the case of greens like arugula, Brussels sprouts, kale and more, the taste is bitter. The good news, though, is that you can change the flavor by rethinking how you eat greens.
Which greens should you try to eat more of? choosemyplate.gov recommends including the following in your diet:
- Bok Choy
- Collard Greens
- Dark Green Leafy Lettuce
- Mustard Greens
- Romaine Lettuce
- Turnip Greens
Eat for Your Health
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, U.S. Department of Agriculture, each day you should be eating five to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, depending on your caloric intake. One serving is about half a cup.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, a diet that is high in plant foods has some healthy benefits, including reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease and cancers, as well as helping with blood pressure, gastrointestinal health and vision issues.
And green vegetables have an impressive nutritional résumé. Famed nutritionist Joy Bauer lists the nutrition powerhouses that greens can be, including arugula for phytnutrients, collard greens for vitamin A, endives and watercress for vitamin K, kale and spinach for vitamin C, mustard greens for vitamin B, radicchio and turnip greens for vitamin E.
Now that you are convinced why you should eat more greens, here are five ways to rethink your greens.
Make a Green Smoothie
The latest trend in shakes and juices are green smoothies. While you might typically use fruit, protein powder or yogurt as your base, leafy greens can add sharpness to your typically sweet smoothies. Consider collard greens with mango, spinach with apple, kale and banana and more.
Have a Green Breakfast
If you’re a bacon-and-eggs fan or a loyal for oatmeal, try and switch things up. Eatright.org recommends eating veggies at breakfast with a spinach omelet, zucchini pancakes or a veggie burrito.
Have a Green Dessert
Fruit for dessert seems like a no-brainer. But a bowlful of greens is more of an appetizer or a digestif than a sweet finish to a meal. But according to The Huffington Post, veggies are invading the dessert menu, with options like basil gelato. But dessert doesn’t have to be that exotic or difficult. Pull out mom’s zucchini bread, recipe.
Sneak ‘Em In
While Jessica Seinfeld (yes, the wife of Jerry) created her Deceptively Delicious cookbook for moms with picky kids, there’s no reason you can’t heed her advice for yourself. She recommends adding veggie purees to recipes, such as mac ‘n’ cheese and cake mixes. She also creates recipes that make vegetables not seem like “healthy” snacks, like these Brussels Sprouts Chips.
Get Fat with Greens
If you find that you push some greens to the side of your plate, consider adding a bit of healthy fats to your dish. Drizzle a splash of olive oil over your greens. The fats found in oil balance out the bitterness, making your greens lighter on the palate.
And it’s healthier too! Research from Purdue University suggests that fat helps the body better absorb cartenoids from greens. And that sounds good to us!