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Savvy Ways to Make Eating Your Greens More Delicious

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Savvy Ways to Make Eating Your Greens More Delicious

Now that spring is here, it’s time to put the soup pot away and celebrate salad season!  In honor of this awesome seasonal shift, I’d like to share some of my favorite salad greens with you. Here’s how they’ll give you an awesome nutrition boost and how you can use them in tasty meals.

Spinach

Spinach

Nutritional Awesomeness

Spinach is high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese.

Making your Body Better

Spinach is loaded with nutrients that benefit your entire body. It’s a go to source of iron for many vegetarians. Plus it’s loaded with flavonoids that are powerful antioxidants for your body. These nutritional powerhouses help to protect your body from the oxidizing cellular damage from free radicals. This can help reduce risk of heart disease and many forms of cancer as well as reduce cellular aging.

Making it Delish

The iron in spinach absorbs best when your body has plenty of vitamin C.  My favorite way to accomplish this is to add strawberries to my spinach salad. 

Simple Spinach Salad:

  • 2 handfulls of baby spinach greens
  • 4 sliced strawberries
  • 1 tbsp diced red onion
  • ¼ avocado, diced
  • 1 tbsp walnuts
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinagrette

Kale

Nutritional Awesomeness

Seeing this nutritional powerhouse and bonafide superfood gain popularity makes me very happy. Kale is loaded with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. One cup of kale has 684% of the daily value of vitamin K, 206% of the suggested daily amount of vitamin A, and 134% of vitamin C. It’s a rich source of both iron and vitamin C making it a great way to fit more bioavailable plant based iron into your diet. But that’s not all! Kale also has protein, calcium and 121 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids and 92.4 milligrams of omega-6 fatty acids. This leafy green has rightfully earned the label of superfood.

Making your Body Better

Kale is a good source of phytonutrient indole-3-carbinol. This potent phytonutrient helps decrease cellular aging and promotes DNA cell repair, while at the same time helping to starve cancer cells and reduce tumor growth. Kale also has sulforaphane, which has been shown to protect against both prostate and colon cancers. If that was not enough, the list of impressive nutritional power grows with lutein and zeaxanthin. These two carotenoids can help protect your eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts.

Making it Delish

Kale has a unique flavor and dense texture. Both of these pair well with something creamy. For a simple and very quick kale salad, I toss chopped greens with a tablespoon of hummus.

Arugula

Arugula

Nutritional Awesomeness

Arugula is rich source of vitamin K, vitamins A, and C, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese. Arugula also provides high levels of protein, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, zinc, copper and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5).

Making your Body Better

The B vitamins in Arugula help raise the good cholesterol levels and lower the bad. The magnesium benefits your circulatory and nervous systems. Your immune system gets a boost by the zinc, Vitamin C, and K.  The vitamin K in this peppery green can also help reduce cancer cell growth, strengthen bones and reduce neuronal damage to the brain.

Making it Delish

The peppery flavor of arugula pairs very well with citrus. For a very simple arugula salad, take two big handfulls of arugula and squeeze the juice from half of a lemon over the greens. Drizzle the greens with a tablespoon of good quality extra virgin olive oil. Top with a few shavings of parmesan cheese and some orange slices. Salt and pepper to taste.

Watercress

Watercress

Nutritional Awesomeness

The health benefits of watercress have been touted for centuries—Hippocrates was a huge proponent of this green’s healing power! This little leafed peppery green is loaded with phytonutrients and antioxidants that give it disease-fighting strength. But its biggest claim to fame is its impressive 312% daily recommended value of vitamin K per serving. It’s also a good source of vitamin A and C as well as an array of B vitamins, calcium, beta carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein.

Making your Body Better

The nutrients in watercress help protect your body from DNA damage, starve tumor growth, improve bone density, protect your brain from damage, guard against cataracts and macular degeneration, and support your immune system. Because it’s a bitter green, it can aid in digestion.

Making it Delish

Watercress goes great with other greens and really compliments salads with rice wine vinaigrette dressing.

Rice Wine Vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar

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