13 Delicious Green Foods for Your Health
It’s a smart idea to make a rainbow of your diet, but you may want to focus on the color “green”. These 13 foods are not only delicious, but full of vitamins and nutrients. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fruit or a vegetable, these foods pack flavor with nutrients, and should be high on your list of foods to eat. They not only taste great but they are a powerhouse when it comes to your health. Try working these foods in to your diet!
As a general guideline, eating the colors of the rainbow is encouraged to lessen the likelihood of nutritional deficiencies and maximizing health. Additionally, incorporating plant-based foods is shown to benefit the body by offering fiber and essential nutrients while naturally keeping calories balanced. And with plant-products commonly appearing in shades of green, this list of green food can truly benefit the body!
List of Healthy Greens
If tired of standard salad greens and desiring a unique taste, arugula is just the candidate! This cruciferous green is low in calories while providing extensive nutrients, including vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, and calcium. The nutritional totality of arugula may have strong roles in heart, bone, and eye health, as well as weight loss and maintenance.
Though asparagus comes in other shades of color, green asparagus is most common across American supermarkets. And since it is available all year-round, its use can be enjoyed throughout all seasons. Whether consumed roasted by itself or incorporated into dishes, asparagus boasts fiber and valuable nutrients, such as vitamins A, C, E, K along with folate, iron, and copper. Find out more information on storing and cooking asparagus here.
Avocadoes are extremely unique, as this tropical fruit contains healthful fat. The rich omega-3 fatty acid content has been shown to protect the heart while combatting against rheumatoid arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Avocados offer a creamy texture to smoothies and desserts, and compliment salads and sandwiches. Learn more about the health benefits and recipe ideas here.
This cruciferous vegetable may fight against constipation, heart disease, and cancer, with the large antioxidant properties of broccoli further boosting the immune system. After offering the disclosed benefits of broccoli, continuing to encourage the healthy green (especially on children’s dinner plates!) is a valuable piece to the nutritional puzzle.
Celery has been utilized as a “diet food” relative to its very low calorie content (six calories per one stalk). But with calories pushed aside, celery is loaded with fiber and antioxidants, promoting itself as a heart healthy green. For a well-rounded snack, pair celery with hummus or peanut butter, or add chopped celery to soups, salads, and other meal dishes to offer bulk.
Being mostly water, cucumbers can keep the body hydrated, especially on a warm summer day. But cucumbers are encouraged during all seasons, as they contain a wide variety of beneficial compounds found in plant sources. The powerful anti-inflammatory properties cucumbers provide may fight against numerous diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
7. Granny Smith Apples
Step aside red apples, green apples also deserve the spotlight! Apples are packed with valuable nutrients, as well as both soluble and insoluble fiber. Found in the skin, insoluble fiber promotes bowel regularity while soluble fiber, contained in the flesh, may reduce cholesterol levels. Enjoy the crisp, tart apple on its own, roast with cinnamon, add to oats or yogurt, or pair with your favorite nut butter!
8. Green Beans
Also known as snap and string beans, green beans are immature bean pods of various bean plants. But despite the interchangeable names, green beans are robust in nutrients, including protein, B vitamins, calcium, folic acid, and potassium. Shake up that standard side veggie with these fresh green bean recipes!
Small but mighty, this spiced pepper is robust in nutrients. In addition to its vitamin C and A content, jalapenos contain a compound known as capsaicin, ultimately providing its spiciness. Capsaicin has been suggested to provide health benefits in itself, and may include the promotion of blood flow and an increase in metabolism. Spice up salads, soups and chili, salsas, and any other food dishes desiring a little extra zing!
Especially over the past few years, kale has been increasing in popularity. But the rise of kale is much more than its perception as a “super food”, as it truly lives up to its hype. Kale is packed with fiber, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K. Kale can be consumed in its natural, raw form or sautéed and cooked into soups and additional side dishes. For a unique, healthful spin on a snack classic, try these baked kale chips!
This delectable, sweetened fruit is rich in fiber and nutrients, including vitamin C and potassium. The nutritional totality of kiwi may ultimately promote skin, heart, and digestive health. Mix into fruit salad, add to yogurt, or find a wide variety of kiwi-inspired recipes here!
Not surprisingly, spinach lands itself on the healthy greens list due to its robust nutritional profile. Packed in fiber and nutrients (including vitamins A and K) for a low-calorie cost, the use of spinach is highly encouraged and versatile – mix into smoothies, add into soups and casseroles, or simply swap out traditional lettuce leaves for amplified nutrients.
Though resembling a cucumber and still providing high nutrients, zucchinis are best enjoyed once cooked. But this summer squash is much more than a nutritious green food, as it offers use in various forms – zucchini boats, zucchini bread, zucchini brownies, or purely roasted or blended into soup!