Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This is one of my favorite holidays, mostly because green is my favorite colour and that includes the colour of my food. To have a varied diet, we should be eating the rainbow, but let’s just focus on the green food to celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day.
Green food include some really good staples like herbs (mint, parsley, cilantro, dill, and basil), leafy greens (romaine lettuce , spinach, kale and chard), cruciferous veggies (like broccoli, cabbage and bok choy), sea veggies (nori, wakame, spirulina and chlorella) and veggies (peas, celery, beans and cucumbers) to just name a few. There is such a wide range of green veggies and this means that there is a wide range of micronutrients that can be found in them. So, we are going to take a look at each of these categories and explain their benefits.
Herbs are really fun parts of a dish to play with. They can add so much flavor to dishes! I dress up a salad with dill and cilantro. I love dressing up rice and pasta with pesto and sauces that are so easy to make. Herbs are packed with powerful phytonutrients that can improve overall health, not to mention add tons of flavors.
Leafy greens are an important part of a balanced plant-based diet. These are great sources of micronutrients and phytonutrients. One such nutrient is iron. Dark leafy greens are a good source of iron and since they are also a source of Vitamin C this means that the plant-based iron is absorbed better.
Fiber is also a really important aspect of a healthy diet and leafy greens are a great source of it. Fiber is important for gut health, regulation of blood sugar and lowering cholesterol.
These include veggies like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. They can be considered bitters greens which as great for digestion. The bitterness comes from the sulfur-containing compounds. Cruciferous veggies have some compounds that can be linked to cancer prevention and improve health as stated by Dr. Haas in his book a Staying Healthy with Nutrition.
Sea veggies are packed with micronutrients, one of which is iodine. Iodine can be a beneficial for thyroid health. Iodine can be a hard mineral to find in many food sources but is abundant in sea veggies.
Algae is also a great addition to your diet as they are a great source of protein, iron and omega threes. These can be especially important to vegans as sources of Omega threes can be hard to find.
for more information about sea veggies check out this video by NutritionFacts.org . In the video they look at the studies that support the eating sea veggies in moderate amounts.
Green veggies like Cucumber, peas, beans, green pepper and zucchini are great additions to any meal. I love adding these to breakfasts, snacks, lunches, and dinners. Zucchini for example can be found in chocolate Zucchini muffins, breakfast bakes, zoodles, sauces or baked, just to name a few of the possible sweet and savory applications. Green Veggies are great sources of fiber that is an important aspect of gut health and general overall healthy diet
Greens can be so important to health and they can be easily added to many meals. If you have any questions about how to include more greens into your diet your can reach me over my facebook page or below in the comments.