My friend who is a health coach gave me a challenge recently: to eat as many different green vegetables as possible before our next chat; which is usually every other week.
In that time I tried some greens outside my usual comfort zone- I tried spicy mustard greens, collard greens, and the usual lettuce, as well as some Nigerian vegetables- water leaf, scent leaf amongst others.
So you might be wondering- Why eat more greens?
Green vegetables are largely missing in our food menus, except as sides but a diet rich in vegetables has a lot of advantages to your health- green vegetables increase your immunity, purify the blood, improve circulation, increase the health of your intestine, liver, gall bladder and reduce congestion in your lung. They are rich in nutrients, fibres and phytochemicals. A diet rich in vegetables is a great way to reduce your risk for chronic diseases, and gain great nutrients without the calories.
On a more personal level, I noticed that eating fresh greens felt good. It made me feel light, great and alive so I'd say it does a lot to boost your energy level as well.
What if you hate vegetables?
Maybe vegetables may not be as appealing as a cinnamon roll with its inviting smell across the hallway, but the good news is that there are so many vegetables in the world to try. Some spicy, some bitter, some fresh tasting, some bland, some zesty. So why not experiment and figure out which ones you enjoy? You can also mix in some citrus or salad dressing in to lighten up the taste(I did this with the mustard greens as they were really spicy). Be adventurous!
Are some greens better than others?
While all leafy vegetables are great, darker leafy vegetables like kale tend to be more nutrient dense meaning that they give you a great load of nutrients for the quantity you consume, so to put it simply you get the most bang for your buck.
Rotate between a variety of vegetables and you will be fine.
How to eat more greens
You have a wide variety of methods to experiment with. They include;
- Sautéing in oil or water
- Mixing into a stir fry
- Lightly pickling
- Adding to soups and meals
-Eating them raw
-Boiling them lightly and drinking the broth
-Blending them into a smoothie (you can also mix in some fruits to add more taste to it)
Steaming your vegetables is great if you are trying to lose weight as it helps you feel fuller. However, it is always best not to over cook them so that you get the most nutrients and enzymes from your vegetables.
Well I hope you join me in incorporating more vegetables in your diet! You will enjoy it and your body will thank you forever.