Have a Healthy St. Patty’s day!
This month, we wanted to celebrate St. Patrick’s day by giving our clients a few ways to incorporate healthy eating into this month’s festivities. Also be on the lookout for recipes this month featuring healthy versions of St. Patty’s day fare!
Go green for St. Patty’s! St. Patrick’s day is full of green color and there are numerous benefits to adding green produce to our plates. Here are just a few of the ways ways green vegetables impact our health:
- Improving digestive health: vegetables like spinach, asparagus and broccoli are packed with insoluble fiber and magnesium, two important nutrients for colon health
- Lowering the risks of cancer: antioxidant properties like lutein and carotenoid can be found in greens like cabbage, arugula, kale and spinach which help fight against free radicals that can lead to cancer
- Providing key nutrients to help keep bones strong: you may have heard before that dark, leafy greens carry a great dose of calcium and Vitamin K which are two nutrients that play a part in bone health. It’s true! Try greens like swiss chard, green leaf lettuce, spinach (a heavy hitter!) or kale.
- Increasing heart health: Veggies such as brussel sprouts, lima beans, avocados and spinach (!!) contain soluble fiber and folate. These are important as they help to reduce inflammatory markers and cholesterol levels that in turn aid the health of our hearts.
Not sure how to incorporate more green into your diet? Here’s a few suggestions:
- Plan ahead and buy in advance: Healthy eating takes planning and you’re more likely to use green vegetables if you know you ahead of time how you’re going to use them.
- Try new cooking methods: If you have only ever had vegetables boiled or canned, you’re missing out on some incredible flavor that can come from the variety of ways produce can be prepared. Try sauteing vegetables to keep their crispness or roasting to enhance the taste of natural sugars inside produce like asparagus, brussel sprouts or zucchini.
- Substitute vegetable for other ingredients: While not green, one of my personal favorites is substituting roasted spaghetti squash for semolina pasta when I have “spaghetti” with tomato sauce. It is a great way to both increase my nutrient intake while also eating a healthier carb! You could also consider using lettuce leaves for wraps when making sandwiches.
- Add green produce in unexpected places: It has become more common to add greens such as kale or spinach into smoothies, but what about also adding them into your favorite soup recipe or into a turkey meatloaf (even if it doesn’t call for it)? I’ve also come across recipes that incorporate avocado, a very healthy fat, into brownie and cookie recipes.
Have any “Green” tips of your own? We’d love to know what they are and share them with the B3 community.
- Intermountain Healthcare, “Ideas to help you eat more green.” March 16, 2015 http://bit.ly/2lxtoMG
- Image courtesy of amenic181 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net