Eating your greens has been ingrained in us from a young age, most of us can recall our parents bargaining with us to eat peas and broccoli in exchange for some dessert. And with good reason, green vegetables are powerful sources of vitamins, minerals and key nutrients for optimal health. They are a great source of iron, calcium and fibre and full of vitamins.
Below are 4 green veggies to keep on your shopping list as staples in your diet.
Green leafy veggies: These include things like spinach, Asian greens, kale and silver beet. Studies have shown that by increasing your intake of these green goodies, you can decrease your chances of type 3 diabetes by 14%.
Eat Me: The tastiest and simplest way to eat your leafy greens is either through a morning smoothie or in a quick and healthy stir-fry (avoid packet sauces). Add some cashews and meat to a hot wok, throw in some soy sauce and natural peanut butter and cook meat through. Add your leafy greens in last until they soften, serve. Yum!
Avocado: This popular and forever criticised creamy goodness has many proven health benefits. They have been said to increase not only your nutrient intake, but Vitamins E and K as well. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats they are made up of also help to decrease the consumption of sugars and increase consumption of nutrient dense foods like vegetables and fruits. If you still need more convincing, they have also been seen to lower bad cholesterol levels. Avocados are not something to be afraid of, but they must be eaten in moderation in a healthy and balanced diet.
Eat Me: A simple Guacamole or smashed Avo on toast once a week is a great way to get this unsaturated fat source into your body. The fatty fuel will help with brain function. Top tip: Add a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of chilli flakes to your next Avocado on toast experience to push the boundaries of flavour and wow factor.
Broccoli or broccolini: With similar nutritional benefits these versatile greens are a definite staple for the fridge. Not only does it make you feel healthier just by looking at its tree-like florets, but this green veggie is full of health benefits that will make you add it to your lunch and dinner. Broccoli contains folate and sulforaphane which have been proven to help lower the risk of breast, colon and lung cancer developing in the body. It is also suggested that it promotes longevity through reducing risks of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
Eat Me: Try slicing through the middle and sautéing in some coconut oil, add a small pinch of sea-salt. Another way to enjoy your broccoli is to simply blanch and enjoy the fresh healthy crunch of green goodness, mmm... it cleans your soul!
Peas: Although they are technically pulses, peas are the new chickpeas! This small green ball of sweet and juicy deliciousness is not only on trend in the foodie world, but they are also super beneficial to your health. High protein levels mean that you can now get them in a protein powder form and enjoy them as a vegan alternative to regular Whey powders. They are also full of vitamins, can improve gut health and digestion as well as improve cardiovascular health and help maintain a healthy weight when combined with other healthy foods.
Eat Me: Try them pureed with some herbs and spices or mixed into your sweet potato mash. The key to great peas is to not overcook them, even from frozen they only need a few minutes in boiling water.
Remember the motto "eat green to stay lean" and pile your plate high with veggies at every meal.