Happy St. Patrick's Day ... Eat Your Greens!

Today is St. Patrick's Day! That means that you should be wearing something green and maybe eating some traditional Irish food. Or if you aren't one for cabbage or potatoes, then reach for some other wonderful green vegetables. Lots of times vegetables get over looked and some people don't even like them. 

Well I encourage you today to find some dark green veggies and incorporate them into your diet. Research as shown that dark green, leafy, vegetables are perhaps the most potent super food on the planet. The great thing about dark vegetables is that they contain high amounts of Vitamins A, C, E and K and well as some B Vitamins. They are great sources of calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. All of those leafy greens provides lots of fiber and that is good for your digestive health. Vegetables are low in fat and carbohydrates. This is fantastic for weight loss and helps keep you feeling full and control your hunger. Fiber has been shown to help with elevated cholesterol levels as well and blood pressure control. If you have issues with blood sugar control then consuming more fiber can help to slow the absorption of carbohydrates into your bloodstream following a meal. These leafy greens also contain a fair amount of water and this helps to count towards your hydration needs for the day. 

There are so many positive effects from regularly consuming leafy greens, there is absolutely no reason why you should grab some from the store and starting using them in your meals at home. Enjoy this festive holiday and remember to eat some yummy leafy, greens as well!  Here are a couple recipe ideas to try ... 

  • Roasted Brussel Sprouts
    • Chop up brussel sprouts after you have washed them. 
    • Spray or drizzle with olive oil. 
    • Season with your favorite spices. 
    • Roast in the oven - broiler on high for ~10 minutes or grill on the grill. 
  • Italian Spinach and Pasta Soup
    • Ingredients: 
      • 2 cups dried pasta, cooked 
      • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth 
      • 1 (15oz) can of no-salt-added kidney or great northern beans, drained, rinsed 
      • 1 (14.5oz) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes 
      • Italian seasoning to taste 
      • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 
      • 4oz frozen or 4 cups fresh spinach 
    • Method: 
      • In a medium pot over medium-high heat, bring broth to a boil. When broth is boiling, add beans, tomatoes, Italian seasoning and pepper and bring to a simmer. Add spinach and cook until softened and bright green. 
      • Place pasta (about 1 cup per serving) into soup bowls, ladle soup over the top and serve.
    • Nutritional Information: 
      • Per serving - 210 calories (10 from fat), 1g total fat, 420mg sodium, 40g carbohydrates (9g dietary fiber and 6 g sugar), 10g protein