Green smoothies became all the rage a few years ago, and it's no surprise as to why. The deep green color found in certain foods is an indication of the rich antioxidants that are found within. If you're looking for ways to boost your vitamin intake, here are some green foods you should consider adding to your diet.
If you haven't heard about kale and its wonderful health benefits, where have you been? This superfood has been all the rage for the past several years, and there's a reason why: it's chock full of nutrients. Calcium is number one with 24 milligrams per cup. If you're trying to reduce your dairy intake, kale is a great way to get your calcium.
Other nutrients include vitamins C, A, and K. Make kale into chips by baking it in your oven, add it to your salads, or be naughty and add it to Zuppa Toscana soup a la Olive Garden.
More than likely, you've always known that spinach was healthy. If you grew up watching Popeye (or maybe you're too young for that cartoon?), you remember that eating spinach made Popeye strong enough to deal with whatever problem he faced.
Just like kale, spinach is full of vitamins A and C and has even more fiber. Plus, it spinach helps lower blood pressure. Baby spinach is a great addition to salads, or you can hide some in a smoothie. Just tell your kids it's green because of food coloring! It's also great in scrambled eggs.
Young Barley Grass
When you think of barley fields, you probably think of golden grains flowing in the breeze. However, young barley is actually green and has a lot of health benefits. It's high in fiber and protein, both of which help you feel full longer, so you aren't tempted to eat between meals. Plus, according to a study in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," the β-glucan/d found in barley can significantly lower your total cholesterol, which also lowers your risk of heart disease.
These are just a couple of the health benefits of young green barley, but there are many. Young barley is easy to add to your diet, too. You can buy green powder and add to smoothies or homemade lattes.
When you were young, your parents might have pretended that you had trees on your plate in order to get you to eat your broccoli. There's a reason why so many parents try to find ways to encourage their kids to eat it, though.
Broccoli has many antioxidants and other elements that are important to health. One is sulforaphane, which has been shown to protect against cancer. In just a cup of uncooked broccoli, you'll find all the vitamins K and C that you need in a day, along with folate, potassium, and manganese.
These are just a few of the green foods you should add to your diet. Others include Swiss chard, collard greens, asparagus, avocados, and Brussels sprouts. Rather than focusing on just one of these, try to find ways to include a variety. It will help prevent your diet from getting boring and give your body a variety of nutrients.