Wining & Dining
Kale, Yeah! 
Learn to Love Your Greens
3/1/2019 12:00:00 AM

Dark, leafy greens are chock full of nutrients such as vitamins A, C, E, and K, and minerals including iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Many greens contain a variety of B vitamins as well. These nutrients are essential for heart, eye, bone, gut, and immune health, just to name a few benefits. Most greens also contain health-enhancing phytonutrients (natural, plant-based chemicals). For example, greens have a high content of a family of powerful antioxidants called carotenoids, which pack a powerful cancer-fighting punch. In addition, greens are very high in fiber, a nutrient which is typically lacking in American diets. 
According to the USDA Grand Forks Human Nutrition Resource Center, eating two to three servings per week of green leafy vegetables reduces the risk of stomach, breast, and skin cancer. Other studies show increased vegetable and greens consumption reduces heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. If you eat them daily, the health benefits increase.  

Greens may also be some of the healthiest sources of proteins. The amount of proteins per calorie is surprisingly high in greens such as spinach or kale. While a steak may deliver a large protein load, it also carries with it a lot of health damaging baggage like saturated animal fats and cholesterol. Because greens are high in water and fiber, your hunger is satisfied with far fewer calories.

March is National Nutrition Month and the best health food is the one you will actually eat. Don’t focus on the latest super-food fad. Just find some green, leafy vegetables that appeal to you and prepare them how you like. It may take some trial and error, but don’t give up! Learning to love your greens is a delicious and nutritious prescription for better health.

Try these easy ways to incorporate greens into your meals:

Add greens such as spinach or kale to a salad. Baby kale is sweeter.  

Sauté greens with onions, mushrooms and seasonings to your taste.

Add frozen greens to your favorite smoothie recipe.

Use a variety of dark greens on a sandwich or in a wrap.

Use chopped greens as a nutrition-booster in an omelet.

Puree the greens and add to your favorite marinara sauce.


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