Have you ever thought about what really feeds your body to keep it healthy, strong and energetic? Our bodies are starving for more nutrients as well as less sugar and processed foods.
Do you know the benefits of eating dark greens or perhaps just adding in vegetables and fruits throughout your day? Eating a plethora of real whole foods, single ingredient and low in additives, is essential for vitamins such as A, B, C, D, K, riboflavin, thiamin, and folate, as well as minerals such as iron, copper, chromium, calcium, magnesium.
Phytonutrients are chemicals created in plants; they are potent antioxidants. "Antioxidants are substances such as vitamin C and E that removes potentially damaging oxidizing agents in a living cell." All green plants contain chlorophyll, which helps to alkalize the blood.
My favorite greens are kale, arugula, spinach, swiss chard, and romaine, but some others are dandelion greens, collards, chinese cabbage, broccolini, and bok choy.
Some of the ways I get these nutrients into my daily regiment are by adding them to green smoothies, in my omelet for breakfast, in soups and even stir-fry. If at dinnertime I haven't gotten those nutrients in, I'll make a mixed green or romaine salad and throw my protein and veggies right on top.
I most often cook my vegetables, either roasted or sauteed in a bit of healthy oil. So that I'm not doubling up on fat, I usually use a dollop of hummus to add something dressing-like, or perhaps salsa or a splash of coconut aminos and sometimes even just a drizzle of apple cider vinegar.
Other times the salad doesn't need anything, it's perfect the way it is with its protein and variety of healthy carbohydrates via mostly vegetables and sometimes quinoa, sweet potato, garbanzo beans or rice.
Your body can more easily absorb the vitamins and minerals if you incorporate a healthy fat with dark leafy greens. You can use olive, avocado, or even hemp oil which are all excellent options. Just be aware of how much oil you use because the calories can add up. 1 tbsp is about 120 calories, on average. Avocado or nuts and seeds are other significant forms of healthy fats.
Other vegetables to incorporate into your diet regularly are cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, kale, and radishes. They are known as cruciferous vegetables, which are rich in folate and vitamin k as well as vitamins A and C.
Cruciferous vegetables are also high in fiber and low in calories. You can easily incorporate all of these vegetables, high in a variety of nutrients, with a bit of effort. You can steam, roast and sautee them with some eaten raw. Also, ever tried kale chips? They are easy to make and delicious.
Carrots, peppers, green beans, garlic, onions, mushrooms, cucumber, and celery are also vegetables in my fridge. If I make soup or a stir-fry, I always incorporate a few different vegetables into it.
Do you eat oatmeal for breakfast or overnight oats? Throw in some berries or a clementine, or cut up a banana. Are you on the go and need a quick snack? Grab an apple or a handful of grapes. The natural sugars will give you a little boost to keep you going and satisfy your hunger.
Do you have one of those spiralizer gadgets? You can spiralize zucchini, sweet potatoes, carrots, even apples. Pinterest is my go-to website for recipes. You could use those zucchini noodles or sweet potato noodles in place of pasta or just sautee them and enjoy. Have you tried riced cauliflower in place of rice? Omg, have you tried cauliflower pizza crust! I've even tried sweet potato pizza crust and they both have so many options for toppings.
How about making chili with added veggies? Cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms and really anything can be added into it. Maybe it'll be a little different than the usual chili but why not add some more veggies to it? Or to anything you are making for any meal, cause our body needs nutrients to function adequately.
Why not add some chopped onions, celery, even an apple to your chicken salad? I sometimes add some grated cucumber or carrots to my overnight oats. Add in some berries and a drizzle of nut butter and you won't even taste the veggies. Have you ever tried to add cucumber, carrots or celery to your smoothies? Check out this green smoothie recipe.
The possibilities are absolutely endless and the benefits are so high. Nutritionally, all vegetables and fruits have a variety of different vitamins and minerals to nourish your body in all the healthy ways they do. Adding extra fiber, as some do, keeps you feeling full longer, which can also aid in weight loss.
What are you making for dinner that you can add additional vegetables to? Our bodies need nutrients to perform all of the tasks we have to get done throughout the day. I dare you to try and incorporate a few more fruits and vegetables throughout your day.
"One bite at a time!" -Vern Groves
“I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” Genesis 1:29