Eat Your Greens, Part 1

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Because so many greens are at their peak in winter, now’s a great time to start adding them into your diet. And if you feel like a rabbit munching on a bowl of greens, we’ve got some great tips for how you can incorporate them in more interesting ways.

Bok Choy: Also known as Chinese cabbage, it not only provides abundant amounts of vitamins A, C and K, but also provides calcium, folate and antioxidants. While calcium aids in bone health, folate, a B-vitamin, is essential in cell production and nerve function. Folate is also good for mental fatigue, insomnia and depression. Bok Choy makes a great addition to stir-fries — cook both the leaves and the stalks!

Green Butter Lettuce:  Although its name sounds fattening, butter lettuce only has 15 calories for 3 ounces. It is a member of the aster or sunflower family. It is sweet in flavor and firm in texture and is lovely layered in a sandwich. It is a very good source of dietary fiber which is essential for healthy digestion.

Spinach: Spinach is one of the most nutrient dense vegetables around, and with its new-found versatility (take a look at our smoothie recipe on the blog), it’s easier than ever to benefit from. While high in vitamins K and A, it’s also a great source of manganese. Spinach is known for its bone-strengthening properties (vitamin K and manganese) and its energy producing properties (vitamin B6 and iron). Green Monster Spinach Smoothie can be found at here.

Rainbow Chard: Extremely popular in Mediterranean cooking, chard is characterized by its large leaves and colorful stalks, ranging from green to yellow to orange. Though the stems are beautiful, it is not recommended to eat them, as they are tough in texture. Chard, though not as popular as some other leafy greens, is one of the most nutrient-dense foods around, aiding in bone health, heart health and regulating blood-sugar levels. To cook chard, rinse the leaves under cold water and slice the leaves away from the stems in 1-2 inch pieces. Toss the leaves into risotto or quinoa dishes for an extra boost of color and nutrients.

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