I remember when I was a kid how I used to hate anything green my Mom would put in front of me at the dinner table. Broccoli, spinach, asparagus, green beans, or pretty much any vegetable for that matter. Back then, and I’m not going to mention any dates, no one could offer a good enough reason to choke those things down. I’m not sure “a good reason” would have mattered much, but you never know.
These days we have a much better idea of what eating healthy can do for the human body, and at any age for that matter. Now, I can’t even imagine eating a meal at home without a vegetable on my plate. My tastes have certainly changed over the years, but now there is much more information about why certain vegetables should be a part of your daily diet.
Among some of the best reasons are the ability to fight off cancer, cardiovascular disease, and improve overall body health to fight off colds and illness. Some vegetables are considered “power-house” foods that are packed with vitamins, nutrients, and other natural forms of minerals that our bodies need everyday to stay healthy.
Here are some of the best “Power of Green” vegetables for you:
- Broccoli – a member of the cabbage family, and is closely related to Cauliflower. It is a strong source of vitamin C and K, vitamin E, folate, and fiber (among other vitamins and nutrients).
- Asparagus – is a spring perennial vegetable that contains B6, folate, vitamin K, potassium, and fiber.
- Spinach – Rich in vitamins and minerals, Spinach also contains powerful antioxidants.
- Kale – is considered one of the “Super Foods” by many experts. It contains an incredible amount of vitamin K (blood and bone health), great source of vitamin A & C, and 16 other sources of nutrients.
- Bell Peppers – Ok, so Bell Peppers come in Yellow, Red, and even Purple, but still the Green Bell Pepper is considered a “green vegetable.” 🙂 Good source of vitamin C, A, and E, while containing antioxidants.
- Leafy Green Lettuce – Contains vitamins A, B2, B6, C, E, folate, calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and fiber.
While this is not a comprehensive list of all green vegetables, and their benefits, all vegetables add great value to any meal plan. For more power foods, go to the Cleveland Clinic website to read more about “power foods.” There should be no doubt by now, that a healthy diet, along with regular exercise can be a major part of creating a lifestyle that can increase your happiness, longevity, and your appearance. Remember the “Power of Green” the next time you visit your grocery store.
Sources:* Cleveland Clinic (clevelandclinic.org) – a nonprofit multi-specialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. * World’s Healthiest Foods (http://www.whfoods.com) – Website created by the George Mateljan Foundation providing information about the benefits of healthy eating.