- Greens are a must-have in any diet. They provide our bodies with vital nutrients and fibre. Consuming more greens promotes the functioning of the digestive system, as well as contributes to eye health, improves the condition of the skin, prevents obesity, and helps keep your heart healthy.
- Dietitians say that one half of a healthy daily diet should be made up of fruits and veggies. But you don't necessarily have to eat salads to include more greens in your diet. There are many other healthy ways to get all the necessary fibre and nutrients from vegetables.
- The easiest way to consume more greens is by drinking them. FUL® sparkling spirulina drinks, smoothies, and juices are great options that can also serve as excellent pre or post-workout drinks. It's a quick way to get a nutrient boost without actually preparing a full meal.
- Those who don't like salads can try including greens and vegetables in their snacks. For instance, you can make homemade kale chips, blend the greens with hummus or guacamole, or make a fresh wrap.
Greens are an inevitable part of any healthy diet, and all the dieticians recommend consuming them daily. But why is that? While most of us include greens in our meals because of their high fibre content, it's not all that these superfoods have to offer. Green vegetables are extremely rich in minerals, vitamins and many other nutrients that support our health.
Dark Green Vegetables: Health Benefits
One of the most well-known advantages of dark green vegetables is that they contain a lot of fibre but are low in calories. Foods with a high fibre content help us to feel full longer, as well as lower cholesterol levels. Consumption of high-fibre foods can also promote digestion.
Dark green vegetables also contain a lot of essential vitamins such as vitamins A, K, C, and B. Vitamin A is excellent at promoting eye and skin health as well as fighting infections, while vitamin C is a great antioxidant that helps with wound healing. In addition, B-vitamin folate and vitamin K are necessary for maintaining a healthy heart.
Greens are also loaded with minerals, including iron, potassium, and calcium - all of which contribute to general homeostasis in the body. Some scientific studies have found that regularly consuming vegetables lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
Dark green vegetables also slow the absorption of natural sugars, which helps to balance overall blood sugar levels. And if you add a little healthy fat to your greens - such as olive oil or avocado, it'll help your body to fully absorb all the nutrients.
The general rule is that vegetables and fruits should make up 50% of what we eat. But it's also important to combine various vegetables in your meals because each of them has a unique nutritional profile and offers different benefits. But if you have a hard time eating fresh greens or you are not a fan of salads, we found some creative ways for you to include greens in your diet and get all the nutrients you need.
Best Ways to Eat More Greens
1. Enjoy FUL® Spirulina Drinks
Spirulina is one of the top dietary supplements available on the market, and it gives you a quick and easy way to get a nutrient boost. This algae is full of vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants. Spirulina is also a great source of plant protein, and it's low in calories and fat.
Spirulina is widely used for its anti-inflammatory properties, and studies have found that it can improve the immune system and lower oxidative stress on the body. It also helps to maintain healthy blood lipid and blood pressure levels as well as alleviate many chronic diseases.
One big downside of spirulina is that many people are repelled by its natural taste and smell. But don't worry, there's a way for you to get all the benefits from this algae in the form of a delicious drink. Sparkling spirulina drinks by FUL® are the best go-to natural beverages that will provide you with all the nutrients of spirulina without any of the taste. You don't have to worry about preparing the drink or measuring out the dosage - we've already done this for you! The drinks are available in different flavours, which makes them even more pleasant and exciting to consume!
2. Smoothies & Juices
Smoothies and juices are a classic way to enrich a diet with nutrients. The options here are countless, and you can experiment in any way you want. If you have never tried making green smoothies, you can start by adding spinach to your morning smoothie or protein drink.
You can also mix greens such as kale, spinach, and swiss chard with coconut water or yoghurt. If you want to sweeten the drink, add some berries and a natural sweetener. Raspberries and blackberries work very well to cover the taste of the greens. You can also add some pepper or paprika to give the drink a little kick.
You can also use the same ingredients to make juices; all you need to do is to juice all the vegetables together. However, you should keep in mind that juices don't provide as much fibre as whole fresh greens or smoothies. But they are still a great option for getting lots of vitamins and minerals.
3. Include Vegetables in Raw Wraps
Raw wraps are excellent both as a snack and meal. You can sneak vegetables inside them or use dark leafy greens as wraps instead!
You can use any vegetables of your choice as filling, including lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and olives. You can also add some cheese or hummus to the wrap to make it even more delicious. As for the wrapping itself, romaine leaves and collard greens work the best. A raw wrap is an easy and healthy alternative to a traditional burrito!
4. Homemade Kale Chips
The easiest way to incorporate vegetables into your diet is to consume them as snacks. Homemade kale chips are one of the many options. Just blend the vegetables with some seeds or cashews, add some herbs and spices, portion the mixture out onto a baking sheet, and put it in the oven for a few minutes! An easy and healthy snack is all set to go!
5. Sautéed Greens
If you don't like fresh greens, try to cook them instead. Sautéing is a quick and easy technique that saves all the nutritional value of vegetables. All you need to do is pour some olive oil into a pan, add some onion or garlic, and then add chopped vegetables. Sauté the greens until they are soft, and add some spices or lemon juice if you want.
If you don't know what vegetables to cook, try broccoli, spinach, bok choy, zucchini, green beans, kale, and brussels sprouts. You can add sautéed greens to your pasta, omelettes, grain bowls, casseroles, pizza, or meatballs. The options are countless!
A warm bowl of vegetable soup is another way to include more greens in your diet. You can make a cream soup or a traditional chopped vegetable soup. Add whatever greens you like: zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, collard greens, or spinach. You also can also blend one or two de-stemmed kale or chard leaves into your creamy soup to make the meal more nutritious and healthy.
7. Garnish Your Meal With Greens
A great way to eat more greens without having to make a salad is to add them on top of your meals. Mix some greens together in a food processor, add some garlic, sea salt, pepper, and olive oil, and you have a healthy and beautiful garnish! You can add it on top of your pasta, rice, cream soups, or any other meal. You can also mix this garnish into sauces for extra colour and nutrition. This trick will help provide your body with lots of nutrients and fibre, and you'll barely even notice it.
8. Hummus and Guac
What can be better than a quick snack of hummus or guacamole? To make this option healthier, you can either swap out chips for vegetables and dip them into hummus or blend some greens into hummus. Spinach works great, as it doesn't leave any unwanted taste but at the same time helps enrich your snack with nutrients. If you prefer to make guacamole yourself, try adding a handful of greens to it next time.
How can I get my greens every day?
The best ways to increase the proportion of greens in your diet is to blend them in your smoothies or protein shakes, make vegetable wraps, or add them to cream soups. Another option is to make a garnish from greens and add it to any meal you want, such as pasta, pizza, or grains.
Can I drink my greens instead of eating them?
Yes, you can easily get your daily greens intake through beverages! Smoothies and juices are the most popular options. Just add greens to your daily smoothie to enhance it with minerals and vitamins. For those who want to save time on prep and cleanup, FUL® sparkling spirulina drinks are a great alternative. Made from all-natural ingredients, these drinks will provide you with all the health benefits of spirulina.
How can I eat more greens if I don't like salad?
There are many alternative ways to include greens in your diet without having to eat salads. You can blend them into a smoothie or juices, make vegetable wraps, and add greens to your hummus or guacamole. Vegetable soups are also a great option to enjoy all the benefits.
What happens when you eat leafy greens every day?
Leafy green vegetables provide our bodies with many health benefits, which is why it's crucially important to include them in our diets. Vegetables and greens are full of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibre. Studies have found that regular consumption of leafy greens can reduce the risk of obesity, prevent heart disease, help to maintain normal blood pressure, and reduce mental decline.
Does blending vegetables destroy fibre?
No, blending vegetables doesn't destroy all the fibre. Blended or juiced vegetables have less fibre than fresh ones, but you still can benefit from all the nutrients. If you want to get more fibre, stick to smoothies rather than juices.