They say that eating five helpings of fruit and vegetables every day gives us the nutrients we need to decrease the likelihood of serious medical conditions. But did you know that the stars of the show should be green foods?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us that delicious delights like peas, spinach, mustard and collard greens, green pepper, cabbage, kiwi, broccoli, and green plantains if you can find them, play an important role in your diet. That’s because green colored foods are rich in minerals, vitamins, and even antioxidants like lutein and indoles.

You might even know that you should be adding more greens to your diet. Maybe you’ve been putting it off?

To give you a little nudge in the green direction, here are 5 major benefits of green colored foods.
  1. Powerful Antioxidants
Green foods protect your body from toxins in your environment and from other foods you eat. In fact, the antioxidants found in green colored foods work to neutralize your body and flush out those toxins.
  1. A Natural Detox
Feeling sluggish, fatigued, and just a little “off?” Up your green food intake! Foods that are green are rich in chlorophyll, a pigment that packs a powerful detox punch. It’s also a natural deodorizer that can keep bad breath at bay (sprig of mint, anyone?). The darker the green of your fruit and vegetables, the more chlorophyll the food contains. The best way to get your intake is from raw vegetables like kale and broccoli.
  1. Balance pH Levels
Vegetables, particularly green ones, help to keep your pH levels stable and healthy by alkalizing your body. Green foods are rich in some of the most essential nutrients you need, like potassium, calcium, magnesium, and important vitamins like B, C, E, and K. All of these are important for optimum health.
  1. Fight off viruses
Green foods contain a ton of nutrients that may protect your immune system, fight off bacteria and viruses.
  1. Essential Fatty Acids
Dark, leafy greens like kale and spinach are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is essential for body functions, lowering bad cholesterol, and keeping your hair, skin,and nail healthier.

The best green colored foods to start eating

Whether you zap your greens in a juicer, make hearty soups, or eat them raw, here are some of the best greens to add to your daily diet starting now.
  1. Spinach
Spinach is a leading power food. It’s packed with tons of nutrients and just one cup of fresh raw spinach can load your body with its daily vitamins and minerals. It even carries a good amount of protein and fiber.

Plant-based compounds called glycoglycerolipids in spinach also help protect the digestive track from inflammation.

Spinach has cancer fighting properties, may help regulate blood pressure, and aid in eye sight.
  1. Kale
Kale is delicious sautéed, baked, and even raw in salad. It’s nutritious, low in calories, and has no fat. It’s also high in calcium, fiber, iron, and vitamins C, A, and K. Kale is a natural way to detox, lowers cholesterol, and may even improve your bone health.
  1. Green Apples
When last did you take a bite of a Granny Smith apple? I love how crisp and tart these green apples are, and they work so well as a snack, juiced, or even baked. Green apples are also high in potassium, fiber, and antioxidants, along with a whole host of essential vitamins. Apples promote weight loss, are a great remedy for constipation, and aid in the health of your skin and teeth.
  1. Cucumbers
Mostly made of water, cucumbers are refreshing, crisp, and a decent snack. They’re also filled with vitamins and minerals. Cucumbers are a hydrating fruit that, when you leave the skin on, provide a hefty dose of vitamin C, too.

If you’re not a big fan of plain, ol’ water, add a few slices of cucumber to your glass or stick them in to your juices. Cucumbers are amazing for rehydration, offer anti-inflammatory properties, and help control your blood pressure.

Do you have a favorite green colored food?

 

Check out my health and wellness tips at marksalinas.com.

 

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