Walking down the produce aisle at the market and starring at the sea of leafy greens can be overwhelming. If it weren’t for those handy little signs in front of each product many of us would be lost. I have to admit there have been times when the signage has been overlooked and the wrong leafy green ended up in my fridge.
Here are a few tips to keep those leafy greens straight.
Kale happens to be one of those foods that I recently added to my “Must have in your refrigerator” list. Kale is easily spotted due to its ruffle leaves. Kale comes in a variety of colors that range from green to purple and black depending on the variety.
There are so many reasons to keep this leafy green around. Here are a few at the top of my list:
- Steam your kale and eating it could help lower your cholesterol.
- Cancer buster.
- Packed with nutrition including vitamins A C, and K.
- Kale’s flavonoids work as an antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory benefits.
My favorite way to eat kale- kale chips!
Collards are a member of the brassica family that includes highly nutritious vegetables like kale and broccoli. They’re usually associated with southern dishes. This leafy green gives kale a run for its money. If collard greens aren’t cooked properly they can be a bit tough and bitter (I know from firsthand experience!). Here’s a simple way to prepare them-simmer with garlic and olive oil for 30 to 45 minutes.
Collard greens, like kale, are a nutritional powerhouse. This leafy green is a good source of vitamin C and fiber, and can help fight cancer like the best of the greens.
If you’re taking a blood thinner eat your collard greens in moderation since they contain a lot of vitamin K (which helps clotting).
There’s some truth to Popeye’s spinach eating philosophy. Here’s what one cup of spinach is packed with:
- Nearly 20% of the recommended allowance of dietary fiber.
- Over 337% of the recommended allowance of vitamin A which helps to keep colds and other illnesses at bay and also helps to ward off infection.
- One cup of boiled spinach provides over 1000% of the RDA of vitamin K which helps to maintain the strength and density of our bones.
Spinach in a salad, sandwich, smoothie or stir fried with a little garlic and olive oil are my favorite ways to enjoy this leafy green.
Swiss chard comes in a few varieties, some with green, red or multi colored stalks. You may have heard it referred to as silverbeet, Roman kale, or strawberry spinach.
It’s closely related to spinach, although I think it tastes very different with almost a beet-like flavor (it’s also related to beets). Swiss chard is very low in calories with one cup having only 35 calories.
This leafy green is a great source of source of vitamins A, K, and C. It also is a good source of fiber, calcium, potassium and iron. Chard can provide support for your immune system and help protect against vision problems.
When preparing you can use both the leaves and the stalk. Once the cooler months kick in here’s a great swiss chard soup recipe to try.
What’s your favorite leafy green?