Keep Your Diet Colorful With These 8 Green Veggies
Adding more green vegetables to your diet is one of your best bets for keeping nutrients high and calories low. Whether they're the cornerstone of your lunchtime salad, the finishing touch on your dinner dish, or just enjoyed straight up as a snack, it's easy to be green with this many tasty options!
Popeye may have been on to something. At only 23 calories per cup, spinach will fill you up while providing a healthy dose of iron, calcium and vitamin A. Be it fresh or frozen, cooked or raw, sauced or plain; keeping spinach in your diet is one habit to maintain.
Though its sudden rise in status has made it almost a joke, kale is more than just the latest trending super-food. A 49 calorie and 100 gram serving is rich in thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, vitamin E, vitamin B6, folate, iron, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. While the biggest health benefits will come from eating it raw, since cooking diminishes many of these nutrients, vitamins A, C, and K, and manganese are still plentiful even in cooked kale.
This classic salad and sandwich staple never goes out of style. Darker varieties like romaine have more nutrients than the lighter iceberg, with higher concentrations of nutrients like beta-carotene, folate, and iron, but any variety of lettuce is guaranteed to fill you up and satisfy your craving to crunch for almost no caloric impact.
4. AsparagusAsparagus is a great source of many vitamins and nutrients and of the amino acid asparagine, which even gets its name from the delicious plant and is also a natural diuretic. Asparagus has also been hypothesized to ease hangovers and fight cancer by alleviating cellular toxicities, and even to have an aphrodisiac effect!
It's worth putting in the work needed to enjoy this particularly a-peel-ing green vegetable. Known for its high vitamin K content and crisp, refreshing taste, this staple veggie also is rich in magnesium, potassium, and manganese, and its high water content will help keep you hydrated.
Celery has also been getting some buzz lately due to the recent craze for juicing it, but you'll get more fiber and just as many nutrients if you just eat the vegetable itself or use it to add texture and bulk to your favorite salad. Celery's seeds can also be used as a spice, and it will give you your fill of vitamins K, vitamin A, potassium, and folate.
Broccoli may have gotten a bad rap at your childhood lunch table, but now that your palate has hopefully matured, this member of the cabbage family may be the perfect addition to your green-vegetable roster. It contains tons of vitamins K and C along with several kinds of vitamin B, and even a little protein to boot!
Though it may technically be a fruit, avocados are a great addition to your dieting repertoire. They are a little higher in calories and fat than the other vegetables listed here, which is why they aren't allowed until phase 3 of the 123 Diet, but they're also full of oleic acid, which has been linked to reduced inflammation and lower cholesterol levels. Use avocado as a substitute for unhealthier fats like butter as a spread or in cooking, and your heart and your taste buds will both be satisfied!