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Healthy Greens for St. Paddy’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day has developed a reputation as a night to party and drink green beer. That may be fun during your college years, but there are some much healthier ways to incorporate a little green into your diet on this Irish holiday–and you can get your kids involved, too.
Green foods offer some of the most potent health benefits of any food color group. They are packed with powerful antioxidants, which have been shown to help prevent cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. And, of course, they’re full of vitamins and minerals too.
Here are five foods to create at a nutrition-packed (and family-friendly) meal can help you get more green into your diet every day of the year.
- Use spinach in your salad: Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins, plus manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. Even better, researchers have already identified at least 13 different kinds of health-promoting flavonoid compounds in this green super food. Flavonoids help stop oxidation, which has been linked to cancer and heart disease.
- Use avocado as a spread – or throw some in your soup: Avocado’s creamy texture comes from monounsaturated fat (MUFA) – the good kind of fat, which helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, and increases HDL (good) cholesterol. It's loaded with heart-healthy potassium, too.
- Put some bok choy in your stir-fry: This Chinese favorite is packed with Vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, and phytonutrients. Plus, it's very filling, high in fiber, and low in calories. There are four different kinds of boy choy, so if you are a newbie to this vegetable go for the baby bok choy. It has a delicate flavour and is mild enough to use in salads.
- Have a kiwi for dessert: We don’t often associate green with sweet, but kiwi is just that—a sweet, green treat. Eat it on its own or in a fruit salad, either way it packs a serious nutritional punch. It has more antioxidant Vitamin C than an orange, and more heart-healthy potassium than a banana.
- Sip on green tea: Green tea contains high levels of antioxidant polyphenols, and studies have demonstrated that green tea may protect against developing cancer and heart diseases. Best of all, its calorie-free! Just be careful to avoid all those commercially bottled green teas. They are full of sugars and high in calories. One drink can have as much as 250 calories.
Enjoy your healthy St. Patrick’s Day, free of green beer. This may be the start of a new family tradition!
Find more healthy eating tips from registered dietitians at Health Castle. com.