Eating the Rainbow: Part 3 .... GREEN
Nutrition and benefits
Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, etc.) are especially good for reducing your chances of cancer. Chlorophyll is the main nutrient we associate with green vegetables and fruit, but they also include fiber, zeaxanthin, calcium, folate, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. Because of all those healthy attributes, green fruits and vegetables are known to decrease blood pressure, decrease LDL cholesterol, improve digestion, support vision, fight free radicals, and help your immune system.
Quick list of some of the green fruits and vegetables
artichokes. arugula. asparagus, avocado, broccoli, broccoli rabe, Brussels sprouts, celery, Chinese cabbage, cucumbers, endive, green apples, green beans, green cabbage, green grapes, green onion, green pears, green pepper, honeydew, kiwifruit, leafy greens, leeks, lettuce, limes, okra, peas, snow peas, spinach, sugar snap peas, watercress, zucchini
Tips and facts about specific green fruits and vegetables
- Artichokes – Technically, an artichoke is not a vegetable. It’s a thistle, but don’t eat the thistle part (the choke). Artichokes protect against cancer, boost the immune system, lower cholesterol, protect against diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes. They also aid in liver health and digestion. They may be awkward to eat, but they do a lot once you eat them.
- Arugula – Arugula falls into the leafy green category. As such it is wonderful for your health. It reduces the risk of cancer and helps eyesight. It also helps your brain, metabolic system function, and boosts the immune system.
- Asparagus – People sometimes call asparagus a superfood. It supplies vitamins A, C, E, K and B6 plus folate, iron, copper, calcium, protein and fiber. It helps weight loss, prevents urinary tract infections, and has antioxidants that fight cancer. It also can ease hangovers – although, I’m not sure I would want to eat asparagus for breakfast.
- Avocado – Who likes guacamole? One of the best fruits (yes, it’s a fruit, not a vegetable) is the avocado. And guacamole is one of the best uses for it. It’s also great as a spread on a sandwich in place of mayonnaise. Vitamins in an avocado are, C, E, K, B6, potassium, magnesium, lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acid. It also has fiber. It’s good for your heart, vision, bones, preventing cancer and improving digestion.
- Broccoli - Broccoli is what is known as a cruciferous vegetable (like, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc.) I have read that we should eat one cruciferous vegetable per day. Broccoli is a good source of vitamins K and C. It also has folate, potassium, and fiber. It helps form bones and body tissue. And the vitamins in it help prevent cancer.
- Brussels sprouts- Brussels sprouts have many of the same attributes as broccoli. It is rich in vitamins C and K and is a good source of B6, manganese, folate, fiber, choline, copper, B1, potassium, phosphorous, and omega-3 fatty acids. What great nutrient protection in all areas.
- Celery – Oh, oh… I see a pattern forming here. Celery is falling right in step with other green vegetables. It’s a great source of antioxidants as well as vitamins K and C, potassium, folate and B6.
- Cucumbers – Because cucumbers are so full of water, I have underestimated their value. They contain multiple B vitamins and are rich in water and fiber, which aid in digestion. Keep cucumbers nearby when you are stressed as they are known to ease anxiety.
- Green cabbage – Green cabbage is also known as a superfood and supplies many of the helping qualities of other green cruciferous vegetables, and it is especially good for the digestive system and for preventing cancer.
- Green grapes – Green grapes have lots of positive qualities. They are loaded with antioxidants and a wide range of phytonutrients. Thus, they help prevent skin problems, are a great source of potassium, are good for vision, brain power (yay… who couldn’t use a little more brain power), and have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Green onion – Green onions contain carotenoids, including Vitamin A lutein, and zeaxanthin. So, they are great for your eyes and vision.
- Green pepper- Green peppers are powerful antioxidants, and they have anti-inflammatory properties and are helpful in relieving arthritis. Also, they are loaded with fiber that will help care for your colon.
- Honeydew melon – Honeydews contain lots of water and lots of potassium. Therefore, they are very good for helping you maintain a good blood pressure reading. They also promote skin and tissue repair.
- Kiwi fruit – Kiwi contain a powerhouse of antioxidants and are high in fiber. They are known to be good for sleep and relaxation as well as for the digestion. Don’t eat the fuzzy peel.
- Leafy greens – Eat dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, arugula, etc.) every day. They are powerful and give you good nutrients that: burn fat, slow aging, help your heart, protect against cancer, and help your skin.
- Leeks – Leeks are closely related to onions. They add fiber to your diet as well as many vitamins and antioxidants.
- Okra – Okra contains a bunch of nutrients that keep your energy up, help to maintain good cholesterol levels, boost your immune system, protect your vision, and prevent liver disease.
- Peas – Peas are a good source of protein for those of you who wonder where plant eaters get their protein. Peas help regulate blood sugar, prevent stomach cancer, prevent heart disease, keep skin from aging, reduces cholesterol, etc.
- Zucchini – Zucchini also has a wide array of attributes. It is a good source of antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, and B Vitamins. It helps to maintain good vision and eye health, control diabetes, improve digestion, and has some anti-inflammatory properties.
I hope you can easily see that green fruits and vegetables contain a powerhouse of nutrients and healthy properties. Don’t forget to eat them every day.
To see the other posts in this series...
be kind - be the change
be the healthiest version of yourself
be kind - be the change
be the healthiest version of yourself