Packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre, phytonutrients and chlorophyll, why wouldn't you want to incorporate leafy greens into your diet. Admittedly, they're not the most appetising veg to go on the side of your plate but hopefully, this blog post will give you some inspiration on how you can incorporate leafy greens into your diet.
Low in calories and high in vitamins, spinach is packed with vitamins A and C, as well as folate. Spinach is best cooked as the heat reduces its oxalate content which helps free up its dietary calcium. Basically cooked spinach will give you a little more nutrition than raw spinach. Spinach tends to have a very short shelf life so it's best buying frozen spinach unless you plan on eating a whole bag of spinach in two-three days.
There is a variety of kale in supermarkets but the most common type is curly kale, this has the mildest, palatable flavour. Kale can be worked into smoothies and salads, but also lightly cooked. It's an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K and also supplies folate and potassium. If your not a big fan of kale then try adding small amounts to pasta dishes or smoothies and you won't be able to taste it!
Herbs are often forgotten as leafy greens but when combined with other dishes you can create a really delicious meal with loads of antioxidants. Parsley and basil are great herbs to add to pasta dishes and salads because of there great flavour. If your feeling a little more adventurous why not add them to a smoothie.
This leafy green often gets forgotten but actually provides many of the same benefits as broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Arugula is mainly used in salads but can also be incorporated into pasta, casseroles, and sauces just like other leafy greens. Due to its peppery flavour, it can add a twist to most dishes but tends to cook faster because of its tenderness.
Surprisingly watercress is a member of the cabbage family along with other greens such as mustard greens and kale. Watercress is commonly added to salads as it has a slight peppery taste which can complement other leafy greens. Watercress takes no preparation time so can be easily incorporated into your diet without wasting time. Like the other leafy greens on this list, one cup of the stuff has more than your daily value of vitamin K and is also linked to cancer prevention.
How to Add Leafy Greens to your Diet
Incorporating leafy greens into your diet will help you get the vitamins and minerals your body needs, but don't worry if you can't stomach them on there own, we have some tips into sneaking these veggies into your diet.
As soon as winter comes around people start gravitating towards comfort food and forget about the healthy stuff. We suggest adding your leafy greens to pies, soups and stews to give them a bit of colour and an interesting texture.
Pasta dishes are a great excuse to add leafy greens to your meal, for example, try adding kale and herbs to your pasta and watch your meal instantly become healthier. Or why not try making your own pesto with spinach and then all you need to add is pasta.
Sometimes packed lunches become a tad mundane, we like to incorporate them into healthy wraps such as falafel, spinach and hummus, these always go down a treat. But feel free to add them to your plain sandwich to spice things up.
Smoothies and juicing are a great way to get your 5 a day and many people don't realise they can juice leafy greens. Spinach and Kale are great for juicing as they add a great colour to any juice or blend.
The easiest way to add leafy greens into your dinner is by a stir fry! you can chuck any vegetable in and instantly make it delicious with any sauce of your choosing.
If you fancy making your own healthy crisps, kale is a really good option because of how dense it is. When seasoned these crips taste exactly like ready salted, which are perfect for dipping.
Leafy greens are an important part of your diet because they are so high in vitamins and minerals but It's important to change up your veggies every once in a while and you never know you might find something you really like.