By Evelyn Kretzer
It is no secret that eating leafy greens is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but it can be difficult to include them in your diet. Here are some ways you can easily incorporate them into your life!
Why Leafy Greens Are Important
Vegetables, specifically leafy greens, can offer numerous health benefits. Dark leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach, are rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K. The dark greens supply high levels of fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. These vegetables also contain a significant amount of carotenoids-antioxidants, which protects cells and helps block the early stages of cancer. Despite the numerous health benefits, less than 10 percent of adults eat the recommended amount of vegetables.
- How much leafy greens do we need every day?
- The USDA recommends adults eat two to three cups of dark leafy greens each day.
How to Incorporate Leafy Greens in Your Diet
Ava Johnson at Southeast Urban Farm recognizes how difficult it can be to reach for a healthy snack when we are surrounded by processed, convenient snacks. Her goal is to see people live a healthier lifestyle and eating a diet full of leafy greens plays a huge role in that.
Here are some ways to incorporate leafy greens in your diet in an appealing and realistic way:
Perhaps the most obvious option is making a mixed greens salad. There are many ways to customize a salad to fit your own tastes. Plus, you have ranch dressing to fall back on if necessary.
Collard wraps are the most popular leafy green wraps, where you use a leafy green vegetable as the wrap. Tortillas are high in calories, can be full of preservatives and often lack the nutrients they originally had due to mass production. Another alternative to the classic wheat wrap is keto lettuce wraps.
Vegetable soup can be an acquired taste for those of us who have picky palettes, but it is a great way to have a meal packed with nutritious vegetables.
To flood your tastebuds with flavor and nutrients, vegetable stir fry is a delicious way to incorporate your vegetables for the day.
Try putting your leafy greens in a smoothie for a quick and easy option that allows you to take your greens on-the-go.
And for a safe option, cook your leafy greens into pasta dishes. Check out this recipe from The Healthy Epicurean.
Where to get your leafy greens
Grocery stores offer a wide range of vegetables and produce, but if you want a fresher option, while supporting a local, woman-owned small business, Southeast Urban Farm is a Columbus farm that provides freshly grown produce that can go from the farm to your table.
Ava Johnson is a second-generation farmer who wants to see people eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle. She brought this vision to life when she created Southeast Urban Farm, which is going on its seventh year. Ava devotes her time and efforts on green vegetables, such as kale, collards, parsley and cabbage. She is even known as the Green Queen.
Southeast Urban Farm offers delivery and pickup services.
Now that you know how to incorporate green veggies into your diet, come by the Southeast Urban Farm to take a tour or volunteer to have a hand in the produce you will eat!