Eat Your Winter Greens
You may have heard that eating your greens is good for you, but did you know just how many health benefits there are? Especially in the winter season, it can feel hard to get in all your winter greens, but we are here to help! We will offer you some of our favorite greens (which now can be found all year long due to greenhouses) but we will also make sure you know which greens are seasonal. Leafy winter greens have so many amazing benefits. Let's take a deeper look.
At Merigold we care for more than just your skin, but your whole person. We believe that combining the power of plants in both your skincare and your food- is one of the most loving things you can do for yourself! Plus, our founder Hillary is a Natural Food Chef, Nutritionist, and Nurse...she can't help it!
Winter Greens Health Benefits
Fiber is an important part of any diet, and leafy greens are a great source of dietary fiber. Fiber helps to keep you regular by moving food through your digestive system at a healthy pace. Additionally, fiber has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and it can also help to regulate blood sugar levels.
Aid in Bodies Detoxification
Eating green vegetables is one of the best things you can do for your health. Not only are they packed with nutrients, but they also help to cleanse the gut and provide dietary fiber. Green vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, and they can even help to detoxify the body by aiding in the removal of toxins and waste products. So next time you're looking for a healthy way to improve your diet, make sure to include plenty of green vegetables. Your body will thank you for it!
Packed with Vitamins and Minerals
Leafy greens are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Folate, for example, is important for pregnant women as it helps to prevent birth defects. Iron is essential for carrying oxygen throughout the body, and calcium is vital for strong bones and teeth. Leafy greens are also a good source of vitamins A, C, and E—all of which are important antioxidants that can help to protect the body from disease.
While a healthy diet can't guarantee cancer prevention, certain foods may help to reduce your risk. Leafy greens like spinach and kale are packed with phytonutrients, which are plant-based chemicals that offer many health benefits. These phytonutrients may offer cancer-preventing benefits by helping to neutralize harmful toxins in the body. Some studies have shown that phytonutrients may help to protect against cancer by boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and keeping cell growth in check. In addition, leafy greens are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. They're low in calories but high in fiber, which can promote a healthy digestive system. So if you're looking to lower your cancer risk, make sure to include plenty of leafy greens in your diet.
Add Green Veggies to your Shopping List
As you can see, there are many good reasons to make sure that leafy greens are a part of your diet. Plan to include these powerful plants in your next veggie garden or next time you're at the grocery store or farmers market, stock up. Your body will thank you!
Some of Our Favorite Leafy Greens
Easy to Find Winter Greens:
Kale: Kale is a nutrient powerhouse. It's packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium, iron, and magnesium. It's also a great source of fiber.
Spinach: Like kale, spinach is full of vitamins and minerals. It's a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and iron.
Swish Chard: Swiss chard is another leafy green that's high in vitamins and minerals. It's especially rich in vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and magnesium.
Brussels Sprouts: Brussels sprouts may not be everyone's favorite vegetable, but they're definitely worth eating. They're a good source of vitamins C and K, as well as fiber and manganese.
Broccoli: Broccoli is another vegetable that's packed with nutrients. It's rich in vitamins C and K, as well as fiber.
Collard Greens: Collard greens are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium, manganese, and copper. Plus they are a good source of fiber and protein, making them a perfect addition to any healthy diet.
Easy to Find Greens Year Round:
Arugula: Arugula, also known as rocket or rucola, is a leafy green vegetable with a slightly peppery taste. It is often used in salads, sandwiches, and pizzas. Arugula is a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as iron and calcium.
Greens on the Rise:
Microgreens: Young vegetable greens that are approximately one to three inches tall. They are harvested just after the first true leaves have developed. Microgreens have a more intense flavor than their mature counterparts and are often used as a garnish or as a flavor enhancer in recipes. In addition to their culinary appeal, microgreens also offer a variety of health benefits.
Dandelion Greens: An excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K. They also contain manganese, calcium, iron, and potassium. Dandelion greens have been shown to improve digestion, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce inflammation. Does have a bitter taste.
Mustard Greens: Rich in vitamins A, C, and K. They also contain magnesium, calcium, iron, and potassium. Mustard greens have been shown to boost the immune system, improve gut health, and reduce inflammation.
Parsley: A good source of vitamins A, C, and K. It also contains folic acid, iron, and calcium. Parsley has been shown to improve digestion, lower blood pressure levels, and reduce inflammation.
Bok choy: An excellent source of vitamins A and C. It also contains calcium and iron. Bok choy has been shown to improve gut health and reduce inflammation.
Broccoli Raab (different than broccoli and actually in the turnip family): A good source of vitamins A and C. It also contains calcium and iron. Broccoli raab has been shown to improve gut health, lower blood pressure levels, and reduce inflammation.
Turnip greens: An excellent source of vitamins A and C. They also contain calcium and manganese. Turnip greens have been shown to improve gut health while reducing inflammation throughout the body.
Getting More Greens
According to the USDA, adults should consume between 1 and 3 cups of leafy greens per day as part of a healthy diet. Some greens are a bit rougher and have thicker cell walls. Which might result in an upset stomach or gas due to being harder for the gut to digest. So here are some ideas on how to prep and make sure you're getting enough leafy greens in your diet.
Eating plenty of winter greens will help you stay healthy all winter long!
Tips and Tricks on How to Get More Greens on the Menu
- Try adding them to smoothies or juices (blending helps naturally break down the hard-to-digest cell walls and helps release the beneficial components that can now be absorbed)
- Use them as a base for salads
- Massage your greens (especially those that are a little tougher aka kale). Cut the greens (removing the thick stems- which you can set aside and use in a stir-fry or saute), add lemon juice and/or olive oil, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and "massage" greens with clean hands. After massaging allow greens to sit and absorb oil and soften. This improves digestibility!
- Lightly sauté them either alone or with other vegetables.
- Steam with a small amount of water or broth.
- Use as a wrap, you can either do this by steaming, baking, or eating raw (Think lettuce wraps, stuffed Swiss Chard, etc)
- Add to soup (Any nutrients that are lost with simmer, such as vitamin C and folate are counteracted when you consume the broth!)
- Mix and match cooked and raw greens. Doing this can help give great texture to a dish and maximize nutrients.
- Raw greens have been shown to have maximum folate and vitamin C preservation.
- While cooked provides the optimum levels of cancer-preventing antioxidants and easy digestibility.
You can also try experimenting with different recipes to find leafy greens that you enjoy eating. With a little effort, it's easy to make sure you're getting the nutrients you need from these power plants!
Time to Eat Some Winter Greens
Winter greens are one of the best things you can eat during the winter. They are packed with nutrients and antioxidants that will help keep your immune system up and running. They are also a great source of fiber, which is important for keeping your digestive system healthy. Winter greens are also low in calories and fat, making them a great addition to any diet. There are many different types of winter greens, so there is sure to be one that you love. So make sure to include winter greens in your diet this winter, and you'll be sure to stay healthy all season long.