Updated: Mar 18
For a diet to be healthy, it has to be balanced. This means there has to be a balance between the micronutrients and macronutrients we consume.
Eating vegetables is always a good way to ensure that you have that balance in your diet. And the more colourful your plate the better! There is no competition between vegetables because all of them are a source of essential minerals and vitamins, but in today’s blog post I want to shine some light on the real superstar on your plate – the green vegetables!
Maybe because green is my favorite colour, or that green has been shown to have calming effects on us. Or maybe because one of the most nutrients dense vegetables – kale- is green? That’s a superstar on a plate every time!
So, are you ready to get green?
But before we start, are you part of my community? Join HERE my PRIVATE, FREE Facebook Group: Accelerate with Anna Doktor: A Health and Wellness Goals Building Community for the busy professionals to accelerate your health and wellness!
Why should you eat plants?
Let’s go back to basics and explore why eating plants is important to our health. We hear it all the time to eat more vegetables, the 5 A Day is a big campaign, yet so many of us still struggle to add more vegetables into our days.
First of all, eating vegetables contain vitamins and minerals which are essential for our survival. Without them, many vital, life-enhancing processes cannot be performed by your body. Maintaining a healthy level of minerals and vitamins is important because their levels impact your performance.
For example, iron, one of the minerals our body cannot survive without, is linked to energy. If we are deficient in iron, we will often feel tired, lacking energy, and feel like everything is much harder than it actually is.
Secondly, vegetables are a great source of antioxidants. And we know how important those are!
Antioxidants help our body to fight the free radicals which cause damage to our cells. They also help to reduce inflammation in your body. The more vegetables you consume, the more antioxidants you deliver to your body and the healthier you are.
Thirdly, your immune system will hugely benefit from all the surge of vitamins, especially vitamin C, which can be found in most vegetables. Think about your immune system as your shield against many viruses, bacteria, and infections. You want that shield to be as strong as possible so you can live in your optimal health and wellbeing and enjoy your life.
Are you green?
You may wonder why I put green vegetables in the spotlight when really eating any vegetables, no matter the colour, is good for your health.
Green vegetables are the most nutritious of all of the vegetables. They are an excellent source of B vitamins, folate, iron, vitamin K. They are the richest group of vegetables containing antioxidants.
In addition, their calorie and carbohydrate content is very low.
Green plants (especially leafy greens) contain a natural component called chlorophyll. Thanks to chlorophyll the greens are, well, green. But chlorophyll helps plants to absorb the energy from the Sun during a process of photosynthesis. The higher content of chlorophyll, the more energy you will have thanks to eating it!
But for me, the biggest reason for eating green vegetables is the bitter taste. That is right. The bitterness in the greens helps to regulate your taste buds and enhance your pallet. That is why eating green vegetables is the best weapon in fighting sugar addiction.
So, you may ask how to add more of those beauties into your diet? I’m glad you’ve asked because I’m about to share my 5 favourite ways.
5 ways to eat more green vegetables
1. Eat them raw – you don’t have to cook green vegetables; you only need to wash them. As most of the green vegetables are leaves, you don’t even need to chop them. You just use the whole leaves or randomly tear them into smaller chunks. Talking about a time-saving hack, right?
2. Salads – if you are short on time (and who isn’t?) add your greens into a salad. A quick and easy salad either as your main or a side dish is always a winner in my house. You can be as creative with salads as you want, but many green vegetables have an abundance of vitamins and minerals so you can be certain that you deliver your 5 a day.
3. Make a smoothie – if you really struggle with the bitter taste, then go for a smoothie. Green vegetables are great smoothie ingredients because they contain all the needed vitamins and minerals, and they give you this beautiful enhancing green colour! Also, smoothies are so in fashion at the moment. I always start a day with a green smoothie. This way I can make sure that no matter how busy my day will be, I delivered the needed nutrients first thing in the morning! That puts less pressure on me for the rest of the day.
4. Add herbs – an interesting thing to know is that herbs are a subset of vegetables, and so many herbs are green! Herbs are very versatile and full of flavour so I am sure you can pick one that you like! I add herbs to literally everything: smoothies, salads, soups, stir-fries. I sprinkle them on top of other vegetables such as potatoes or rice, pasta, noodles, you name it. I also add herbs to my water to make it more flavoursome. An added bonus is if you have the space to grow your own herbs. Because let’s face it, you will use something more often, if it is easily reachable. And by picking herbs from your own garden, you make sure that they are fresh!
5. Stir fry or steam them – although eating raw green vegetables (any vegetables for that matter) is the best way of consuming them, stir-frying or steaming can help you to add more of them into a diet. Leafy greens in particular are a winner in any stir-fry or steamed dishes, they are quick and easy to prepare, and you won’t lose all those important vitamins and minerals during the cooking process.
Following a healthy diet doesn’t need to be hard. It is all about balance and delivering all those minerals and vitamins that our bodies, oh so need. And eating vegetables is always a good choice.
Thanks to eating vegetables you make sure that your immune system is strong, any inflammation is reduced, and free radicals are fought.
But green vegetables are the real superstar on your plate. Not only, green vegetables are the most nutrients dense from all the other vegetables, but they also are low in calories. In addition, they contain chlorophyll which helps to absorb the energy from the Sun, so ultimately you consume that energy.
One of the biggest benefits of eating green vegetables is the bitter taste. It helps to regulate your taste buds and enhances your pallet which in turn makes you eat less sugar.
Adding greens into your diet is easy, you can either eat them raw, stir fry them or steam them. They can be added to salads, or you can make smoothies out of them. And then you have the herbs, the subset of vegetables, where the sky is the limit in using them and adding them into your diet.
So, how are you going to add more green vegetables to your diet?
Are you part of my community? Join HERE my PRIVATE, FREE Facebook Group: Accelerate with Anna Doktor: A Health and Wellness Goals Building Community for the busy professionals to accelerate your health and wellness!