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5 Ways to Add More Green Vegetables Into Your Diet

Updated: Apr 25, 2023


Healthy Diet By Eating Vegetables

Do you know that the plant-based industry is worth $11.3 billion?! What’s more, it is predicted that it will grow 3x in the next ten years. This is good news.


It means that more products are available and their cost will go down. However, for a diet to be healthy, it has to be balanced. There needs to be a balance between the micronutrients and macronutrients you eat.


You may already subscribe to meat-free Mondays. Or swap the traditional steak for a lentil burger. But regardless of the diet you follow your increase in vegetable consumption needs to go up.


Eating vegetables is an excellent way to ensure you follow a balanced diet. And the more colourful your plate the better! There is no competition between vegetables because all vegetables are a source of essential minerals and vitamins. But in today’s blog post, I want to shine a light on the real superstar on your plate – the green vegetables!


Why?


Maybe because green is my favourite colour, or that green has been shown to have calming effects. Or 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 go green?


Why Should You Eat Plants?

Let’s go back to basics and explore why eating plants is important to your health. You hear it all the time: 'eat more vegetables'. The 5 A Day is a big campaign, yet so many of us still struggle to add more vegetables to our meals.


First of all, eat vegetables that contain vitamins and minerals that are essential for your survival. Without them, many vital, life-enhancing processes cannot be performed by your body. And you can deliver certain minerals and vitamins only through vegetables.


Maintaining a healthy level of minerals and vitamins is crucial because their levels impact your performance. For example, iron, one of the minerals our body cannot survive without, is linked to energy. If you are deficient in iron, you will often feel tired and lacking energy, and everything will seem 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 antioxidants you deliver to your body, the healthier you are.


Thirdly, your immune system will hugely benefit from the surge of vitamins, especially vitamin C, which can be found in most vegetables. Think about your immune system as your shield against viruses, bacteria, and infections. You want that shield to be as strong as possible so you can live in optimal health and wellbeing and enjoy your life.


If you are still not convinced, let me leave you with this: vegetables are low in calories and help to lose weight.


Green Vegetables Benefits

You may wonder why I put green vegetables in the spotlight when eating any vegetables, no matter the colour, is good for your health. The rule of thumb is that the more colour you have on your plates, the happier your body will be.


If you are making changes to your diet, I want you to start by picking a group of vegetables to add to your meal. It is easier to combine, cook, and serve them this way.


I've chosen green vegetables because they are the most nutritious of all vegetables. They are an excellent source of B vitamins, folate, iron, and vitamin K. And 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 the process of photosynthesis.


The higher content of chlorophyll, the more energy you will have thanks to eating it. Yes, eating vegetables will give you energy!


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.


Join me on Thursday 18th May for a FREE Wellness Bootcamp to beat the stress, overwhelm and regain the mental and physical energy, manage your time, and learn the foundation of a healthy diet. REGISTER HERE.



5 Ways to Add More Green Vegetables To Your Diet

I hope that by now you are asking the most important question: 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.


#1 Eat Raw

The number one complaint about eating healthily is the lack of time for cooking. Let’s be honest here. I know your health and wellness are invaluable to you, and you want to eat better. But it is hard to stick to your eating plan if you don’t have the time to prepare your meals.


The beauty of green vegetables is that you don’t have to cook them. You can eat them raw. The biggest group of green vegetables is the leafy vegetables. In this case, you only need to wash them, you don’t even need to chop them.


You use the whole leaves or randomly tear them into smaller chunks. It goes the same for lettuce in your salad or bok choy in your stir fry. Talk about a time-saving hack, right?


Many minerals and vitamins can’t survive heat, so eating them raw is a better option anyway.


#2 Eat More Salads

I am sure you have heard it before, but eating salads is still the easiest way to consume the recommended number of vegetables a day.


I eat salads almost every day. Either it is my main meal or it is a side dish. I often make quick and easy salads such as the classic Greek salad with lettuce, onion, tomatoes, cucumbers and olives. Or if I feel adventurous, I will add a piece of fruit such as mango, orange, or apple.


I frequently eat salads as my main dish. I would dress up the leafy greens with baked tofu, cooked lentils or other grains, rice, or even pasta. This way my dinner is cooked even faster, and I deliver all the food groups.


Salads don’t need to be boring! You can be as creative as you want. I love how you can mix and match different textures, colours, and flavours. Sky is the limit.


I also want to bust a myth that salad is not substantial enough to fill your hunger. Of course, this purely depends on what you put into your salad, doesn’t it? All vegetables, and green vegetables in particular, have an abundance of vitamins and minerals so you can be certain that you deliver your 5 a day.


And to make your salad go further, add some healthy fats and protein.


#3 Make a Smoothie

My favourite way to consume vegetables is by drinking smoothies. My whole nutritional journey began with a green smoothie! I started using them for breakfast and I haven’t looked back ever since.


Green vegetables contain all the needed vitamins and minerals so they are great ingredients for smoothies. And they give you this beautiful enhancing green colour! In addition, if you find green vegetables to have a bitter taste, a smoothie is the way to go!


As mentioned earlier, I use smoothies as my breakfast. It means I add all food groups into it. Yes, I add a lot of green vegetables such as spinach, cucumber, zucchini, and celery, but I also add fruit such as kiwi or green apple. And to balance the flavour even further I add orange and banana.


This way, I not only add the extra vitamin from the orange and protein from the banana, but I also make it sweeter.


Smoothies are so in fashion at the moment that it is hard not to fall in love with them!


If you are still on the fence about smoothies, let me tell you a secret. I love smoothies because I can make sure that no matter how busy my day will be, I delivered the nutrients my body requires first thing in the morning! So, if I skip lunch or have a less healthy dinner, my body still receives all that it needs.


And knowing that puts less pressure on me.


#4 Add Herbs

If you want to ease into eating more vegetables experiment with herbs. An interesting thing to know is that herbs are a subset of vegetables. And almost all herbs are green! Herbs are very versatile and full of flavour, so I am sure you can pick one 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 use them with rice, pasta, noodles, you name it. I also add herbs to my water to make it more flavoursome.


To make eating herbs more enticing grow your own herbs! I grow herbs in a garden, but you don’t need a garden to have fresh herbs. Herbs are super easy to grow in pots, so your kitchen bench will be enough.


If you are starting, go for herbs such as parsley, basil, oregano, mint, or rosemary. Oregano and mint grow like a weed, so anyone can grow them! Trust me on this!


You may wonder why I am encouraging you to grow your herbs. First, if something is easily reachable, you will use it more often. I often put a pot of basil, rosemary or parsley on the dining table so you can add as many leaves as you want.


#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. As mentioned before, green vegetables may have a bitter taste.


Leafy greens are a winner in any stir-fried 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.


The easiest method to cook green leaves, such as spinach or silverbeet, is sauté. And to keep the colour and flavour use blanching.


I treat stir-frying like a salad, but hot. I mix and match different groups of vegetables. I use it as a side dish, or as a full meal. I add different grains, tempeh, tofu, or legumes.


How to Eat More Green Vegetables

Following a healthy diet doesn’t need to be hard. It is all about balancing and delivering all those minerals and vitamins your body needs. And you can do it easily by eating vegetables.


Vegetables help to keep your immune system strong, reduce inflammation, and fight free radicals.


Green vegetables are the real superstar on your plate. Not only are green vegetables are the most nutrients dense from all 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 too.


Adding greens to your diet is easy. You can either eat them raw, stir fry or steam them. They can be added to salads, or you can make smoothies out of them. Or simply you can add some fresh herbs to your dishes.


So, how are you going to add more green vegetables to your diet?


Join me on Thursday 18th May for a FREE Wellness Bootcamp to beat the stress, overwhelm and regain the mental and physical energy, manage your time, and learn the foundation of a healthy diet. REGISTER HERE.







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