The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends Americans consume 3 cups of leafy greens weekly or about ½ cup each day. Leafy greens are packed with nutrients including Vitamins A, C and K; folate, calcium and iron while also providing a good source of fiber.
Healthy green vegetables:
- Arugula: Packing a punch of peppery flavor, arugula has long, spiked leaves and is a great source of calcium and magnesium.
- Bok Choy: This mild, cabbage-flavored leaf is a good source of vitamins A and C. It’s great in salads and is often found in stir-fries.
- Broccoli: There’s more to this bunch that just the florets, the crunchy stalks and lettuce like leaves are delicious too and together provide the body with vitamins A, C, K, folate and fiber. (Food Guide: Broccoli)
- Collard Greens: Mild in flavor and a staple in Southern cooking, these large leaves are often boiled or found in soups.
- Kale: An increasing popular green, kale’s slightly bitter flavor has not deterred its inclusion in everything from soup to smoothies.
- Spinach: The second most popular green in the US, spinach is very mild in flavor and can easily be added to any dish for a boost in vitamins A and K, folate, iron and calcium. (Food Guide: Spinach)
Getting More Greens in Your Family’s Diet
Smoothies: Smoothies are an excellent way to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, including leafy greens. Try adding ½ cup of spinach or kale to this basic smoothie recipe.
Blending tip: Blend the juice and greens first before adding the other ingredients for a smoother texture.