Holidays / Learn / Life

The Goodness of Green

03.26.14

This year, green became glam. Luckily, green always keeps our health in check, since many of the world’s healthiest foods just so happen to be GREEN. A coincidence that St. Patty’s day is themed green, I (Sam) think not!

So, I decided to start a new tradition and throw a “Green and Glam” party. It was potluck style and the challenge was that everyone had to bring a healthy (but also delicious) green food.

I chose to create… Zucchini Pesto Noodles, Green Apple Cole Slaw with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette, and Greenoa (Green + Quinoa).

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Asparagus-low in calories and carbohydrates but relatively rich in protein compared to other vegetables. One cup supplies 24 calories and half of that comes from protein. It is rich is many vitamins and minerals and has an excellent potassium to sodium ratio.

Avocado-excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids, as well as potassium, vitmain E, B vitamins, and fiber. One avocado has 2-3 times the amount of potassium as a banana (but also 2-3 times the calories.)

Artichoke-rich source of inulin which is a polysaccharide or starch that is handled by the body differently from other sugars which is why it is great for diabetics. In fact, it has been shown to improve blood sugar control.

Broccoli-one of the most nutrient dense foods. A one cup serving provides as much protein as a cup of corn or rice but contains less than a third of the calories. In addition, compounds in broccoli known as glucosinolates increase the excretion of a form of estrogen linked to breast cancer.

Kale-one of the most nutritious vegetables, this leafy green supplies 70% of the RDI for vitamin C with only 20 calories. In addition, it’s high in fiber, copper, iron, and calcium.

Spinach-excellent source of vitamin K, carotenes, vitamin C, and folic acid. It contains twice as much iron as other greens and is one of the most alkaline-producing foods, making it useful in regulating the pH of the body.

Celery-contains a phytochemical compound known as coumarins, which tone the vascular system, lower blood pressure, and may be useful in cases of migraines.

Cucumber-an excellent source of the trace mineral, silica, which contributes to the strength of our connective tissue. Also full of water and fiber.

Cabbage-nutrient dense and low calorie, this vegetable is known for its anti-cancer compounds. It is good source of vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, calcium and magnesium.

Basil-contains powerful antioxidant flavonoids as well as  concentrated source of volatile oil phytonutrients, which have been found to not only have antibiotic properties but anti-inflammatory ones as well.

Parsley-extremely rich in a large number of nutrients, chlorophyll, and carotenes. Two tablespoons of parsley contain only 3 calories!

Mint-great palate cleanser and promotes digestion, soothes the stomach and decreases inflammation. It also stimulates the digestive enzymes that absorb nutrients from food and allows fat to be used as energy instead of stored as fat thus promoting natural weight loss.

Cilantro-in addition to phytonutrients with antioxidant power, cilantro also has antimicrobial properties. In research, when cilantro (corriander) seeds were added to the diet of diabetic lab animals, it helped stimulate insulin and lowered their blood sugar so it may have similar results in humans. Two tablespoons contains less than 1 calorie!

Bell Pepper-one of the most nutrient-dense foods, a 3.5 ounce serving has only 20 calories and is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin K, thiamine, folic acid, and vitamin B6. (Fun fact: if green bell peppers are allowed to ripen on the vine they become red bell peppers.)

Limes-contain several phytochemicals that are high in antioxidant and anticancer properties. In particular, lime juice can modulate the decision a cell makes to divide (mitosis) or die (apoptosis) or even boost activity of white blood cells. In addition, limes have antibiotic effects.

Zucchini-has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and contains useful amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, folate and potassium.

Green Peas-rich in B vitamins and folate, which are essential fro the proper metabolism of fats, proteins, and other carbohydrates.

Green Grapes-an excellent source of health-promoting flavonoids which are extremely powerful antioxidants. The nutritional quality can be enhanced by eating the seeds, which are edible in all varieties.

Kiwi-rich in antioxidants and enzymes as well as vitamin C and dietary fiber. Kiwi’s are beneficial in preventing respiratory-related health problems and aid in healing.

Green Apples-rich in antioxidant nutrients, including flavonoid and phenolic antioxidants and vitamin C. Also, a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber.

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