Green foods contain several nutrients and phytochemicals that enhance blood flow into the cardiovascular system, thereby improving heart health. However, a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2017 disclosed that only 10% of adults eat enough of these kinds of food. The research indicates that many people are missing out on essential vitamins and minerals in important green foods. Read on as we discuss green color foods that you should integrate into your diet to improve it.
Kale is a green, leafy vegetable that belongs to the cruciferous veggies family, like cabbage. Kale has an impressive nutrition profile, even more than most other green veggies. According to the USDA, one raw cup of this vegetable contains 1g of fiber, which is almost 4% of your daily value (the amount of the nutrient recommended daily).
In addition, kale offers 176 mcg of vitamin K, which helps prevent blood clotting. Vitamin K also keeps your bones healthy and regulates your blood calcium level. A study published in 2016 revealed that eating kale may prevent the rise of blood glucose after a meal. This means that the vegetable can regulate blood sugar among people with hyperglycemia.
Kale is also an excellent source of vitamin C. According to the USDA, it provides about 30 mg of the vitamin, about 33% of your daily value. Vitamin C plays an important role in protecting cells damaged by unstable atoms in the body. It also greatly improves the immune system, making you more resistant to diseases. You can cook kale or add it to pasta dishes to make them tastier.
Fruit lovers should add more kiwi to their diets for healthier living. The USDA reports that a kiwi provides up to 2 g of fiber, vitamin C, and folate. Folate, otherwise known as vitamin B9, offers several benefits, such as DNA and genetic material building. It also plays a vital role in the division of cells.
Also, eating more kiwi can help you sleep better at night. Research found that kiwi contains serotonin, a beneficial chemical to people with sleep disturbances. You can eat more kiwifruit to induce slumber and have a longer, higher-quality sleep. Consider slicing some kiwi into your cereal or salad to improve its nutrition quality.
You can add basil to your diet to benefit from its numerous health perks. Basil leaves contain high-level rosmarinic and caffeic acid, both phenolic compounds with great antioxidant properties. Also, research on Alzheimer’s has shown that these acids may even have neuroprotective properties, aiding nervous system recovery and preventing cell dysfunction.
A 2018 review also found that basil contains eugenol, an essential oil that prevents inflammation. Eugonol’s inflammatory properties could make basil an effective treatment for people suffering from inflammatory diseases. Despite all its benefits, basil comes with very few calories. A ¼ cup portion of the plant contains only a bit above one calorie.
You can integrate basil into your diet by flavoring your pasta sauce with the herb. You can also add fresh basil to cooked pizza and soups like minestrone and pasta Fagioli. If you’re using fresh basil, ensure that you use more than you would with the dry version.
Asparagus is rich in several forms of vitamin B, such as thiamin, niacin, B6, and riboflavin. This nutritious plant is also an excellent source of folate, an essential DNA building material. These B vitamins play an essential role in converting eaten food to energy.
B vitamins are also useful in the formation of red blood cells. Not consuming enough B12 and B6 vitamins leads to anemia, where your system lacks enough red blood cells for oxygen transportation. Asparagus can also improve your dietary health. It is rich in inulin, a soluble fiber that stimulates the increase of healthy bacteria in your gullet.
If the potent taste of Asparagus doesn’t put you off, you can boil and eat it. If you’re not comfortable with that, you can roast the plant, adding a little olive oil, lemon juice, or sesame seeds.
Adding green beans as a side dish can improve your overall diet. Green beans, also known as string beans, are rich in fiber, lower your body’s cholesterol and regulate blood sugar. Therefore, they are great for people with diabetes and hyperglycemia symptoms.
The USDA reports that 1 cup of green beans contains almost 1g of dietary fiber while only adding 31 calories. They are also high in vitamin K and calcium, important nutrients for maintaining strong bones. You can cook your green beans in olive oil alongside garlic, tomatoes, and onions. They can also be included as a part of classic salad nicoise.
Eating green-color foods has several health benefits for people of all ages, and the great thing is you don’t have to repeat the same options. If you have followed through, you’ll have found new ways to improve your diet by incorporating various nutritious green foods.