We all know we should eat our greens. And even though we’ve been hearing it since we were kids, as you grow into your golden years you may be skipping your 5 servings of leafy green vegetables every day for heartier fare. As you age leafy greens and the vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants they provide your body become vitally important. Helping prevent degenerative diseases and inflammation and boost immunity and overall well being is just the start of the essential addition of greens to your daily life.
But if you’re worried about getting tired of eating bland, cold salads every day, you’ll be pleased to find there are many ways to get in your greens. Here are six super easy tips for getting in those daily greens (without ever touching a salad!):
1. Fresh Veggies
Fresh greens are widely available and bursting with tasty nutrients. Buy them at a supermarket, the local farmers market, or even grown some in your own backyard. The best greens to eat fresh and raw are:
- Root greens (beet, turnip, etc.)
- Green lettuces
- Red lettuces
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Collard greens
- Mustard greens
- Green beans
So how do you get all these greens into your system without the dreaded salad bar?
2. Fresh Juice
Fresh juice is a great way to kick off your day or get a nice pick-me-up in the afternoon. Bottled green juices are also available now in grocery stores, but there’s nothing better than totally raw, unpasteurized homemade juice. If you want to juice at home you can get a moderately priced centrifugal style juicer. It’s the most popular type of home juicer but doesn’t process leafy greens as well as robust veggies, like cucumber and celery. It’s loud and likely to leave juice behind in the pulp. A better performing juicer for softer, leafy greens is also much more expensive. The masticating juicer crushes and presses the greens to release the juice. It’s quiet, let’s the juice last longer in cold storage, and can even make nut milk. But make sure it’s electric; hand crank style masticating juicers are reserved for making wheatgrass juice only. And those rotating citrus juicers are only for, you guessed it, oranges, lemons, limes, and the like.
3. Dehydrated and Powdered Greens
The most popular powdered greens can come in bulk or pill form, so look for:
- Spirulina (organic)
- Seaweed (kelp)
- Matcha (green tea powder)
Kelp or seaweed (the stuff that is pressed into sushi wrappers) can also be eaten in its fresh form as a type of noodle. And both kale and green beans are great as dried chips. Matcha, or green tea powder, is an antioxidant rich and mild flavored powder that works great in just about anything; but keep it cool and don’t cook it to preserve the benefits.
Smoothies are a filling and delicious part of any day. And better yet, you can use fresh or dried greens to pack nutrients, vitamins and minerals into your thick, rich beverages. You don’t need much more than a standard or bullet blender if you’re using powders for your smoothies. But if you’re working with fresh veggies, and particularly hard, raw stalks like celery and broccoli, you’ll need to invest in a high-speed, maximum horsepower blender that is specifically made for liquefying raw veggies. A basic blender won’t do the trick for this.
5. Soups, Sauces, Dips and Dressings
Don’t feel like adding any equipment to your kitchen? Simpy add green powders to the foods you already eat. Add kale or spinach powder to your soups and sauces. Add spirulina or kelp powder to your dips or dressings. Go wild and get healthy!
6. Breads, Baked Goods, Breakfasts and Desserts
Ever had matcha ice cream, kale muffins or spinach cheesecake? Don’t let the hue fool you, these green powders add more color than flavor. You’ll still enjoy those rich and delicious treats, and feel good about helping your health and body. Try some in your cereal, omelets, oatmeal, pudding and more.
Getting your greens is easier than you think. Even without skipping a beat you can get your 5-8 veggie servings every day without suffering through another salad. Going beyond the tongs, now you can enjoy the benefits of greens, feel the difference in your health, and thrive on living fuel.