For this Melanie’s Moment, we are talking greens! Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, chard, Brussels sprouts and broccoli are fantastic ways to add nutrients as well as pizazz to any meal. Vegetables that were once turned away at mealtime have now gained popularity and for good reason. Dark green leafy are low in calories but high in antioxidants, vitamins (K, A & C), and minerals (calcium & iron). In addition, green vegetables offer insoluble fibers which help lower cholesterol, assist with blood sugar control and constipation. Individuals on blood thinning medications or those with blood clotting disorders should consult with their physician before increasing greens in their diet.
As with many healthy food options, it is easy to know that they are good for you but hard to know how to add those foods into your day. Luckily, lengthy recipes are not required to get your daily dose of greens. Simply add greens to some of your everyday meals.
- Handfuls (be generous! ) of chopped spinach and kale mix nicely into many broth-based soups such as chicken noodle or minestrone soup. Add the greens at the end of cooking.
- Asparagus (cut 1″ portions) and chopped spinach fold into frittatas and quiche nicely…all the benefits and you barely notice they are there!
- Color and flavor can be achieved by topping arugula or cabbage slaw to sandwiches, tacos, or barbecue.
- Create a warm salad by tossing chopped kale and sweet potatoes into a skillet with a tablespoon of olive or grapeseed oil…saute to your liking, top with a sprinkle of balsamic glaze (you can purchase this at most markets) and pecans.
- Don’t be afraid to blend a handful of kale or spinach into any smoothie…all the benefits and you won’t even taste it!
If you are a patient and have questions about your diet, please ask your oncologist at your next appointment about receiving a complimentary nutritional session with Melanie Mitchell, SNCC Registered Dietitian.