We’ve all heard the 5 a day rule and we all know that getting an adequate amount of fruit and vegetables into our diet is vital to keeping our bodies healthy. And whilst it may not be so difficult to incorporate fruit into our diet on a daily basis, getting vegetables in, especially those of the green variety is not always so appealing.
Many of us will happily snack on a juicy pear or some tasty berries throughout the day, not so many of us will like snacking on some kale leaves, broccoli trees, or raw Brussel sprouts – no matter how good for us they are!
That being said, adding more greens into your diet is one of the best things you can do to enhance your diet. These superfoods are jam-packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium, iron, calcium, and vitamins A, B, C, E, and K along with a bunch of flavonoids and phytochemicals.
Greens benefit our health in so many ways, including lowering cholesterol, improving circulation, and strengthening our immune system, so there is no doubt that we should be eating more, but in order to do that, you need to like eating them.
If you are not keen on your greens, here are 5 top tips on how you can sneak them into your diet.
- Add them into the foods you love
Eating greens becomes much easier when they complement or blend into other foods that you love. For example, if you are making burgers, add in some chopped spinach and green onion to your patties, or if you are taking a sandwich or wrap to work with you – add in some spinach, lettuce, or watercress to go with the main ingredient.
If you love making veggie soup but tend to stick to carrots, potato, swede, and onion then try adding in a few Brussel sprouts and some peas to the mixture – it won’t make much of a difference to the taste, but it will increase your greens quota.
Give the gift of greens to stews and chili’s too, for stews try adding in some hearty winter greens such as beet, turnip greens, kale, and swiss chard – just be sure to add them towards the end of cooking so they retain some of their texture. For chili’s, finely sliced kale and cabbage will go well and you can add some chopped raw spinach to the top of the dish when serving too.
- Take a Super Greens supplement
An easy and convenient way to add greens to your diet is to take a daily Super Greens supplement. There has been a huge growth in the popularity of these supplements – they come in a convenient powder, capsule, or juice form, which makes it very easy for those that hate greens or just don’t have the time – to obtain a quick boost of wholesome green nutrients.
We like the new effervescent super greens tablet from Prime Fifty – it comes in lime & melon flavor which makes it a tasty and refreshing way to get your daily hit of greens without having to hold your nose and drink it as fast as you can – which can be the case with some other, more grassy tasting super greens drinks.
- Add some sauce and seasoning
By simply lightly sautéing green vegetables and adding the right sauce or seasoning – you can make a bitter-tasting snack or side dish – a much more appealing one to your palate. Add flavor to your greens by cooking them with aromatics like onions, garlic, and shallots. Experiment with different herbs and spices, add some Worcester or soy sauce or grate some fresh ginger into some oil and coat the greens with the seasoned oil. If your greens still have some bitterness, then try balancing it out by adding some nectar to sweeten them or try adding a bit of vinegar for a more acidic taste. Play around with different combinations to find out what your favorites are. One tasty example: Try cutting sprouts in half, sautéing them in butter, and sprinkling sea salt and chili flakes on top – delicious!
- Incorporate them into your breakfast
If you are all about breakfast, then there are some great ways to incorporate greens into your first meal of the day. If you love an egg butty then you can easily add some spinach or kale into your sandwich. Or try mixing in some kale, Brussel sprouts, or asparagus to a potato hash and topping it off with a sunny-side-up egg. If you prefer your eggs scrambled or if your go-to breakfast is an omelet, then you can easily add in lots of greens to both dishes – such as spinach, chopped broccoli, asparagus, or zucchini. For a simple go-to “green” breakfast, dress and season hearty greens with a vinaigrette and top with a poached egg and some parmesan.
- Add them to a smoothie
If you can’t face eating your greens or you are simply not in the mood for them, why not try adding them into a smoothie. It doesn’t need to be a green smoothie specifically – you can add them to your usual fruit or a protein smoothie.
Try this basic mixture:
- Greens such as spinach, kale, swiss chard, parsley, broccoli, or watercress.
- Fruit such as sliced peaches, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, pear, mango, apple, lemon, or pineapple
- Protein – you can add in a protein powder or try Greek yogurt, nut butter, or pumpkin seeds.
- Healthy fats such as avocado, flaxseeds, or coconut oil (some of your protein sources will also give you the necessary dose of healthy fats such as nut butter)