Leafy greens are a nutritional powerhouse, but they can be tough to get excited about — especially if you’re not much of a cook. Fortunately, there’s no need to rely on salads and sides for your daily dose of greens. You can work them into both sweet and savory dishes in creative and flavorful ways.
Here are some tips for adding dark leafy greens to your routine — and why you should:
1.Keep it simple by blending up a green smoothie with spinach or kale, bananas, almond milk and a dash of honey for sweetness. Spinach is mild enough that you won’t even know it’s there!
2.Add baby spinach leaves to your morning eggs. You’ll barely notice the extra nutrition, but it will keep you fuller longer than eggs alone!
3.Add a few leaves of kale to your morning fruit salad or oatmeal. Finely chopped, these hearty greens make a great addition to yogurt parfaits as well.
4.Use lettuce wraps instead of bread or tortillas for your next sandwich or burrito night! It’s more fun than it sounds, and you’ll feel less weighed down afterwards.
5. In soups and stews: There are two greens that are best for that purpose: kale and collard greens. Kale is milder in flavor than collard greens (and less bitter), so it works well in soups and stews. Try steaming it in combination with other vegetables like carrots, potatoes or celery to add flavor without adding excess calories.
The reason why greens are so beneficial is that they actually contain a wide variety of phytonutrient compounds that help your body fight free radicals and boost the effectiveness of its detoxification processes. These compounds include vitamins A and C, as well as many carotenoids like lutein, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene and cryptoxanthin.
On top of all of this, dark greens have been shown to help you lose weight because they’re rich in fiber, which helps to control hunger by slowing down the rate at which food leaves your stomach.