Go Green this Fall: Tips to Incorporate More Greens into Your Life
It’s no secret that eating a healthy balanced diet full of color and greens is incredibly beneficial to your health. Leafy green vegetables contain a multitude of important benefits from helping you feel your very best all the way to preventing chronic diseases and improving digestion and gut health. Luckily there a number of ways to get the impeccable health benefits of eating more greens without the boring headache. Read on for some fresh, actionable ways to eat more greens and feel your very best this fall.
An easy way to boost your greens intake is to dust off the blender and make a delicious green smoothie. Simply putting 1-2 scoops of a high-quality protein powder, a handful of greens such as spinach or kale, a tablespoon of peanut butter, and berries is a great way to easily sneak in more greens. Available in both Chocolate and Vanilla, Vibrant Health’s Maximum Vibrance is a special all-in-one formula that does it all. Complete with plant-based protein, an organic multivitamin, 25 billion probiotics, and digestive enzymes, this formula has been designed for maximum nutrient absorption and even includes a variety of superfood green ingredients.
Another quick way to get those greens in is through using a greens powder. It’s no secret that finding high quality products you trust can be a challenge. Finding a greens powder is no different. Vibrant Health is committed to transparency and carefully sources and supplies every ingredient used in their products. Green Vibrance is a unique greens powder from Vibrant Health packed with concentrated whole foods along with 25 billion probiotics. The probiotics and enzymes in this unique formula help strengthen digestion while boosting the body’s overall immunity with incredible superfoods.
Two of the superfood ingredients are wheatgrass and spirulina. Wheatgrass is a power-packed ingredient with many incredible detoxifying and energizing effects. It also provides all of the essential amino acids needed to make it a complete protein. With an abundance of micronutrients, Green Vibrance is a quick way to slip in 8 servings of vegetables in just one hearty scoop. Simply mix 1 scoop with 8 oz. of water or your favorite juice 45 minutes after a meal for best results.
Watching your carbs? Going bread-less and opting for a lettuce wrap is an easy way to incorporate more veggies. With a standard hamburger bun containing nearly 5o grams of carbohydrates and around 200 calories, opting for lettuce can lower both the calorie and carb count. White bread is a cheap, accessible option it also has a high glycemic index which can cause substantial fluctuations in blood sugar throughout the day. Quick spikes in blood sugar can lead to lower energy levels as well as a dip in cognitive function. Choosing to eat a balance of protein, fiber, carbs, and fat regularly throughout the day can help balance blood sugar without the energy crash.
To use in the place of bread there are a number of interesting lettuce leaves to choose from that pack a nice, delicious crunch. Optimal lettuce choices include lettuce with large, pliable leaves such as collard greens, ice berg lettuce or radicchio. Collard greens are jam packed with nutrition and are also a healthy source of vitamin K which is important for building and maintaining healthy bones. Also rich in antioxidants, collard greens can help eliminate free radicals and even reduce the risk of certain cancers.
While salads can be given a bad rap, mixing in the right ingredients can make them fun and nutritious to eat. Some ways to do this include picking a nutritious base lettuce or leafy green, choosing colorful veggies or fruit, adding some protein, and a nutritious salad dressing. When it comes to picking a base lettuce, the darker or redder the better. The color of the lettuce often points to higher levels of vitamin C, folic acid, and potassium. If you are reaching for more of a leafy green then the darker colors also hold more nutrients such as beta-carotene and antioxidants. Paler lettuce is less nutrient-dense and shouldn’t be a top contender.
Adding color and protein to a salad is a smart way to get a variety of key phytonutrients along with a protein. Studies have shown that the phytonutrients in plants can help protect from many chronic diseases and even cancers. Protein is also a smart satiating option for a filling salad. It not only keeps you fuller for longer but can also help reduce your level of hunger hormone ghrelin. A few healthy protein options include: lean chicken or beef as well as going meatless with either garbanzo or black beans. While it is best to eat in season, frozen veggies and fruits are still great options to defrost and throw onto a crisp, green salad.
The Many Health Benefits of Going Green
- Boosted immune function: Vitamin A and beta carotene are two top vitamins present in many greens that are powerful immune boosters to keep you healthy year-round.
- Higher energy levels: There are a number of leafy greens such as kale and spinach that are high in iron as well as calcium, potassium, and magnesium which can boost energy levels tremendously.
- Better gut + digestive health: Eating more greens often means eating more filling fiber which helps regulate the digestive system as well as boosting gut health.
- Can lower stress: Leafy greens are a great source of folate which helps the body produce mood-regulating hormones such as dopamine and serotonin.
- Reduced risk of cancer and autoimmune disease: A key way to push back disease is managing inflammation in the body. Spinach, kale, and collard greens contain optimal levels of vitamin D which supports the formation of T-cells that helps the body fight against outside sickness and disease.
- Contribute to heart health: With greens being high fiber, lower fat, and being rich in a number of important nutrients such as folic acid, magnesium, and vitamin C, it is a great way to support better heart health and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Greens are a must have for anyone looking to boost their energy, gut, and overall health. The current recommendation for adults is to have 1.5-2 cups of fruits and 2-3 cups of vegetables daily but according to the CDC the percentage of people in the US meeting those recommendations is quite low. However, with so many creative and rich options to choose from, eating more greens doesn’t have to be a burden. Dust off that blender, mix up that greens drink, and when in doubt, go green!