As a child, vegetables were seen as an item that should be pawned off to the dog rather than consumed. Yet, we were constantly told to eat more of them but rarely were told why, aside from “they are good for you”. Even as adults there are still a few vegetables that we steer away from or cringe at the sheer name of, such as kale or chicory. Unbeknownst to many, these are two of many veggies categorized as dark green leafy vegetables, which provide unbelievable health benefits. Dark green leafy veggies are great sources of fiber, folate, and a wide range of carotenoids. Some research has found that the carotenoids found specifically in dark green leafy veggies have the ability to inhibit the growth of certain types of breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, and stomach cancer cells.
Despite health benefits, we simply are not consuming sufficient vegetables and certainly not enough dark green ones. Experts recommend eating between three to six cups of fruits and veggies a day but only one in ten adults are consuming the recommended serving. This may seem like a very large quantity, but given the incredible health benefits of the dark green leafy varietal, it might be worth adding them into your daily diet. It is easier (and tastier) than you think! Try replacing potato chips with kale chips, add a handful or two of spinach to your smoothie, or just make a good old fashion romaine salad. We have provided a few recipes below that even our littlest readers will enjoy!
Recipe: Kale Chips
Yields: Approx 6 servings
-1 bunch kale, stems removed and torn into bite size pieces (For less prep, Trader Joes has a bag of kale already chopped and stems removed)
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Place kale on baking sheet. Spray or drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
3. Bake for about 10 minutes or until edges brown but they are not burnt. Keep a careful watch here as they can burn quickly!
Recipe and Picture from Food Life Balance Blog
Additional Green Leafy Recipes: