Saint Patrick’s Day is synonymous with Ireland, beer and the color green. Since green is top-of-mind for many Saint Patrick’s Day fanatics, I figured no day is better to share the health benefits of green food!
There’s no such thing as a super-food, but if one existed, it would be a green vegetable. Dark, leafy greens are chocked full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients necessary for full body health. Many college students overlook green vegetables as a source of nutrition, but in lieu of Saint Patrick’s Day, why not embrace the greens! (Sorry, green beer doesn’t count)
Health Benefits of Green Vegetables
The USDA recommends eating 1 1/2 to 2 cups of dark green vegetables each week. Why you ask? Well, green vegetables are linked to colon and heart health. They are also rich in fiber, potassium, folate and vitamin A. But that’s not all, green veggies are cholesterol free and low in fat, sodium and calories!
Still want to know more? Lets get more specific.
The USDA recommends that men and women between the ages of 19-30 eat between 2.5 and 3 cups of vegetables per day.
Let’s be honest, very few college students are actually reaching that number. We all know it’s important to eat our vegetables, but most of us find it difficult to fit them into our daily meals.
My mom’s a dietitian and I’m the first to admit I struggle with this (Sorry, mom). That’s why I’ve come up with some easy ways to sneak veggies into my diet. It’s been working for me, so I thought I’d share my tips with you!
Tips on eating more vegetables:
- Throw fresh spinach into canned soup. It’ll wilt down when you heat it up, adding freshness to your soup and an extra serving of veggies.
- Add carrot shavings to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. People don’t believe me, but peanut butter and carrots actually go really well together. This is a great way to add a crunch to your sandwich and up your veggie count.
- Like buffalo chicken? Try mixing a low calorie blue cheese dressing and hot sauce to create a rich dipping sauce for celery and carrots. It’s the closest thing to making vegetables taste like meat.
- Bulk up your sandwiches. Every time you eat a sandwich, make sure to add tons of veggies. It’ll add nutrition and crunch to your lunch.