Green is such a beautiful color. There is something about it that is organic and refreshing. It just so happens to be my favorite color! Guess what else I love that is green… GREEN VEGGIES!
I understand that not everyone likes green veggies. In fact, some people probably hate the color green because it reminds them of spinach. If that is you, please don’t click off this post.
I want to show you why you should eat your greens and I’m not talking about iceberg lettuce either… I’m talking about the greenest of the green leafy veggies. My hope is to make your crave them before the end of this article. I also want to share healthy recipes that will make you wanna slap yo Moma! Not really, I’m not about violence but you get the point.
Most of us do not come close to eating enough leafy greens. We should eat them every day and with every meal. They are packed with so many essential nutrients our body needs for optimal health.
In order to eat with intention, we need to understand something. Our bodies create ZERO vitamins. We rely 100% on what we eat to give us the nutrients needed to effectively maintain proper health and wellbeing. Many of the aliments we face regarding our health come from deficiencies and not eating what we should.
Most of our diets consist of processed foods and sugar. That needs to change and it starts with a mindset change. We need to see food as a way to get what our body needs to function, fight off illnesses and prepare for our future. Often times, people don’t see the point in changing the way they eat until they have a medical emergency. Sometimes it’s even too late.
Most of our health problems and scary diagnosis come from poor eating habits. That’s actually good news! It means with a little lifestyle shift and mindset change, we are on our way to optimal health.
Here are the top 9 leafy greens
I have created this list based on the least nutritional to the most but you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Most greens contain properties that help get rid of toxins. They’re rich calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium; Vitamins like B, C, E, and K. They’re also full of beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Leafy greens are also full of fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll, and many, many other micronutrients and phytochemicals.
All greens are not created equal so you need to know which ones are more nutritious and more suitable for you.
#9 Benefits of Romaine Lettuce
Mayo Free Egg Salad Romaine Wraps
- 6 eggs
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika *optional
- Romaine Leaves
- Boil the eggs and immediately place in the refrigerator to cool.
- Peel the eggs and place in a bowl then smash them.
- Add the rest of the ingredients mixing until the egg salad is the consistency of your choice.
- Place a couple of spoonfuls of the egg salad on a romaine leaf, EAT and ENJOY!
#8 Benefits of Swiss Chard
This is a great way to get your vitamin K. Vitamin K prevents blood clotting in your arteries and helps strengthen your bones. Studies have shown that eating swiss chard regulating insulin levels in the bloodstream.
Garlic Swiss Chard and Chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil divided
- 2 bunches leave coarsely chopped
- 2 cups low-sodium broth or vegetable broth or bone broth
- 6 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1can garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese optional
- Sauté chard in a large skillet with olive oil. Once it is wilted, add broth. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Clean the skillet and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until they are softened. Next, add in the chard and chickpeas. Then add lemon juice on top and season with salt and pepper. Add cheese then serve
#7 benefits of Collard Greens
Collard greens contain nutrients such as beta-carotene, dietary fiber, magnesium, Vitamin A, K and C. It is also packed with fiber. Eating these greens on a regular basis may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Brazilian Style Collards
- 1 bundle collard greens, thinly cut
- 1/2 a large onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a medium skillet
- Add the bacon and cook until browned
- Add the onions and cook
- Add the garlic
- Reduce the heat and add the greens until they wilt
#6 Benefits of Mustard Greens
Mustard greens are known for their vitamin A. This is an important vitamin because it helps prevent certain eye diseases. Vitamin A is also essential for supporting strong bones. Mustard greens are a natural detoxifier for your blood and liver. They contain high levels of antioxidants and is high in fiber.
Simple Sautéd Mustard Greens
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bunches mustard greens, stemmed and chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chicken stock – I use bone broth to get extra nutrients
- 1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard
- In a large pan add the oil. Add in garlic to hot oil and Saute.
- Add in the greens, salt and pepper. Cook until wilted. Add the chicken stock. Simmer, then lower and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the mustard.
#5 Benefits of Turnip Greens
It contains vitamins A, K, C and E along with manganese, folate, and calcium. It is high in fiber and low in calories so it is a good choice if you are trying to drop a few pounds. Turnips also improve immunity and heart health.
Turnip Greens With Spicy peppers
- 3 bunches turnip greens, cleaned and trimmed
- 2 slices bacon optional
- ½ onion, diced
- 3 ounces pine nuts, toasted
- 2 poblano peppers, diced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cut up bacon and cook over low heat in saucepot. Or olive oil if no bacon used.
- Add onion and sauté until translucent.
- Add poblanos and greens and sauté until greens are wilted. Cover with enough water to submerge.
- Add salt, pepper and pine nuts and simmer until greens are tender.
#4 Benefits of Spinach
Benefits of spinach include, detoxification, supporting weight loss, promoting eye health, supports strong bones, reduces hypertension, helps you sleep, boost immunity, helps cure acne, and enhances the skin. It is also a rich protein and vitamins A and C.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- ¼ tsp. Kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. cracked black pepper
- baby spinach leaves
- 1 Avocado
- Sliced strawberries
- red onion sliced
- feta cheese
- Add in all of the dressing ingredients to bowl and mix.
- In a large bowl, add spinach topped with strawberries, blueberries, avocado, red onions and pecans. Top with feta cheese. Add dressing and Enjoy!
#3 Benefits of Kale
Kale has been the latest craze over the last few years and for a good reason. It has vitamins A, C, K and B6. It also contains manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, and magnesium. This Vegetable is high in nutrients and very low in calories. Adding kale to your salad, soup, smoothie or just eating it by itself is a great way to get your nutrients.
Sweet Kale Salad
- 4 cups shredded and chopped kale
- 2 cups thinly sliced Brussels sprouts
- 1 cup broccoli matchsticks
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Dressing Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- pinch of kosher salt
- Combine kale, broccoli sticks, Brussels sprouts, cranberries in a large bowl.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, sugar, poppy seeds, and salt.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to thoroughly coat. Enjoy!
#2 Benefits of Cabbage
Cabbage is another great green because it is low in calories, it has no fat, high in fiber and is packed with benefits. It contains vitamins K, C and it also contains sulforaphane that may help protect against cancer.
Eating cabbage is great for weight loss. That is where the idea of the cabbage diet comes from. This is another green that is high in antioxidants and is a good detoxifier.
Sautéed Cabbage with Orange Dressing
- 50g pine nuts
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- ½ tsp fennel seeds (optional)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped sage
- 1 Savoy cabbage, finely shredded
For the dressing
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 orange, zested, plus extra to garnish
- Heat oil over high heat. Add the pine nuts and toast for 3 minutes until golden brown. Set aside
- Dressing: Add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix.
- Add oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, fennel and sage, then fry for 1 minute.
- Add the cabbage and toss until wilted. Transfer to a serving dish and top with the pine nuts. Drizzle the dressing over
#1 Benefits of Micro-greens
Microgreens are the shoots of salad vegetables picked just after the first leaves have sprouted.
The awesome thing about microgreens is their nutrient content is concentrated, which means they contain higher vitamin, mineral and antioxidant levels than mature greens. In fact, they can be up to 9 times higher!
These are great on sandwiches, eggs, in soup, salads or in smoothies. You can add these to just about anything for extra nutrients.
You can grow your own microgreens with this Hamama Microgreen home growing kit. You will have your own microgreens in only one week! Read this review I wrote on this product to see if you could benefit from it. https://www.optimizedlife.com/hamama-micro-greens-home-growing-kit-review/
You may only like a few greens on this list and that’s okay! My challenge for you is to try something new. Leafy greens are packed with essential nutrients that are needed for good health.
Find ways to incorporate them into each meal. Try to mix things up and use these recipes to add a variety of greens into your diet.
Greens are so important. I feel like I keep saying that but it’s true. If you are not going to eat your greens, you will need to get the nutrients from somewhere because your body will not make them on it’s own. We recommend getting a supplement that has all of your greens in one.
We highly recommend Athletic Greens if you are looking for a green drink that has over 75 of your daily essentials in one serving. You are guaranteed to get everything your body needs to function properly and reduce the risk of possible illnesses and diseases.
Take a look at this product HERE ON AMAZON and read some of the amazing reviews for yourself. Feel free to order this product while you are there. We are not sponsored by Athletic Greens but we are affiliated with Amazon but all that means to you is we get a small commission if you purchase through us.
We love suggesting products we know will optimize your health. Theses are products we personally take or are familiar with.
We would love to hear from you. What leafy green on this list do you eat already? Which one are you going to add to your meal plan? Comment below and let us know!
Thank you for taking the time to read this article intended to help optimize your health. If you enjoyed this article, you should read some of our most recent!
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Be on the lookout for anew product we are going to be launching this fall! Optimized C60 is a revolutionary supplement that offers many benefits to your health that will help you live your healthiest and best life possible!