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How to Eat More Greens – 10 Effortlessly Simple tricks

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6 min reading time

How to Eat More Greens: 10 Effortlessly Simple Tricks

Trying to eat more leafy greens? As a vegan registered dietitian – I’ve got your back!

 This article has my foolproof tips for how to eat more leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collard greens, arugula, and more, as well as why you should eat more greens

Why you should eat more greens

Greens are incredibly nutritious and should be a part of any healthy diet. Vegans and athletes alike can benefit from the addition of greens into their diets. 

Dark leafy greens are packed with important nutrients that are so good for us. 

They are amazing sources of vitamins A, C, and E, which are powerful antioxidants (see my article on aging to learn about the powers of antioxidants)

They are also loaded with calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium which have many important functions in our bodies. The beta carotene and pigments in greens support our immune system and metabolism as well. 

Leafy greens can especially make a difference in the performance and recovery of athletes. Greens are helpful in maintaining hydration due to their high water content. 

The high mineral content promotes muscle function and recovery after a training session. The nitrates found in leafy greens also increases blood flow to working muscles, resulting in greater exercise output. 

Eating more greens as an athlete can be very beneficial. Working with a sports nutritionist can help you maximize these benefits. 

Convinced yet? Luckily, there are many simple ways to eat more greens.

A note on iceberg lettuce

Iceberg lettuce is one of the most eaten leafy greens in Canada. However, iceberg lettuce is not considered a dark leafy green because it is lighter in colour. While iceberg lettuce still has some nutrients, the darker the green the more nutrient-rich it is. 

When choosing your greens, look for darker, brighter leaves for the greatest benefits. For example, bright-green romaine lettuce packs more vitamins and antioxidants than pale iceberg lettuce. And collard greens pack even more of a punch than romaine lettuce.

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Start the day off on the right foot

One of the best ways to eat more greens is to win the morning with a green-packed breakfast. Try a smoothie loaded with greens, a tofu scramble with sauteed kale, or savoury oats with spinach. 

Prep your greens ahead of time

Another one of my favourite tips for how to eat more greens is to deal with them as soon as you get back from the grocery store. 

Heartier greens like collard greens, kale, Swiss chard, and beet greens can be washed and chopped 2 to 3 days in advance. Just let your greens dry on a clean towel on the countertop before storing in the crisper drawer of your fridge.

 This makes it significantly easier for you to reach for greens when looking for something to make. 

Add greens to sauces and dips

Sauces are a great way to sneak in extra greens. Blending any kind of green into tomato sauce, hummus, pesto, and guacamole is one of my favourite ways to eat more greens. This can also give your sauces and dips a vibrant green colour!

Use frozen leafy greens

Frozen vegetables are just as healthy and contain as many nutrients as their fresh counterparts. Frozen greens are convenient, inexpensive, and don’t go bad as fast. Frozen greens can easily be added to tomato sauces, soups, and smoothies. Talk about an easy way to eat more greens!

Don’t let your greens get limp

There is nothing less appealing than sad, wilting greens in the back of your fridge. Keeping your greens crisp and fresh is a great way to help you eat them! Leafy greens are best kept inside a loosely closed bag, uncrowded, and dry. 

After washing your greens, it’s important to dry them completely, with a salad spinner or on a clean towel, before storing them. I like to either keep my washed and dried greens in a bag or wrapped in a tea towel in the fridge. 

Use greens as wraps

Make collard wraps your new staple. Simply take your favorite veggies, proteins, dressings and sauces and roll em’ up in a giant collard leaf.

 I use raw collard greens to make my wraps because it’s so simple, but a quick steam or soak in warm water can soften up your collard greens for milder flavor and softer texture

Make kale chips

Kale chips are a perfect movie night snack, afternoon pick-me up, or crunchy appetizer. As they dehydrate in the oven, kale chips become smaller in size and crispy, which makes eating a huge pile of greens easy and delicious! 

There are plenty of fun kale chip flavours that you can explore and try. 

Cook them down

On a similar note, an entire bag of spinach cooks down to a few mere tablespoons. Talk about packing a punch of nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants in a few bites! To eat more leafy greens without having to eat a massive salad, add spinach or kale to pasta sauce, soup, chili, or stew. 

Smoothies are your friend

You thought I’d get through an entire article about greens without talking about smoothies? Smoothies are a staple for eating more greens! 

Throwing in a handful of spinach is maybe one of THE easiest ways to eat more greens. A mix of fresh or frozen fruit usually does the trick for masking the flavour of greens in a smoothie.  

Work with a Registered Dietitian

Need customizable tips on how to eat more greens? A registered dietitian can give you advice that suits YOUR lifestyle and preferences. A registered dietitian can also help motivate you on why you should eat more greens

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How to eat more greens:

In summary

Greens are incredibly nutritious and should be a part of any balanced healthy diet. Hopefully these simple tips for how and why to eat more leafy greens resonated with you.