Raise your hand if you know a child who finishes their peas and broccoli, on their own, without protest. We bet very few of you have your hands up, and there’s nothing wrong with that! Vegetables of any variety generally fall into the “yucky” category, due to their tendency to be bitter and less sweet than their brightly colored counterparts, but green goods are typically the worst offenders.
But for their bad reputation in the world of flavor, you’re hard pressed to find veggies that offer more for you (and your kiddos) nutritionally than green vegetables. And let us not forget the glories of green fruits. Oh no, those are great for you, too!
Light, Dark and Everything In Between
Green fruits and vegetables cover the spectrum – in terms of hue and value and in terms of nutrition. From light green grapes to dark green kale and everywhere in between, every piece of green produce has something nutritionally to offer everyone. In general however, you’ll find different concentrations of essential vitamins and minerals in different shades. In dark green varieties you’ll find:
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Dark leafy greens also have compounds that have been shown to help lower cholesterol, preserve vision and promote cardiovascular health. Even more, they’re high in insoluble fiber, which helps with digestion, regularity and helping you to feel full.
While dark green veggies have nutritional profiles that are similar across the board from plant to plant, things vary greatly among their lighter colored counterparts. For instance, green apples are high in fiber and antioxidants, while green grapes are high in phytonutrients and flavanols like resveratrol, catechins, lutein and zeaxanthin. Not to mention the heart-healthy fats found in luscious avocados. Mmm, that’s what we’re talking about!
Don’t get us wrong; we’re not saying that grapes don’t have fiber, that apples don’t contain flavanols, or that avocado should be served at every meal. We’re simply saying that variety is the spice of life – the more shades of green you choose, that better you’ll likely feel.
Green is a Color for Digestion
Asparagus, dandelion green and leeks are three of our favorite green veggies that also happen to be great source of prebiotic fiber. These veggies go a long way to help clear you intestinal tract, and they act as food for gut friendly probiotics, like those found in kefir (and frozen kefir, if you want to be wild).
There are endless options for green smoothies we could share with you today, but we always find us coming back to our slightly sweet, slightly tangy, completely delicious Avocado Kiwi Kefir Smoothie. It’s great for breakfast, as a snack, after a tough workout, or shared for a guilt-free dessert!
Avocado Kiwi Kefir Smoothie
- 1 cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir
- 2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
- ½ of an avocado
- Honey or sweetener of choice, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a blender in the order that they are listed. Blend on high until desired consistency is reached.