Getting into the spirit of shamrocks and ALL THINGS GREEN for St. Patrick’s Day? Well, here are 3 GREEN foods your tastebuds are sure to LOVE while they ramp up your health. I’m confident this first one might surprise you – Kiwifruit!
This delightful burst of mouth-watering goodness is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. They have a low glycemic index of 50, and 2 kiwis contain about 84 calories. Kiwifruits are rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin C, choline, lutein, and zeaxanthin, that fight free radicals.
Antioxidants & Disease: Free radicals are unstable molecules produced during metabolic processes that cause premature aging, oxidative stress, and could lead to heart disease or cancer if left unchecked.1 Kiwis fight free radical oxidation.
Vision: Lutein and zeaxanthin are critical antioxidants that help protect your eyes from vision loss from the harmful high-energy blue light of electronic devices and the Sun’s UV rays.2
Skin Matrix: Vitamins C and E help stimulate collagen production and elasticity of skin, hydrating and reducing wrinkles.3 Vitamin E also helps protect your skin from sun damage and skin disorders. Folate helps produce DNA and other genetic material that allows cells to divide for skin turnover and regeneration of new skin.4
Sleep & Constipation: Interestingly, researchers have discovered that kiwifruit contains serotonin – the happy hormone. Serotonin helps balance moods, but it also aids sleep, eating, and digestion. Studies demonstrate that adding kiwifruit to your diet regularly could help you fall asleep, sleep longer, and enjoy a better sleep quality.5 One 2019 study showed that kiwis help retain more water in the digestive tract, leading to softer and more frequent stools.6
Some people don’t like broccoli, but these florets pack a mighty punch of nourishment. A fascinating note is that kiwifruit and broccoli have similar nutrient profiles. One cup of broccoli has about 24 calories. Broccoli is a cruciferous veggie and contains a sulfur compound called sulforaphane.7
Anti-Cancer: These pretty florets are making scientists sit up. Researchers suggest cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli may play a role in cancer prevention. Another compound, called indole-3-carbinol, indicated powerful antitumor properties and is also found in cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, turnips, cabbage, arugula, and more.8 A 2015 screening trial found that people who consistently eat high fiber were less likely to develop colorectal cancer.9
Bone: Vitamin C and Calcium in broccoli help stimulate collagen, connective tissue, and bone mineralization for stronger bones and skeletal integrity. Vitamin K is known for its role in clotting blood. But a deficiency of Vitamin K has been linked to osteoporosis. Broccoli can help keep levels from dropping too low.
Inflammation: Evidence suggests that broccoli’s sulforaphane helps reduce inflammatory markers. A 2018 study of 40 healthy, overweight people showed significant inflammation reductions after 10 weeks of consuming 30grams of broccoli sprouts per day.10
Diabetes: Broccoli’s unique sulforaphane might help people with type 2 diabetes better manage their blood sugar levels.11 Scientists also learned that eating more fiber, like that in broccoli, may also reduce blood sugar.12
Heart: Cruciferous veggies lower your risk of atherosclerosis (the hardening of arteries), leading to heart attacks or strokes. Both the antioxidants and sulforaphane help protect your heart and blood vessels from damage. High blood pressure can also damage the delicate walls of arteries. Potassium helps relax blood vessels, lowering blood pressure and reducing your risk for cardiovascular disease.13
This remarkable fruit stuffed with healthy fat is nutrient-dense and loaded with vitamins, minerals, oleic acid, and fiber. Avocados contain 7 grams of fiber and net only 2 grams of carbs. They have no sodium and are low in saturated fats. Avocados also contain more potassium than bananas!
Electrolyte Support: Potassium is an electrolyte that helps maintain electrical gradients in your body’s cells that regulate molecules from entering and exiting cell walls. Potassium helps reduce blood pressure and the risk for heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure.14
Cancer & Inflammation: About 77% of avocados’ fat comes from the monosaturated fatty acid, oleic acid. Oleic acid is also the main component of olive oil, scoring major benefits associated with reduced inflammation and cancer risk.15 16 17 18
Digestion & Immunity: These green powerplants are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber enhances your gut microbiome, thereby fortifying your immune system. And the insoluble fiber helps weight management, improves digestion, and reduces constipation. Better than other popular fiber sources, avocados contain lower levels of phytate and oxalate, which can interfere with mineral absorption.19 20
Cholesterol & Triglycerides: Numerous studies show us that avocados reduce cholesterol levels significantly. They drop triglycerides by 20% and LDL cholesterol by 22%. And they increased “good” HDL cholesterol levels by 11%.21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Adding the healthy fat of avocados to your plate is a fabulous way to boost the absorption of all the nutrients in your meal. They’re yummy in Guacamole, smashed with hard-boiled egg and organic mayo on toast, or just scoop it out from the peel. You can serve broccoli roasted with garlic lemon or make broccoli soup with a dollop of melted cheddar, or the classic simple steam them up and enjoy. Kiwifruits are a delicious treat for morning, lunch, and dinner. Don’t forget they improve your mood. Check if kiwifruit as an after-dinner dessert enhances your night’s sleep. Go GREEN for St. Patrick’s Day!
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nlm.nih.gov/ pmc/articles /PMC4882728/
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