Today I have a lovely guest post for you about amazing green deliciousness by Veronica from Healthsomeness. Veronica’s site is an awesome resource of nutrition, fitness and general well-being. The site has various articles on diet, healthy foods, dietary myths, plus a very helpful Healthy Food Finder tool, which shows you the nutritional information of fruits, greens, veggies and grains, and helps you to compare the nutritional profiles of different foods. And my favourite part: the enormous Smoothie Recipe collection. Simply amazing!
Vitamins and minerals are very important for your health. Take Zinc for example. It boosts your immune system, promotes cardiovascular activity and improves fertility. Nuts & seeds such as pumpkin seeds and cashew nuts are excellent vegan sources of zinc.
In this article I would like to share with you 10 of my favourite green vegan foods that are bursting with nutritional goodness. Eat these foods regularly and you will be more energetic, will fall ill less often and feel much happier throughout the day!
My all-time most favourite vegetable has got to be spinach. I simply just love it. And the great thing about spinach is that it is so versatile. It can be steamed and eaten as a side, used as a base for green smoothies or chopped up and blended to make a delicious and vibrant soup.
Popeye used to eat a lot of spinach and for good reason. Not only is it an excellent source of iron, which is needed to created haemoglobin in your blood, it is also rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese and folate.
To gain the most out of spinach, eat it raw or slightly steamed so that all the vitamin power remains intact.
For a long time now, kale has been known to be one of the healthiest foods you can eat. It is considered to be natures multivitamin because it is abundant in so many different vitamins and minerals. Surprisingly, it is also a rich source of protein, containing around 3g per cup. This is excellent news for vegans as protein can sometimes be difficult to come by.
I usually use kale in salads, lasagnas and as a filling for wraps. When you buy kale, go for organic if you can and try get it as fresh as possible.
One word to describe avocado. Yum! So creamy and delectable. I remember when I was a child we had an avocado tree and the avocados would be larger than my palm. My sister and I would slice them in half, sprinkle some salt, chilli powder & lemon and enjoy eating them whilst sitting on the garden swing in the evening.
Contrary to what many people might think, avocados are actually a fruit and not a vegetable. They are also an excellent source of potassium (more than bananas!), heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and fiber.
I still eat avocados like I did when I was a child but also use them to make guacamole and avocado butter, to spread over my toast in the morning.
It is hard to forget what asparagus looks like, thanks to the distinct ‘spear like’ shape it has. It is considered to be somewhat of a delicacy and is not always readily available where I live. When it is, it sells like hot cakes.
Asparagus is a rich source of folate, copper and selenium, 3 nutrients that your body requires in trace amounts. It is an excellent anti-inflammatory, aids digestion and has even been shown to help fight off certain types of cancer.
One of the most common ways to cook asparagus is to oven roast or pan fry it and eat it with some olive oil drizzled on top.
I used to be the stereotypical child who despised broccoli greatly and would secretly throw it in the bin when no one was looking. But as I grew older, my taste buds gradually became accustomed to its taste and I started enjoying it.
A cup of cooked broccoli provides you with a whopping 245% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin K! It also contains powerful antioxidants and aids digestion.
Try out Evi’s green spring salad, it contains broccoli, asparagus, avocado and a number of other delicious green foods.
You might find it hard to believe but celery is made up of 95% water. This is the reason it only has 6 calories per stalk, making it the perfect food if you are trying to lose weight. Celery has long been claimed to be a negative calorie food as it is believed you use more calories to digest it than what your body gets from eating it.
Even though it is mainly made up of water, celery contains large quantities of vitamins and minerals. A cup contains 40 mg of calcium, which is important for healthy teeth and bones.
I like to chop celery up into 2 inch pieces, cover it with almond butter and eat it as a bedtime snack.
Kiwifruit is one of the best fruit sources of vitamin C, being beaten only by guavas. And as you may know, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is important for a myriad of different bodily functions such as keeping your immune system in check, healing wounds and maintaining healthy gums.
Kiwifruit makes for a naturally sweet and healthier alternative to candy. I combine it with pineapples, mangos and bananas to make a lovely after meal fruit salad.
Just like celery, a large part of cucumber is made up of water. Thanks to this, it helps keep you hydrated, which is important for maintaining energy levels. A lot of people don’t realise how dehydrated their bodies are, making them feel sluggish and tired.
Cucumber also has a cooling effect on the body and is often used to get rid of bags under people’s eyes. Nutritionally, it has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits.
I like to use cucumber to give water some flavour. I simply slice it up into thin pieces and add it to my water bottle. Once I finish drinking the water, I eat it all up.
Parsley is often used only in little amounts as a garnish, but it doesn’t have to! It can be added to burgers, spaghetti and salads.
Parsley has the most amount of vitamin K compared to all other foods, with half a cup providing you with 554% of your daily requirement. It is also rich in vitamin C, folate and iron.
Parsley can protect against rheumatoid arthritis and helps keep your heart healthy.
And finally Swiss chard, also known simply as chard. It looks a bit like spinach but has colourful red, yellow, orange and pink stalks that makes it easy to distinguish. It is high in magnesium, potassium and vitamin E.
Swiss chard has unique benefits in that it can help regulate blood sugar levels. This is particularly beneficial for people who have diabetes. A cup of boiled chard also contains 10% of your daily calcium requirement.
It can be sautéed, stir fried or steamed, making it a very handy ingredient in the kitchen.
So there you have it, my 10 favourite green vegan foods. Please do try some of them out if you haven’t already and let me know what you think. Happy eating!