When it comes to leafy greens, most of us rely on the basics like romaine, leaf lettuce or iceburg lettuce. While these provide health benefits, there are 5 immune boosting greens to try now! Shaking things up can help keep things fun and interesting in the kitchen while also diversifying your nutrient intake.
We’ve all heard that it’s important to eat those green vegetables. That age old recommendation has merit! Leafy green vegetables are a total nutrition powerhouse providing plant-based calcium, iron and magnesium. Plus vitamins A, C and K (vitamin K is necessary for blood clotting and bone health).
Immune Boosting Greens to Try Now!
If you don’t like the taste of one variety, chances are you can find an alternative. It might also be a matter of preparation method, so don’t hesitate to do some experimenting. Here are some of our favorites along with simple ways you can try incorporating them into your regular rotation:
Swapping arugula for romaine is a great way to spice up a salad (literally!). This leafy green has a peppery bite and delicate texture. It pairs perfectly with a light citrus vinaigrette and some shaved parmesan cheese. An easy side dish thrown together in minutes. Muddle the arugula in a pesto for added flavor. Or toss on a pizza right before serving. Arugula is a cruciferous vegetable, like its cousins broccoli and cauliflower, and therefore has added disease-preventative effects.
You might already be familiar with traditional “curly” kale that has become a grocery store staple in recent years. Lacinato or “dino” kale is the one that has a long flat leaves with a bumpy texture and newer to the scene. Add it to your favorite soup or stew near the end of cooking time for a pop of bright green color and an extra element of texture. Cooking kale mellows its bitter flavor, so a quick sauté in some olive oil with a bit of lemon juice is a delicious way to enjoy this nutrient powerhouse. And, don’t forget about smoothies. Kale makes a high nutrient impact on any smoothie. Pair it with a sweet fruit for a tasty combination.
This leafy green typically has a gorgeous bright pink or yellow stem. Due to the large size of the leaves, chard makes a nice swap for tortillas (a great low-carbohydrate option!). Use the leaves to wrap hummus and vegetables. You can also sauté the delicate leaves, as they cook up quickly. One cup of Swiss chard is packed with 716% Vitamin K, 214% Vitamin A, 53% Vitamin C, 38% Magnesium of recommend daily intake (RDI). Not to mention, swiss chard also is rich in antioxidants, including quercetin, kaempferol, rutin and vitexin. Find out more ways to use swiss chard here.
Watercress is a cruciferous vegetable with long stems and small, circular leaves. It makes a great sandwich topper in place of traditional leaf lettuce for a fun presentation. The bright, peppery taste does well with just a bit of vinegar and olive oil. You can also drop into soups just before serving for a burst of flavor. Try a salad that includes watercress, cucumbers, and radishes – fresh and delicious!
Bok Choy is a type of Chinese cabbage with a bright white stem surrounded by dark green leaves. It’s most commonly used in Asian cuisines including stir-fries and soups like ramen, but feel free to add it to salads and slaws. We love this simple recipe for sheet pan bok choy – simply place quartered bok choy on parchment-lined sheet pan and toss with freshly grated ginger and sesame oil. Roast at 350° F until softened and serve with fresh lime wedges.
Plan a Meal with Immune Boosting Greens
Looking for new and different ways to use these 5 immune boosting greens? Check out digital meal plans founds here. Sign up is easy to trial simple meal planning. Many smoothie ideas and recipes that include nutrient packed greens. Contact me to find out how to these meal plans can be customized.