Leading a healthy lifestyle means eating lots of leafy greens. Research clearly demonstrates that focuses on eating a more plant-based diet has beneficial health effects. I’m not saying you need to go vegan or even totally vegetarian, but adding more vegetables to your diet is a big part of leading a healthy lifestyle.
Leading a Healthy Lifestyle Includes Plenty of Leafy Greens
If your goal is leading a healthy lifestyle, you need to pay attention to your food choices. Green leafy greens are a great place to start.
Here are some of the reasons to include leafy greens in your healthy lifestyle. These health benefits are from USDA:
• Salad greens, kale and spinach are rich in vitamins A, C, E and K, and broccoli, bok choy and mustard are also rich in many of the B-vitamins.
• These vegetables also contain an abundance of carotenoids-antioxidants that protect cells and play roles in blocking the early stages of cancer.
• They also contain high levels of fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Furthermore, greens have very little carbohydrates, sodium and cholesterol.
• The dark greens supply a significant amount of folate, a B vitamin that promotes heart health and helps prevent certain birth defects. Several large studies have shown that high intakes of folate may lower the risk of colon polyps by 30 to 40 percent compared to low intakes of this vitamin.
• The vitamin K contents of dark green leafy vegetables provide a number of health benefits including: protecting bones from osteoporosis and helping to prevent against inflammatory diseases.
• Because of their high content of antioxidants, green leafy vegetables may be one of the best cancer-preventing foods. Studies have shown that eating 2 to 3 servings of green leafy vegetables per week may lower the risk of stomach, breast and skin cancer. These same antioxidants have also been proven to decrease the risk of heart disease.
• One of the most appealing benefits of dark green leafy vegetables is their low calorie and carbohydrate contents and their low glycemic index. These features make them an ideal food to facilitate achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight.
• Adding more green vegetables to a balanced diet increases the intake of dietary fiber which, in turn, regulates the digestive system and aids in bowel health and weight management. These properties are particularly advantageous for those with type-2 diabetes.
Add This Recipe to Your Efforts at Leading a Healthy Lifestyle
This arugula salad contributes to leading a healthy lifestyle.
Mediterranean Arugula Salad
This is a nutritious and filling salad. It contains arugula, quinoa, chickpeas and fresh basil.
The dressing is a simple Mediterranean dressing with a base of lemon-flavored olive oil, which you can buy on the Internet or at a specialty oil and vinegar shop. If you have trouble finding it, just use olive oil and fresh lemon juice.
If this salad is your whole meal, add some protein by topping it with chopped, roasted chicken breast or salmon. Some other tasty options are sun dried tomatoes and chopped cucumber. Be adventuresome!
Ingredients (serves 8)
• 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
• ½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
• ½ teaspoon sea salt
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
• ¼ cup lemon flavored olive oil (OR ¼ cup olive oil and 1 Tablespoon lemon juice)
• 8 cups Baby Arugula
• 1 cup cooked quinoa
• 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 1 heirloom tomato, finely chopped
• ½ cup celery, minced
• ¼ cup fresh scallions, thinly sliced
• ¼ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
1. Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar. Close the lid and shake until fully combined.
2. Combine the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Toss with the dressing and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Click here for this recipe and make it part of leading a healthy lifestyle.