Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How to get more greens into your diet.


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You see the recommendation frequently: Eat more dark, leafy greens. But have you ever wondered which vegetables fit into this category? "Dark green, leafy vegetables include arugula, collard greens, dandelion greens, kale, mustard greens, lettuces, spinach, and Swiss chard," says Lynn Goldstein, RD, a dietitian at Weill Cornell Medical College. "These vegetables are probably the richest in nutrients of any foods. They are high in vitamins A, C, K, D, E, and all the B vitamins, as well as minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium."

The nutrients found in dark green, leafy vegetables have been linked to everything from a reduced risk of heart disease to protection from osteoporosis. "They are low in calories and rich in fiber and are a great source of phytonutrients, such as beta carotene and lutein, which protect our cells from damage and can help prevent diseases such as eye degeneration and cancer, adds Goldstein.


Incorporating greens into your diet. Dark, leafy greens are available throughout the year, so they can be incorporated into robust winter dishes as well as lighter summer fare.

"Dark green leafy vegetables are easy to fit into meals," advises Goldstein. "You can eat them raw in salads, or on sandwiches, or as a wrap in place of bread. They can be cooked either by themselves or mixed into soups, stews, and stir-fries." Flavors that go well with greens include garlic, lemon, smoked meats, beans, and vinegar.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that older adults eat between two to three cups of dark green vegetables per week.

Leafy green vegetables (particularly kale and spinach) are high in vitamin K, which your body uses to make blood-clotting proteins. If you take a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin), check with your doctor before increasing your leafy greens--you may need to limit these foods to prevent an undesirable food-drug interaction.


Source Calcium Iron Magnesium Potassium
(1 cup) 1,200mg * 8mg * 420mg/320mg * 4,700mg *

Arugula 32mg 0.29mg 9mg 74mg
Collard greens 266mg 2.2mg 38mg 220mg
Kale 94mg 1.17mg 23mg 296mg
Mustard greens 104mg 0.98mg 21mg 283mg
Lettuce (romaine) 16mg 0.46mg 7mg 116mg
Spinach 291mg 3.72mg 156mg 574mg
Swiss chard 102mg 3.95mg 150mg 961mg

Source Vit C Vit B6 Vit A
(1 cup) 90mg/75mg * 1.7mg/1.5mg * 3,000 IU/2,310 IU *

Arugula 3.0mg .015mg 475 IU
Collard greens 34.6mg .243mg 15,417 IU
Kale 53.3mg .179mg 17,707 IU
Mustard greens 35.4mg .137mg 8,852 IU
Lettuce (romaine) 11.3mg .035mg 4,094 IU
Spinach 4.2mg .258mg 2,2916 IU
Swiss chard 31.5mg .149mg 10,717 IU

Source Vit E Vit K
(1 cup) 15mg * 120mcg/90mcg *

Arugula .09mg 21.7mcg
Collard greens 1.67mg 836mcg
Kale 1.10mg 1,062.1mcg
Mustard greens 1.69mg 419.3mcg
Lettuce (romaine) .06mg 48.2mcg
Spinach 6.73mg 1,027.3mcg
Swiss chard 3.31mg 572.8mcg

* Recommended Daily Intake (RDI). If two numbers are listed, the first
applies to men and the second applies to women. Source: USDA[GRAPHIC OMITTED]

Source Citation
"How to get more greens into your diet." Food & Fitness Advisor Jan. 2010: 1+. Academic OneFile. Web. 5 Jan. 2010. .

Gale Document Number:A215304913

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