There’s more to March than the traditional Irish dish: potatoes, boiled cabbage and corned beef. While it’s a delicious meal, the nutrition from this fatty, starchy food doesn’t possess the necessary nutrients to give you energy for any upcoming Irish jigs.
So what should we be putting into our body? The answer is vegetables filled with fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. Here are just a few of the examples of good-for-you veggies:
Kale-This leafy green is not just for health fanatics. It’s low-calorie, high in fiber and possesses zero fat. Not only is it easy on the digestive track, but also the vitamins, folate and magnesium make it nutrient packed. And for those lacking in iron, kale is an excellent source.
Spinach-For the cholesterol conscious, spinach is your best friend. It’s low in fat and can reduce cholesterol. It’s rich in antioxidants, containing 250 mg of calcium per cup, and is one of the best sources of potassium (it puts the banana to shame). We should also mention it’s only 27 calories for a whole cup!
Broccoli-Your parents were just looking out for you when they nagged you to “eat your broccoli.” Broccoli is considered one of the most nutritious vegetables, and reduces cholesterol and inflammation. It’s rich in vitamin K and calcium, making it great for your bones as well. And as a good carb, high in fiber and low in sugar, a cup of broccoli is the perfect side for the health conscious.
Brussels Sprouts-Brussels sprouts are a great solution if your digestive system needs a little boost. These little guys also pack a lot of protein - and you don’t have to eat too many to feel full and meet your vitamin C and vitamin K needs for the day. All it takes is one serving.
Peas-The princess and the pea is a well-known tale, but they left out the part about how healthy peas really are. Peas are low in fat, with one whole cup being only 100 calories, and filled with protein. And since they are high in anti-inflammatories, peas can reduce wrinkles, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, bronchitis, osteoporosis and candida.
Tomatoes-Not green, or technically a vegetable, but tomato tomoto right? These little beauties are so good for you, we can’t go without mentioning them. Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, biotin, molybdenum and vitamin K. They also contain high levels of lycopene, which is great for the skin. They can even help repair the damages from smoking, and are good for your hair, kidneys and eyes. What’s not to love?
Experts suggest that adults should eat about 2 ½ cups of vegetables every day on a 2,000-calorie diet. If you have any questions about the nutritional value of your meals, visit The Alaska Club’s website at http://www.thealaskaclub.com/fitness-tools to access their self-nutrition data tool and the USDA’s Food and Consumption Database. If you have any additional questions, we encourage you to talk to our expert-personal trainers at The Alaska Club, who can help you get on the right track to a healthy lifestyle.
Get ready to go green this March in more ways than one, and embrace a healthier you. Cheers!