Eat Green for St. Patty’s Day

In keeping with National Nutrition Month Theme of “Eat Right with Color”, my blog today has to do with green-colored foods. However, let me digress for a moment and discuss the new “green eating” trend. That refers to reducing your carbon footprint, or impact on the environment. Choosing more locally grown vs. foods that have to travel across the globe to reach you plate, plant based foods and organically grown are all ways to “eat green”.

Here a few foods of various shades of green that can help boost your nutrition:
1. Bell Peppers: Most common is the green variety, also come in red, yellow and orange: Rich in antioxidant vitamins A & C. Also a good source of vitamin B6 and folic acid and fiber. Low in calories at only 25 calories per 1 cup, sliced. All this makes them great for heart health and keeping weight in check.
2. Cabbage: As the staple of the corned beef and cabbage feast traditional for St Patrick’s day, this veggie ranks high in nutrition as it falls in the category of cruciferous veggies (usually the ones with strong odors when cooking; other include broccoli, brussell sprouts, onions…). These veggies are known for their anti-cancer properties. Cabbage is a good source of vitmains K, C and Bs; fiber, calcium and only 33 calories per cup cooked. (fat from the corned beef boost this up a bit).
3. Avocado: Looking for a source of potassium, protein, fiber, magnesium, calcium and healthy fat all rolled into one food? Avocado has it all! Plus the combination of all the fiber, healthy fat and protein keeps you full longer to keep cravings away. At 322 for a medium avocado, for weight loss purposes, add just few slices or cubes to your meal, Serve your guacamole with cut veggies rather than adding more fat with corn chips.
4. Kiwi: As much Vitamin C as an orange with fewer calories and a splattering of other vitamins, minerals & fiber. It’s naturally sweet and really perks up a fruit cup.
5. Green Beer: Yes, beer contains some B vitamins & magnesium. Recent studies show it may increase bone density in women. So be Irish for a day and enjoy a glass.
6. Green Gummy Beers: Just kidding – Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. I’ll be wearing and eating green on March 17.

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