B Y P E T E R V I E L E
The azaleas are blooming, the buds are bursting, and the
green Earth is returning to life in the warm spring breezes.
Spring is an invigorating time of renewal and with it, it’s
typically a time to get motivated to eat healthier.
After a winter of heavier foods, holiday indulgence and
broken New Year’s resolutions, get a little spring back in
your step by starting with the greens.
Microgreens have been trending for a couple of years and
for good reason. According to a study by the U.S. Depart-ment
of Agriculture, microgreens can harness five times the
amount of nutrients, by weight, than full-grown leaves of
the same plant. These nutrient-dense greens, full of antho-cyanin,
carotenoids, phytonutrients and vitamins C, K and
E with very low-calorie implications, pack a punch of flavor
too. They are easily incorporated into everyday meals or can
be simply noshed by the handful.
Smoothies are also a great place to get a dose of green.
Blending a handful of kale or spinach with some tropical
fruits makes the bitterness more sweet and palatable. Salads
also don’t have to be drab, lifeless afterthoughts. Get inven-tive
and make salads pop with savory Southwest, Mediter-ranean
or Asian-inspired ingredients to trick the kids into
getting a helping of green nutrition.
From the old standbys like kale, spinach and kohlrabi to
arugula, collards and cabbage, there are myriad options to
add to a healthy meal. Some lesser-known varietals are as
equally nutritious to explore, like mache, chard, mizuna
and dandelion greens.
In times when fresh greens are not available or even advis-able
because of contamination concerns, there are dozens of
powdered green supplemental options available online and
ADDING MICRO, LEAFY AND POWDERED GREENS TO ANY MEAL WILL GREATLY INCREASE NUTRIENTS
N U T R I T I O N A L V A L U E O F G R E E N S
ARUGULA Contains provitamin A, carotenoids and vitamins B9 and K. Also rich in dietary nitrates.
BEET GREENS Contains 220 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin A, 37 percent for potassium and 17 percent
for fiber. Also contain the antioxidants beta-carotene and lutein.
CABBAGE Contains up to 85 percent of the DV of vitamin K, 54 percent for vitamin C and a healthy dose of
folate and manganese. Used in fermented sauerkraut, which can aid in gut health.
COLLARD Contain calcium, vitamins A, B9 (folate) and C and are an excellent source of vitamin K, which aids
GREENS in blood clotting and a healthy bone structure.
ENDIVE Contains 72 percent of the DV for vitamin K, 11 percent for vitamin A and 9 percent for folate. A great
source for kaempferol, an antioxidant that may reduce inflammation, according to some studies.
KALE Contains up to 684 percent of the DV for vitamin K, 206 percent for vitamin A and 134 percent for
vitamin C, along with antioxidants like lutein and betacarotene, which may reduce the risk of
diseases caused by oxidative stress.
MICROGREENS Contain up to 40 times more nutrients than their full-grown versions, including vitamins C, E and K.
Very low calorie, pound-for-pound.
SPINACH Contains up to 181 percent of the DV for vitamin K, 56 percent for vitamin A and 13 percent for
manganese. Additionally, it contains large amounts of folate.
SWISS CHARD Contains up to three times the recommended daily intake of vitamin K and 44 percent DV for
vitamin A and is a good source of potassium and manganese. Features the flavonoid syringic acid.