Health & Medical Nutrition

Get Your Veggies From the Dark Side

Have you ever heard the expression "eat all the colors of the rainbow for optimal health?" I'm sure you have, and today I want to talk about just how true that statement really is.
In order to help you to know what's best in terms of your veggies in particular, I like to refer to them as being from the "Dark Side.
" My apologies go out to any of you who are not avid Star Wars fans (like me), but if you remember this simple rule of thumb, you pretty much can't go wrong when choosing your veggies.
Picture yourself standing before that immense (and somewhat intimidating) wall of veggies at your local supermarket.
There are so many choices, from all over the world, multiple species of the same type of veggie, different shapes, different sizes, and...
different colors! That's the key right there you see, the color.
When you're faced with a tough decision like this, always choose the Darker version of the choices available.
Now, here's a few examples of the best choices for dark veggies: Arugula tastes spicy and peppery.
It is rich in vitamins A, C, and calcium.
You can use it in salads or add it into stir-fries, soups, and pasta sauces.
Chicory is somewhat bitter, which is why it's sometimes roasted and mixed in with coffee.
It is rich in vitamins K, C, and calcium.
Mix chicory up with other greens in salads or add to soups and pasta sauces.
Collard Greens taste similar to spinach.
They are particularly dense in vitamin A and calcium.
Steam them lightly and drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and tamari, or steam and add to a soup or stir-fry.
You can also eat collard greens with vinegar and salt.
Dandelion Greens are bitter and tangy tasting, and they grow in most people's yards.
Harvest them in early spring or late fall when new growth is tender.
They are rich in vitamin A and calcium.
Eat them in salads or lightly steam and dress with salad dressing.
Kale is somewhat bitter and tastes a little like cabbage.
It's rich in vitamins A, C, calcium, folic acid, and potassium.
Eat lightly steamed, with salad dressing, or add to soups.
Mustard Greens positively zing with hot, spicy flavor.
They contain lots of vitamins A and C and calcium.
Enjoy them raw or lightly steamed in salads or in stir-fries and soups.
Spinach is one of the sweetest-tasting and least bitter greens.
It's rich in vitamin A, C, iron and calcium.
Make a spinach salad, or mix it in with other greens, or sauté it in a little olive oil and dress with the vinegar of your choice.
Swiss Chard has a flavor similar to spinach-it's very mild.
Swiss chard is rich in vitamins C, K, and calcium.
Eat it raw in salads, steam it, or add it to a stir-fry.
Now, I have a challenge for you...
Over the next few weeks, I'd like you to try to add a couple or more of these Dark Side veggies to your regular diet! I realize that for some of us, finding some of these will be a challenge in itself, but do your best, and remember (as Jedi Master Yoda might say) "Fear not the Veggie Side that is Dark.

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