With the sun starting to make regular appearances in the sky, promoting growth in our trees plants and lawns, Spring can be the greenest time of year here in Seattle! The flora emerging from its winter slumber reminds us why this place is called the “Emerald City”. The reappearance of the color green in our surroundings can also serve as a reminder to put more greens into our diets…specifically dark, leafy greens.
One of the most powerful foods we can add to our diet is dark leafy greens which can include things like kale, swiss chard, collard greens, spinach and mustard greens. I say powerful because they boost energy and metabolism, they quicken the recovery of hard-working muscles, and they improve overall health… even vision!
Here are some benefits you may experience from including more dark leafy greens in your diet:
- Promotes weight loss
- Improves respiratory and muscular contraction rate
- Helps with blood sugar stabilization (no peaks or valleys)
- Helps the blood purification process
- May help in inhibiting cancer cells from developing
- Improves circulation
- Increases energy
- Increases antioxidants and other minerals for a healthy brain that can help fight depression
Despite the many benefits, people often avoid eating dark leafy greens citing lack of time to prep or cook them or inconvenience in finding them when they are on the go away from home. No worries! Thanks to an increasing focus on healthy living and eating, more evidence proving the benefits of a diet with more greens and a business environment that still looks to fill the needs of the consumer, you can find dark leafy greens everywhere. Whether you have time for a sit down lunch or you need the ease and portability of mixing your own energy drink, eating more dark leafy greens in no longer inconvenient.
Here are some places or products that you can explore in your quest to consume more greens daily. They are listed in order from “some time investment” to “no time at all.”.
Amazing Salad Bar restaurant at the University Village and Downtown Seattle. This place is the best. Hate to hassle with parking? Get the FlyBy App and order before and sweep by to pick up! www.evergreens-salad.com/#top
- PCC and Whole Foods Juice Bars
Pick the smoothie with maximum one fruit.
- Perfect Bar – Coconut Almond
Find at PCC and Whole Foods. It has kelp, celery, alfalfa and spinach in it! shop.perfectbar.com/products/almond-coconut
Near the University Village and in Bellevue. My favorite drink is the Inflammation Smoothie, I love adding avocado to this.
- Bottled Juices in stores
Evolution or Columbia Gorge, Just Greens www.cogojuice.com/products/category/veggie_blends/just_greens
- Starbucks – Evolution Sweet greens
- Amazing Grass
Powders and single packets. Great for busy days and travel. I suggest two on busy days when you can’t sit down for some veggies. www.amazinggrass.com/store/
Another advantage to all these shops and products is that they provide you with a lot of different options and forms to take in the benefits of dark leafy greens… just in case sitting with a giant bowl of kale in front of you is not on your list of epicurean delights. The bottom line is that the health benefits, and now convenience, of a diet including dark, leafy greens far outweigh any excuses of taste.
If you want more information on the best greens to eat or the important role greens play in workout recovery and fat loss, contact me for the right tools and knowledge that will help you get more great results.
Nutrition Specialist, Health Coach, Personal Trainer