Leafy greens earn top billing for supporting overall health and brain function. They are an easy and delicious addition when planning dinner.
We’ve long been told about the virtues of leafy greens, and truly, they are nutritional powerhouses. They earn top billing on all of “the best” lists for supporting brain function, protecting our hearts, and reducing cancer risk because they provide so many valuable nutrients. These nutrient-dense veggies are packed with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, C, and K, fiber, folate, antioxidants, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron, which help to increase brain function, support heart health, and reduce cancer risk.
Adding leafy greens to our dinner plans could not be easier, and can be used raw or cooked. Start by throwing in a few here and there – add a new one to your regular tossed salad mix, saute, steam, grill, or roast some as a side dish, or place a few handfuls into a soup or stew. After a while, you’ll wonder how you got by without them!
WHAT LEAFY GREENS SHOULD I CHOOSE WHEN PLANNING MY DINNERS?
The short answer is… any that you enjoy! And, there are far more flavorful and delightful leafy greens to choose from than simple iceberg lettuce. How about these to get you started:
- beet greens
- bok choy
- broccoli / broccolini
- broccoli rabe
- brussels sprouts
- collard greens
- dandelion greens
- lettuce (many leafy varieties)
- mustard greens
- Swiss chard
- turnip greens
To learn more about selecting, storing and cooking with leafy greens, check out my blog post, “Boost Your Overall Health and Brain Function? Add Leafy Greens.”
DINNER PLANNING IDEAS
Here are three delicious and health-boosting menu ideas that feature the use of leafy greens, that you may wish to cycle into your dinner planning rotation this month. Use the ideas as-is, modify them to fit your taste and ingredient preferences, or simply gain inspiration from them. Enjoy!
Thai-Style Ginger Chicken
Enjoy this updated, lower sodium and sugar version of a popular Thai dish while keeping the usual flavor profile. Serve it over cooked brown Jasmine rice or soba or rice noodles for a complete meal.
- Health- and brain-boosting ingredients used in this meal – broccoli, spinach, bell pepper, onion, chicken, coconut aminos, molasses
- Easy ingredient adjustments can be made for vegetarian and vegan versions
Grilled or Pan-fried Fish over Wilted Super Greens
Quick and easy, this simple yet refined and nutrient-rich meal pairs nicely with mashed sweet potatoes.
- Health- and brain-boosting ingredients used in this meal – fish, super greens (kale, spinach, chard), olive oil, garlic, fennel, onion, sweet potatoes
Chickpea and Vegetable Couscous
Tantalize your tastebuds with this North African dish filled with delightfully delicious warm spices and vegetables, served with a tossed salad on the side.
- Health- and brain-boosting ingredients used in this meal – cauliflower, sweet potato, onion, garlic, carrot, bell pepper, zucchini, tomato, chickpeas, turmeric, other warm spices, leafy salad greens
What is your favorite leafy green? How do you prepare it? Share your ideas with us in the comments section.
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