Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Power of Green


Last month I demoed at three of Piedmont Hospital's Cancer Wellness Center in the Atlanta area. The food focus was on green foods. Working with our dietitian, we developed a great menu and game plan for sharing information about the power of eating green. As with all the demos I do for CWC, I learn a great deal and this time was no exception.

Here is why eating green is so powerful:

1. They are high in antioxidants. You'll find plenty of vitamin A, C, and E as well as iron and zinc. Antioxidants play a major role in protecting your body from viruses. Make your goal to eat three servings of green foods each day.


2. They are low in calories. Green foods, especially dark leafy one, have a large amount of water which in turn leaves them extremely low in calories so you can east as many of them as you possible can and not have to worry about gaining weight. Adding greens such as spinach, chard or kale in soups, casseroles and even enchiladas with bulk up the meal while keeping the calories in check.

3. They are a great source of phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are special chemicals found in green foods that have a good effect on the body after consumed. They boost your immune systems as well as protect you from cellular damage. Switch up the foods you eat from day to day in order to get a wide range of these nutrients.
4.They are practically carb free. While there are a small amount of carbs in green food, these carbs are important to your health. These carbs are complex so they are packed with much needed fiber which helps you keep fuller longer throughout the day. Fiber also helps to grab pollutants and other unnecessary things in your body and dispose of them before they are absorbed.

5. They are easy on your glucose level. Green foods are very low in sugars. Along with being packed full of fiber and water, they actually help to regulate your blood sugar levels throughout the day.

Kale is all the rage right now, from using it to juice, in salads or as a side dish. I think that I have eaten more kale in the last 6 months than I have in my entire lifetime! Below is one of the recipes we prepared and shared at CWC. It has become one of my favorites.


Wilted Kale Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

Makes 4 servings
4 cups washed, dried, and chopped kale
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons maple syrup

1/2 cup fresh or dried cherries

4 tablespoons toasted almonds

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard and maple syrup. Set aside until needed.

Heat a large saute pan over a medium Heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan and allow to heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and add kale. Stir frequently to just wilted. Remove from heat.

Rewhisk the vinaigrette and pour over the kale. Gently stir to coat.

Divide between plates and finish with cherries and almonds.

Note: The vinaigrette is also great on other greens, especially those that are more bitter such as arugula.

 

2 comments:

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  2. Yes I agree and I love green, I'm a private chef in austin. Thanks for sharing this.

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