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“Green” Up Your Plate with These Nutrition Super Stars

 

Nan Jensen, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, UF/IFAS Extension

One of my favorite “wake up” beverages is a green smoothie made with apples, bananas, strawberries and a leafy green like spinach or kale.  From salads to side dishes, leafy greens can be a great addition to your menu. They can add flavor and versatility to a meal and are nutrition superstars on the list of foods you should include in your diet.  The superstar status comes because they are loaded with vitamins A, C and K, potassium and fiber and for a small investment of just 5 to 40 calories a cup. They are disease fighters as well and have a potential role in cancer prevention and may reduce the risk of age related macular degeneration.

To help you in your quest for information on how to buy, store and prepare leafy greens as well as other fruits and vegetables, the Fruits and Veggies More Matters website can help. This initiative led by Produce for Better Health in conjunction with other health organizations has a wealth of information.  From kale, to collards to cabbage, they have what you need to help you reach your goal of making half your plate fruits and vegetables. Go to www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org

Also, check out the article in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Magazine at http://www.foodandnutrition.org/March-April-2014/Leafy-Greens-Nutrition-Rock-Stars/