Each color of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple – provides a unique set of nutrients and health benefits that allow our bodies to function more optimally.
As we continue to work our way through the rainbow in this occasional series, let’s go for green. Remember, our bodies thrive on variety, so be sure to check out ways to also add red, orange and yellow fruits and veggies to your day.Green fruits and vegetables are packed with disease-fighting, health-boosting nutrients. Go for green today! #eattherainbow #saslife Click To Tweet
Green fruits and vegetables get their relaxing hues from chlorophyll. They contain some very powerful phytonutrients such as isothiocyanate, sulforaphane, lutein and flavonoids which provide anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects to help protect the brain, heart, liver and skin. Green-colored foods also provide specific nutrients necessary for detoxification.
Here’s a small sample of just how powerful these foods can be:
- Regular consumption of green leafy vegetables, including cruciferous vegetables, has been shown to reduce cardiovascular disease risk by 15.8%. Aim for 1-2 cups daily (at least 100g) for the biggest benefits.
- Eating 3 kiwi fruits per day has been found to lower blood pressure.
- Broccoli and broccoli sprouts are rich in glucosinolates – sulfur-containing phytochemicals that promote gut health and reduce cancer risk or progression.
Green Means Go!
The color green represents new beginnings and growth as well as wealth, envy and greed. It combines the calming attributes of blue with the energy of yellow to convey harmony, balance and relaxation. Green is believed to relieve stress and promote healing which is why you’ll often see green décor in medical facilities.
Peruse the list below to go green and try some new ones that aren’t typically in your rotation. As always, remember that our bodies thrive on variety! (Hint: While most of these are delicious eaten raw, click on the table for links to some recipe inspiration.)
Green Goddess Salad
For the salad
1 small head of cabbage, finely chopped
1 large English cucumber, finely chopped
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
¼ cup chives, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
For the dressing
juice of 2 lemons (about ⅓ cup)
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp rice vinegar (or any white vinegar)
1 cup basil leaves
1 cup fresh baby spinach
2 cloves garlic
1 small shallot
⅓ cup nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese
salt, to taste
¼ cup cashews or other nut of choice (optional)
- Combine dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender. If using a blender, add liquid ingredients first to make sure everything gets properly blended.
- Blend for 30-45 seconds or until dressing is creamy and well-blended. Set aside.
- Combine finely chopped salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.
- Cover and store in fridge or serve immediately. This salad is best eaten within 4 days.