Spring is in the air and St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. From four-leaf clovers to brightly colored party favors, we’re starting to see a lot more green—but do we have enough of it on our plates?
Vegetables have a bit of a bad reputation as the stereotypical “least favorite” of children across the country, but the truth is, they’re some of the most wonderful things a person can eat! We’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with our 5 favorite green superfoods that won’t be out of place at your party, or on your table any night!
Roasted, steamed, or stir-fried, we can’t recommend broccoli enough! Broccoli is higher in protein than many vegetables—a sign of a bariatric-friendly ingredient—as well as potassium and calcium. In fact, about half a cup of raw broccoli provides almost 70% of the recommended daily intake of calcium!
Studies link eating broccoli to benefits such as eye health, improved by broccoli’s carotenoids, and low cholesterol, due to it’s acidic binding properties. Science even suggests that consuming cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and arugula can help prevent cancer due to the unique compounds they contain which help stimulate the immune system and reduce inflammation.
This leafy vegetable is a favorite of foodies across the nation, and for good reason! Kale is tasty, healthy, and makes a great side or salad base. One cup of kale contains two times the daily recommended intake of vitamin A, seven times the daily recommended intake of potassium, AND more vitamin C than an orange!
Kale contains magnesium, which studies believe helps protect the body from heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Kale is also full of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are powerful antioxidants that help lower risk of eye disease. This veggie isn’t just a great green superfood—it’s one of the healthiest foods you can eat!
Brussels sprouts often appear on the dinner as a part of holiday meals, but you shouldn’t need a special occasion to celebrate this vegetable! According to their Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) score, brussels sprouts are among the top 20 most nutritious foods, meaning that they are full of nutrients and low in calories.
Brussels sprouts are also full of protein and plenty of other nutrients that the body needs, such as vitamins C and K. An anti-oxidant found in brussels sprouts—alpha-lipoic—has been shown to help diabetes management by lowering glucose levels and increasing sensitivity to insulin. Best of all, they’re tasty whether you roast them, pan-fry them, or just enjoy them raw!
You’ll be hard pressed to find a menu at a restaurant that doesn’t feature avocados, whether they’re spread on toast, topping a salad, or mashed into guacamole. What makes these fruits such a fan favorite superfood? Aside from their taste, they are nutrient rich, containing plenty of fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants in every bite.
The fiber in avocados helps to aid in digestion and maintain a healthy digestive tract, and their creamy texture makes them great for anyone looking for more variety in high-fiber foods. Studies also associate compounds in avocados with relieving joint pain and keeping bones strong. Go ahead and indulge—there’s plenty of good reasons to order that extra avocado!
Kiwi may be brown and fuzzy on the outside, they are juicy, sweet, and a lovely bright green on the inside. This wonderful fruit is considered by many to be exotic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t—or shouldn’t—make this green superfood a regular in your kitchen!
Kiwi contains almost twice as much vitamin C as oranges, helping to boost the body’s immunity. Kiwi fruit is also a great source of dietary fiber, which studies show helps lower risk of cardiovascular diseases and aid in digestion. Also aiding in digestion is an enzyme called actinidin—the same enzyme that makes kiwi a great, natural meat tenderizer—which helps the body break down protein and can ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
When it comes to healthy, long-term weight loss, diet and exercise aren’t always enough. If you’re considering bariatric surgery, one of the most effective tools for healthier living and losing weight, then come and see our amazing team!
Lead by Dr. Amir Mehran—a gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap-band removal expert with over a decade of specialized experience—we make sure that patient comfort and care are our top priorities. Our greatest passion is helping our patients achieve their goals, and our greatest joy is seeing them succeed. For experience, compassion, and heartfelt care, schedule an appointment with us today! https://www.universitybariatrics.com/contact-us/