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4 Lucky Greens for St. Patrick’s Day

leafy-green

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and the four-leaf clover, here is a list of four top performing green foods you should incorporate into your diet.

1.  MACHE

If your greens have lost their luster and you want to revitalize your salad experience, then mache may be for you. Also known as lamb’s lettuce due to its rounded leaves, velvety texture and gentle taste.

This nutrient-dense lettuce green is rich in both potassium and iron. Potassium helps with nerve communication and muscle contractions. So whether you want to lower your blood pressure or prevent muscle cramping, make sure your next salad is made with mache.

2.  MUSTARD GREENS

This cruciferous vegetable is a top performer among fellow lettuce greens when you consider how much vitamin A, folate, vitamin C and fiber it contains. One cup of mustard greens has 3.6 grams of dietary fiber; this is equal or better than many whole grain bread options.

Fiber helps to regulate gastrointestinal function as well as lower your low-density lipoprotein level (LDL). If you want a hearty side, try mustard greens.

3.  SWISS CHARD

Swiss chard is known for its green leaves, colorful stems, vitamin A, iron and protein. Yes, that is correct—protein.

Often when looking for a plant-based protein we rarely consider lettuce. Protein helps maintain a healthy immune system, hair and nails. Protein also helps your body burn fat instead of muscle which promotes healthier weight loss.

One cup of Swiss chard contains half the amount of protein found in an egg and is on par with the amount of protein found in grains. At your next meal, include Swiss chard.

4.  KALE

Soups, smoothies and chips are known to contain this excellent green. This nutrient-dense lettuce is a good source of vitamin A. Vitamin A plays a role in vision, maintaining skin integrity and sustaining your immune system against infection. If you want a food to mindlessly munch on you may want to consider kale chips, they are delicious and delightfully good for you.

As the Irish blessing goes, “May your blessings outnumber the clovers that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.”

About the author

Stephanie Dean
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Stephanie is a registered dietitian (RD) who specializes in nutrition for weight management, gastrointestinal disorders, heart disease and sports nutrition. She provides one-on-one consultations to help individuals reach their health goals.

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4 Lucky Greens for St. Patrick’s Day