As you contemplate what to place in your shopping basket, look beyond the usual cruciferous vegetables. There are a whole bunch of nutrition-packed and healthy green foods that offer you tons of benefits, especially in the winter. And no, you don’t have to eat a single salad.
From 2015’s hot faves - matcha powder and kelp – to the underrated fenugereek and mustard leaves, here’s a look at other healthy greens you can add to your diet.
When the temperature dips in office (and outside) and you find yourself reaching out for hot coffee, grab a cup of healthy matcha tea instead. This traditional Japanese brew is made from finely ground green tea that has been specially grown and processed. Prachi Sanghvi, director and head of nutrition at MyDIETiest says, "Matcha tea is the most talked about ingredient in town as it has many health benefits. It’s a powerful source of antioxidants, acts as a detoxifier, and has cancer fighting properties as it also contains good amounts of antioxidants like EGCg and Cathechin. Apart from that, it also increases immunity and is rich in fibre which helps reduce cholesterol and diabetes."
Sanghvi goes on to add, "Not only is matcha green tea a good replacement for tea and coffee, you can also add it to many desserts and other savoury dishes for a flavour boost."
Touted as the new kale, this healthy green is rich in iodine, antioxidants and minerals including calcium (it contains 10x more calcium than milk), boron and magnesium. The upside is that it helps with weight loss, bone and muscle strength, and goes a long way in protecting your hair. Sprinkle some kelp in your soups, stir fries or on top of your noodles. Just regulate dosage though; while it’s iodine-rich, too much of a good thing can be bad for you.
You’ve been eating this healthy green since childhood, so don’t give up on it in adulthood. Methi has tons of medical properties: for instance, when gastrointestinal troubles spring up fenugreek leaves can come to your rescue. The fibre and antioxidants in it help beat indigestion and heartburn. And powdered leaves mixed with honey and water can treat respiratory allergies and congestion. Guess it’s safe to say that a methi paratha in the morning will do more than just keep you full for a few hours.
Tender, crispy and flavourful, mustard leaves should also be on your grocery list. Why? Well, chew on this: a) They’re low cal (sold already?); and b) they’re high in phyto-nutrients, vitamins and minerals. All that sarson ka saag you’ve been eating has been protecting your eyes, bones, heart and can help prevent cancer. Sanghvi adds, “It has the highest source of Vitamin K, which helps in bone mineralization and blood clotting, and it's rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as it is high in Vitamin C, A as well. This healthy green is also high in fibre which helps in digestion, keeps your stomach at ease and your energy levels high."
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