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Leafy Greens: The Superfood Secret to Boosting Your Athletic Edge

Diet: Seasonal Leafy Greens 

The growing season is upon us in Michigan, and that means fresh leafy greens are available to add to your spring and summer nutritional plan. Let me begin by saying that if you are not adding phytonutrients by way of whole leaves, then you are getting processed vitamins and minerals. Some are better than none, but you should increase your consumption for seasonal health benefits during this time of year.

  • Spinach- A versatile leafy green that can be planted in spring, fall, or winter, and is a good source of vitamins and minerals.

  • Kale- Closely comparable to spinach in terms of healthiness, one cup of kale can provide your daily requirements of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as copper.

  • Collard greens- A member of the cabbage family, collard greens have tough stems and a slightly bitter taste that's a cross between kale, cabbage, and Swiss chard.

  • Chard-A low-calorie, nutrient-dense food with red or rainbow stems, chard contains almost 300% of your daily value of vitamin K per cup.

  • Bok choy- Like spinach, bok choy is rich in nitrates, with a head of bok choy containing between 103–309 milligrams of nitrates per 100 grams.

  • Mustard greens- Low in calories and high in fiber, mustard greens can be eaten raw when young or cooked at a later stage.

  • Arugula-A cruciferous vegetable that's high in vitamin K, which can help prevent osteoporosis and inflammatory disease. Arugula can be eaten in salads or sautéed.

  • Watercress- A small but nutrient-dense leafy green that's part of the Brassicaceae family, which also includes kale, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.

  • Romaine lettuce- A leafy lettuce with long leaves that can be used in salads or sandwiches. 

Where to put leafy greens in your diet?

  • Salads - tossed, spinach, garden

  • Toppings - burgers, pasta dishes, garnish, pizza

  • Blending - smoothies & purees

Make a better effort including fresh leafy greens into your diet and your body will thank you.

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