Go Green! 6 green fruits and vegetables to include in your meal right now
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Making your plate a colourful mix of fruits and vegetables has its health benefits. Different colours indicate different nutrient profiles of food. A balance of colours on your plate ensures that you reap benefits from various foods. After red foods, orange and yellow foods, white foods, and purple foods, here's a guide to colour your plate green. Dr Amreen Shaikh, dietitian at Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai explains, "Green vegetables and fruits have phytonutrients like lutein, isoflavones, Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), indoles, isothiocyanates, chlorophyll, sulforaphane, beta-carotene. All of these support eye health, arterial function, lung health, liver function, cell health, help to heal wounds and boost gum health." Luscious green foods also prevent you from age degeneration, lower the risk of cancer and increase immune system activity. Read on to find out the health benefits of the top 6 green foods:

Broccoli 
Broccoli, a superfood that is high in fiber and low in fat, curbs overeating. It is extremely rich in vitamin C and calcium which lend it many health benefits. This hearty vegetable also contains selenium which is a nutrient important for preventing cancer. Eating broccoli on a regular basis also helps detoxify your body and regulates hormones.

To include broccoli in your diet, you can steam and toss broccoli in your salads or have it stir-fried with pasta and noodles. You can even make a steaming bowl of soup, use broccoli as an ingredient in tikkis along with potatoes, cheese and herb seasoning or grate it and mix with cheese as paratha stuffing.

Spinach 
Spinach has vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and a host of flavonoids that offer antioxidant properties and health benefits. It is beneficial for eyesight, neurological problems and also for your metabolism. This versatile leafy vegetable can be easily incorporated into various different dishes like soup, parathas, puris, roti, in dal or as filling in lasagna. Chef Sareen Madhiyan, Tappa, Mumbai suggests juicing spinach with banana and apple for a healthy power-packed breakfast smoothie or use spinach in chutney, dips and sauces.

Kiwi
This nutrient-dense fruit boosts immunity, provides digestive enzymes and also manages blood pressure. Kiwi's many health benefits are thanks to it being rich in vitamin K which protects your body from many chronic health conditions. You can add this tangy and sweet fruit in your fruit salad, or have it as toppings with ice cream. Chef Madhiyan suggests making kiwi mint chutney or a fresh and healthy drink of kiwi. Add some ginger, salt and mint to pack a lot of flavour as well as plenty of health benefits.

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Avocado 
Avocado is a nutrient-dense food that has a substantial amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. It is high in vitamin A, C, K and B6 which make it rich with health benefits. The healthy fats aid in weight loss, reduce and reverse signs of aging and also lower the risk of age-related eye conditions. Avocado's health benefits and its peculiar texture and taste made avocado toast the breakfast trend of 2017. You can make a guacamole dip or simply add this buttery, creamy ingredient as your salad dressing, in hummus, in milkshakes or simply fix yourself an avocado toast.

Peas 
Peas are versatile and easy to cook with, not to mention their health benefits, which is why it is added to a range of different Indian preparations. Peas are high in protein and loaded with phytonutrients. Their anti-inflammatory properties attack causes of inflammation, they are free of cholesterol and are low in fat and sodium. You can include peas in your diet by making a mint pea soup, toss them in rice or pulao, make tikkis, pea and cheese dip or lemony pea mash on toast if you want to try something different than the usual preparations.

Cabbage 
Cabbage is rich in vitamin B6, folate, vitamin A and iron. It helps in energy metabolism and the normal functioning of the nervous system. The health benefits of this nutrient-rich food also include keeping inflammation in check and lowering cholesterol. You can add this fresh leafy vegetable in your salad or paratha. Apart from popular choice in salads, you can use cabbage in different dishes. Mix some cabbage with a dollop of mayonnaise and use in sandwiches or just finely chop and add cabbage in soups to add texture or simply roast with some garlic and serve.

With inputs from Dr Amreen Shaikh, Dietitian at Wockhardt Hospital and Chef Sareen Madhiyan, Tappa, Kamala Mills, Mumbai

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