Five green vegetables to add to your grocery basket now
Packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre and more, your daily green veggies are an important part of your diet.
Do you eat the recommended five serves of vegetables every day?
Make sure some of those are green, because from broccoli to bok choy, they are full of nutrients.
Those nutrients include carotenoids that are powerful antioxidants linked with reduced heart disease, glaucoma and macular degeneration, according to Samantha Cowan, of the Dietitians Association of Australia.
Green vegies are also full of vitamin C. This antioxidant helps maintain our immune system and makes collagen in our skin and muscle tissue. Potassium, which helps lower blood pressure, and folate for red blood cell production are also found in green vegetables.
But think beyond cabbage, broccoli and brussels sprouts.
Spinach: High in antioxidants and a rich source of vitamins A, B2, C and K. This versatile leafy vegetable can be thrown into green smoothies, works beautifully in a wrap or roll, or your favourite pasta. It is also a salad staple.
Zucchini: Rich in potassium, low in salt and contains vitamin C and A. Spiralise it and use in pasta and salads.
Kale: One of the healthiest vegetables around, kale is high in vitamins A and C, and potassium.
“You can have it in a smoothie, but before cooking, massage it with oil and lemon juice to soften,” Samantha says.
Bok choy: Also known as Chinese cabbage, it’s high in potassium, vitamin A and C, and contains iron and calcium.
Beetroot greens: “When people buy a bunch of Dutch carrots or beetroots, they throw away the greens at the top, but those greens are edible, very tasty, and high in nutrients. Use them like spinach or silverbeet, shred them and use them in a salad, or saute them,” Samantha says.
Fast facts about green vegetables
- A serve of vegetables is one cup of raw or salad vegetables, or half a cup of cooked vegetables. “People think the darker green the vegetable the more nutrient dense it is, but lighter green vegetables also score highly in nutrients,” Samantha says.
- If you have a ham and cheese sandwich, add some spinach to it. Have a handful of snow peas as a snack on the side.
- At dinner, frozen vegies are just as nutritious as fresh ones because they’re snap frozen when picked.
Looking for some meal time inspiration? Cruise our list of vegetarian recipes and discover your next veggie-packed meal idea.