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Top Tips for Healthier Eating

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7. Buy and prepare at least one green vegetable every week.

Being “green” in the environmental sense is now in vogue — but there is yet another way to go green, and that is on your dinner plate. Most vegetables are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals and low in calories, so any vegetable is better than none. However, there are some very powerful chemicals found in the pigments that color plants, and the green variety packs an especially powerful punch when it comes to health. Leafy greens (such as spinach, kale and mustard greens) and members of the cruciferous family of vegetables (including broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts) have various phytochemicals as well as other important nutrients such as folate, vitamin K, beta-carotene, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, calcium and even omega-3 fatty acids. These vegetables have been found to reduce the risk of several chronic conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis and some types of cancer.

Eating your greens daily would be ideal, but if that’s not possible, start small and try to include one serving per week. Choosing a different vegetable each time will ensure that you get a variety of nutrients, since each has different amounts of vitamins and minerals. Varying your veggies will also make sure that you don’t get tired of eating the same thing week after week.

Originally Published November 5, 2009

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