Has anyone ever told you to eat more “green, leafy vegetables”? Probably! In fact, most general recommendations from the US government and other agencies include adding more “greens” to your diet. This is a great recommendation for all of the five Hauser Diet Types. The more vegetarian side of the Hauser Diet spectrum, the Monkey and Giraffe Diets need to include these powerhouse veggies in their daily meal plans because their diets are largely vegetarian. However, the Hauser Bears, Otters, and Lions would also benefit from these power-nutrient veggies because their diets contain fewer veggies, so why not eat the ones with the most bang for your nutrient buck? Right? Right!
What is so great about greens?
Obviously the health benefits are amazing! Most vegetables pack a high nutrient content – particularly high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, B Vitamins, manganese, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and fiber. What do these nutrients mean for your health? They are associated with bone health, cancer prevention, detoxification, gut health, decreased cataract risk, lung health, energy production, immune support, heart health, and mental health. We could go on and on about the health benefits of these greens – they truly are amazing. Every BODY needs some green!
Some people may not be quite sure how to put this into practice and figure out what they should actually purchase at the grocery store. You might be thinking, “hum, you mean just eat dark lettuce?” Well, that’s a good first step, but we want you to try to take up another notch and really go green!
Here are some tips:
• Try cooked greens such as kale, Swiss chard, mustard greens, and collard greens.
• For salads, try spinach, arugula, leaf, escarole, or radicchio.
• Add other green veggies such as broccoli, peppers, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, which can be consumed roasted, stir fried, steamed, or even raw.
All of the above items can be used in simple or elaborate recipes, and can fit into all of the Hauser Diet Types. Most of you are likely interested in simple, yet delicious recipes. We like to take some tips from our Italian friends who are known to use greens in simple, yet delicious ways that might be new to you.
Lions or Otters:
• Bacon or Procuitto Sauteed Kale: Heat some olive oil and sauté chopped garlic, onions, and bacon. Add chopped kale and sauté quickly. Top with lemon juice and serve with any grilled meat or poultry dish.
• Quickly sauté Swiss chard or spinach in a little water, drain, and add a pat of butter and a pinch of salt and add to an omelet or serve as a side dish.
Giraffes or Monkeys:
• Use fresh greens as a topping on cheese pizza made on a whole wheat crust.
• Add fresh greens to a risotto dish – right at the end.
• Mix stir-fried greens with brown rice and black eyed peas or white beans and some sautéed garlic.
Bears going green:
• Sauté mustard greens with walnuts and lemon juice and serve with roasted chicken and rice.
• Saute some chopped fresh garlic and tomatoes in olive oil, add in greens, top with pine nuts and add to pasta topped with a little goat cheese or buffalo mozzarella.
General ideas for all Diet Types:
1. There is nothing wrong with eating vegetables for breakfast! Vegetable soup or a potato/vegetable patty for breakfast or a side dish with your protein if you are an Otter or Lion. As you have read before in my articles, I love sautéed vegetables on an English muffin with a piece of cheese or a bit of cream cheese. Try it, you’ll like it!
2. Wash and cut raw vegetables such as carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, and radishes and keep in the refrigerator a few days to use as snacks and in salads.
3. Puree vegetables and add them to soups and stews. A puree of cooked potatoes, onions, and celery makes a nice, low-fat stock to use instead of a cream base.
4. If your diet allows more carbohydrates, such as the Monkey and Giraffe Types, try grating carrots or zucchini into batter for muffins, pancakes, or quick breads for more fiber and vitamins in your breakfasts and snacks.
5. Add more fresh vegetables to sandwiches – not just the usual lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. Try green or red bell pepper rings, cucumber slices, sprouts, and sliced radishes.
6. Add vegetables to a family favorite dishes such as chili or spaghetti. You can cut down on fat and add fiber and other nutrients to main dishes by using smaller amounts of meat with plenty of vegetables, which is particularly important for theBear and Monkey Diet Types. Carrots and peppers in your chili or zucchini in your spaghetti sauce may sound a little odd, but once you’ve tried it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it years ago!
7. Roast some veggies – these are better than French fries! Arrange pepper chunks (try red, yellow, green and orange), onion chunks, zucchini, or whatever you like, on a cookie sheet, sprinkle a little olive oil and then with Parmesan cheese and a little seasoning, roast at 400 degrees about 5-7 minutes. Wow! Yummy!
8. Any mix of fresh greens sautéed in olive oil with a little salt and pepper makes a great easy side dish for all Diet Types.
9. Add more vegetables when you make a salad. Use less lettuce and add on an assortment of fresh vegetables. Salads do not have to be iceberg lettuce and a cherry tomato!
10. Try fresh greens in salads such as arugula drizzled with a little olive oil and balsamic, topped with fresh tomatoes and a few parmesano-reggioano fresh shreds is an awesome salad for all!
So go ahead, and take our word for it. Add these greens to your next meal and let the health benefits begin!
Vegetables are important for every Hauser Diet Type, let’s take a look at all of the nutrients available through vegetables:
|Vitamin A||Tomato, kale, carrots, spinach, avocado, broccoli, peas, asparagus, green pepper|
|Vitamin B1/Thiamine||Peas, avocado|
|Vitamin B3/Niacin||Avocado, peas, mushroom, artichoke, asparagus, kale, broccoli, carrots, green pepper|
|Vitamin B5/Pantothenic Acid||Avocado, artichoke, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots|
|Vitamin B6/Pyridoxine||Avocado, peas, carrots|
|Vitamin B9/Folate||Asparagus, avocado, peas, artichoke, spinach, broccoli, sweet potato, kale, carrots, onions, green peppers|
|Vitamin C||Artichoke, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, green pepper, kale, mushrooms, onions, peas, spinach, tomatoes|
|Vitamin K||Dark green leafy vegetables: spinach, broccoli, kale, chard, mustard greens, etc|
|Calcium||Artichoke, broccoli, kale, spinach, carrots, avocado, asparagus|
|Magnesium||Avocado, artichoke, spinach, kale, broccoli|
|Potassium||Avocado, peas, artichoke, kale, broccoli, carrots, spinach, asparagus, green pepper, mushrooms, onions, cauliflower, cucumber|
Are Some Vegetables Better Than Others? Tips For Adding Veggies To Your Diet
Brightly colored vegetables are usually nutrient dense and rich in antioxidants. Keep in mind the colors of a stoplight when choosing veggies (Red, Yellow, Green) – Broccoli, bell peppers, asparagus, brussel sprouts, spinach, beets, zucchini, squash, tomatoes.
Iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, onions, and celery are watery vegetables that really provide little nutritional value.