By Simone Stromer, MD, CHC [AADP]
Many of us take multivitamin supplements which may be important in maintaining general health and certainly in specific situations including poor dietary intake, low body weight, gastrointestinal diseases, vegetarian diets, and prenatal. However, when it comes to the opportunity of including natural sources of multivitamins in our diet we often give it up because we choose foods which may be deemed tastier, easier or more convenient. The foods that can really sustain us are the ones that we should strive to include in our daily diet – and leafy green vegetables are a great place to start.
Greens, especially dark green leafy vegetables, are an excellent source of iron, calcium, magnesium, and folic acid, which happen to be some of the key nutrients that women in particular need for their health. Green leafy vegetables are packed with micronutrients said to be protective against cancer and other diseases. Furthermore, a recent study has shown that increasing your consumption of green leafy vegetables by as little as an extra serving per day is one of the ways that you may be able to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.
Common green leafy vegetables that we often think of are spinach, broccoli, brussel sprouts, lettuce, and green cabbage; however, there are many exciting, though less usual choices including (in no particular order) arugula, parsley, kale, red cabbage, swiss chard, endive, radicchio, collard greens, beet greens, bok choy, and watercress. My recommendation is to try to include at least one of these foods into your daily diet which can be a simple as adding a side dish of green salad, steamed broccoli, or low fat cabbage slaw. Feel free to write to us about how you like to include greens in your meals!