Think back to the days of your childhood. You sat at the kitchen table, glaring at your plate. Maybe you had a traditional, American dinner: something like chicken, mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts. But your eyes and mind wandered to the cookie jar sitting on the counter.
Your mom promised you could have one…ONLY if you ate all your food.
So, what was the problem? Well, the tree-like stalks leered straight into your soul. You kicked and pleaded, maybe even ducked them under the potatoes, but to no avail — you had to choke them down eventually.
As kids, we are somehow conditioned into thinking vegetables are bad. That leads to issues down the road. Actually, some kids were so averse to eating veggies that as grown adults, they still don’t get their servings.
If that’s you, don’t worry. Let’s work together to get your daily green on! Here are some tips on how to do that.
Don’t fight it — embrace the salad.
Salads get a bad rap. Often seen as just a dieters nightmarish and mundane go-to lunch, there’s actually a lot going on in these dishes.
You see, they don’t have to look sad, like a random leaf fell into your lap. Instead, color it up. In fact, Diabetes Forecast (a magazine counterpart of the American Diabetes Foundation) suggests to add some fruits to help supply more nutrients that the body needs.
But you don’t have to add just those. Mix it up. Don’t like lettuce? Try kale and bok choy. Don’t be afraid to add some protein, too: chicken, turkey or vegan options like tofu or Beyond Meat. (The latter is lathered in spices that really complement veggies).
Pro Tip: Add some quinoa for some extra crunch and to help fill you up.
For some people, learning about specific benefits can help ignite a burning, healthy fire.
- Veggies can help supply natural sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Tired of having to take so many pills for separate vitamins, like A, C and K? These leafy goods can help. You’d be surprised how much more energy you might have and other benefits from simply adding some to your diet.
- Dark varieties are low in calorie and carbs, but high in satiating quality. If you ever felt like you need to eat too much to actually feel full, these will help fill you up, without adding on excess calories and weight. That brings us to the next and (one of the best) benefits.
- They can also help support weight loss. Well, duh! They can help support healthy digestion and metabolism, which can help drop those lbs.
- Veggies can help support the immune system. We tend to think that only fruits can help give us an immunity boost, but nope. In fact, cruciferous vegetables, like kale, broocoli and cabbage, can help regulated intraepithelial luymphocytes (IELS), which can protect the body from bacteria that live in the skin and intestine lining.
Pretty cool, right?
Craving more interesting and specific info? Give this a read!
Look for daily green-products that you love, not ones you’ll hate.
Part of the problem is that we go into eating greens as if it’s a chore, when it’s not. So, go on a food excursion. Find out your favorite tastes.
So, if you don’t like kale, then you should probably skip over it. You could also force yourself to eat it, but just saying, you’re going to hate your life.
Keep the green train going by finding something more up your alley. Need a suggestion? Swap out some of your favorite snacks with veggie-packed equivalents. This could be one way to help break out of a negative thinking cycle (and help you feel less guilty when snacking). Instead of “cutting something out,” you’re merely swapping or trying new things.
Here’s what we mean. Like to snack on chips during lunch? Try veggie chips or veggie-sprinkled, “power popcorn” (recipe here). Like to sip on shakes? Try green drinks, like our Best of Greens. Containing organic cereal grasses (like barley) and sea vegetables (like spirulina), this synergistic blend packs a delicious taste with some healthy perks too. Plus, we have a Lemon flavored version available for those of you who really hate the tastes of vegetables.
As you can see, you have a lot of options. Find your favorites and keep looking.
Start small and sprinkle up your meal.
You don’t have to go full force, replacing every meal with these healthy colors. In fact, you shouldn’t. Going cold turkey might make you hate the whole process.
Instead, sprinkle up your meal. No, we don’t mean adding that sugary cake topping to your dinner. We mean sprinkling in greens where you can.
The United States Department of Agriculture gives great recommendations for how to do this. Add one serving to each meal that you can. Don’t force yourself to go overboard (it’s not necessary). You can eventually work your way up to the recommended two and half cups.
Here’s a really easy way to start tonight. Having protein and rice for dinner? Add some spinach or bok choy. Eating a soup for lunch? Add collard greens. Eating eggs for breakfast? Add some steamed broccoli for some iron.
Pure Planet Best of Greens
Let’s be honest–fruit and veggies didn’t quite excite all of us in childhood. It didn’t help that this was the era before foodie culture, when beets were often served straight from the can.
While “beet” certainly rhymes with “feet,” we are way too mature to let anything dissuade us from our love of this earth-made red-purple superfood. In fact, here at Pure Planet we LOVE our beet juice pick-me-ups (keep scrolling to see what we mean).
Here are the top reasons why we have made beets a part of our daily routines.
They can help improve your weight loss milestones.
Live Strong reports that this root vegetable can help you lose weight. And why is that? Well, their nutritional trade-off is among the best of any fruit and veggie. They boast:
- Low calorie density and fat, meaning they are lower-calorie but help you feel full
- Dietary fiber (both soluble and insoluble), which helps digestion
- Vitamin-rich properties, containing magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and iron
Their nitrate-availability also play a role, improving your exercise performance. If you don’t have this red beauty in your weight-loss regimen, you should get to it. They can be added in your salads and burgers, or even in your juices and smoothies. Along with spirulina, this is a must-have.
Beets can be beneficial for your gym goals.
That’s right. Ditch the Gatorade, because this veggie can help you work on your fitness. That’s because it contains a high amount of nitrates. These plant chemicals are especially helpful when converted to nitric oxide. Healthline reports that they help improve mitochondria efficiency, which just means creating more energy in your cells.
Plus, human studies have been pretty positive. One study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, found that the nitrates helped improve performance (1). The randomized, double-blind, crossover study followed 7 men as they consumed beetroot juice every day for six days while completing both low and high intensity workouts.
The root improved oxidation, which may be the reason that the men were able to exercise for longer.
Researchers from Saint Louis University found similar results in their study, published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2). Fit men and women participated in treadmill trials after consuming beetroot and a placebo on a separate occasion. While there was no change in heart-rate, the participants enjoyed lower “perceived exertion,” which helped them run.
Researchers in a different study, published in Acute Topics In Sport Nutrition, found that these benefits are more likely when you consume the veggie about 2 to 3 hours before your exercise (3).
But exercise isn’t the only way beets can benefit your health.
They can help improve blood pressure and lower oxidative stress.
In addition to vitamins, beets contain betalain, which is pigment that gives the veggie its color. Plant pigment chemicals aren’t just for aesthetics, they can also boost health benefits.
In this case, betalain can act as as antioxidant, providing an anti-inflammatory aid. While not many human studies have explored this, nutritionists and holistic health practitioners believe that veggie can help reduce oxidative stress, which in turn, would help with inflammation (4).
Oxidative-properties are one of the main reasons that beets are so great in workout regiments. But this property also makes it great for a healthy blood pressure regimen.
In some studies, beets helps improve lower blood pressure. In the Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that 23 men found improvement when eating bread enriched with beetroot. For this reason, the author’s of the study recommended the veggie to be studied as a new treatment for hypertension.
Getting Your Beets
Most nutritionists recommend getting your beet nutrition from whole foods. That’s why our premium blends are based ONLY from whole foods sources.
If you’re looking for a way to include beneficial beets in any of your regimens, we have two specific mixes: