green leaf

In a recent study by the National Cancer Institute and the National Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, it was revealed that nearly everyone fails to meet dietary requirements. Deficiencies can wreak havoc on immune and organ function, and can affect mood and appearance. So in theory, the less healthy you are, the more likely you are to become a child-eating wart covered witch living alone in the forest. I’m just saying.

Greens are truly alkalizing, which is critical for our overly acidic diets. They are loaded with proteins, minerals, and vitamins. And yes, they taste amazing and can be easily prepared instead of children. What do you want to bet that Glinda, the Good Witch from Oz got her glow from lots of baby spinach and pea shoots?

Try adding these fall faves into your diet:

1. Arugula-this slightly sweet and spicy, fragrant green is available year round but especially tasty in fall. A great addition to salads or sautéed.  Excellent source of folic acid if you’re planning on becoming, or already are pregnant.

2. Brussel sprouts-Your mom loves you. It’s why she made you eat these. Like their cousin, cabbage, they have been shown to lower risks of cancer. Try roasting them in olive oil, mineral salt and a little bit of rosemary.

3. Escarole-These tender leaves are a delicious addition to salads, soups and stews. A staple in Italian white bean soup, they are an excellent source of vitamin A.

4. Kale-Confession: I would give up chocolate, sex, red wine and high heels for kale. I know, it’s pretty pathetic but it is the King of greens! So tasty and absolutely healthy. A million ways to prepare it, super fast and super delicious. All varieties are good, but definitely try the lacinato or dinosaur kale.

5. Parsley-That’s right, parsley is more than just pretty curlicue leaves. It’s a powerhouse of nutrition from vitamin C and calcium to balancing your wonky PMS moods. It’s also a natural breath freshener. Go on, eat your garnish.

6. Celery-Naturally cooling, as in calming, gnawing on raw celery is a great way to chill out when stressed. It’s versatile and makes one of the best creamy soups you’ve ever tasted.

7. Broccoli-From stir-fry and soups to pasta and pizza, you really can’t go wrong with broccoli. Sometimes it’s best just steamed with a little bit of salt and olive oil drizzle.

8. Chard-Thanksgiving is closer than you think. This broad, sweet and tasty leaf is a great one to include in your holiday menu. Try wrapping spiced apple slices in chard leaves…gorgeous and delicious.

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Image: Perry French