Spring has sprung, and Sackville has suddenly burst from a monotonous grey landscape into a canvas of green grass and colourful flowers. Finally, the bags of potatoes, carrots, beets and whatever other roots vegetables have been lasting you the winter, can soon be replaced by mouth-watering asparagus spears and delicate leaves of spinach. In addition to their enticing flavour, green vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and folate. But for some consumers, green leafy vegetables are either too time consuming to prepare, too expensive or not enjoyable to eat, but in these spring months eating green has never been easier.
The nutritional benefits of eating green leafy vegetables have been remarked upon for years, and by eating several servings of them a day you can easily fill your recommended dose of vitamins; a cup of raw kale contains 206 per cent of your daily vitamin A, 136 per cent of your daily vitamin C, 684 per cent of your daily vitamin K and twenty-six per cent of your daily selenium. Abundant in photosynthetic plants, vitamin K is overflowing in dark leafy vegetables and is necessary for blood clotting activity within the human body. Recent studies have also suggested that vitamin K may protect gene promoters against methylation, which could reduce an individual’s risk of cancer.
Vitamin A (twenty per cent of daily intake provided by one cup of asparagus and fifty-six per cent of daily intake provided by one cup of spinach) is necessary for growth and development, as well as maintaining the immune system and vision. While vitamin A is more abundant in carrots – 428 per cent of daily intake provided in 1 cup of raw carrots– changing up your vegetables and varying your vitamin sources will make your diet more exciting and enjoyable.
For those who are normally adverse to green vegetables or simply not used eating them everyday, it can be difficult to find appetizing ways to incorporate them into meals. For vegetables like Brussels sprouts and asparagus, roasting them in a pan with some olive oil at 450 degrees Fahrenheit can bring out their sweetness and make them more appealing than served raw or steamed. Similarly, kale can be turned into chips when cooked in the same manner – sprinkle them with nutritional yeast for some extra vitamin B12 and for a delicious cheesy flavour. If you’re not opposed to raw vegetables, try shaving your asparagus into thins strips with a vegetable peeler and tossing them into a spinach salad with your favourite dressing.