By: Darrell W. Butler
ACE, NFPT, ISCA Certified Personal Trainer
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here is a list of several green super foods that you should start working into your diet immediately – and no, green beer does not count!
1. Green Tea
Green tea contains powerful antioxidants that help to cleanse the body and burn fat. Research has also shown that green tea may potentially fight off cancer and heart disease in addition to preventing diabetes, stroke, dementia and high cholesterol!
There’s a reason why Popeye ate this stuff! With only 40 calories per cup, yet packed with vitamins and minerals, adding spinach to your menu will definitely make you “strong to the finish.”
Research has shown that the antioxidants found in this leafy powerhouse may help to fight off ovarian, prostate and other forms of cancer, improve brain function, increase cardiovascular endurance and more!
This veggie has so many benefits that it would be nearly impossible to list them all here, however some of the highlights include its role in preventing birth defects and increasing fertility; and its role in lowering the risk of heart, kidney and a slew of other diseases.
Asparagus also helps to reduce pain and inflammation, ease menstrual cramps, aid with depression and to top it all off, it’s even considered an aphrodisiac!
These may not be the prettiest vegetables on the shelf, but it’s what’s on the inside that matters, right? And boy, is there a lot on the inside! Artichokes are a great source of fiber, iron, calcium and vitamins A and C. Artichokes have also been shown to help lower cholesterol, reduce nausea, ease abdominal pain and cure digestive disorders.
Artichoke extract has also been shown to help prevent alcohol-induced hangovers… just in case you decide to have that pitcher of green beer after all!
Another fiber-rich antioxidant source that helps to ease digestion and reduce the risk of various medical diseases and symptoms. Research has also shown that broccoli may play a role in reducing hormone related cancers, and ease the symptoms of the common cold!
Cucumbers reduce the risk of kidney, bladder, liver and pancreatic disease. They have also been shown to help lower blood pressure and curb cravings. Cucumbers are also rich in enzymes that help the body digest protein, which will make it easier to pack on lean muscle mass.
This wouldn’t be tribute to St. Patrick without having this all-star on the list! Aside from being a great side for corned beef, cabbage is useful for easing digestion, preventing stomach ulcers, curing headaches and reducing the effects of arthritis, heart disease, skin and eye disorders.
While we’re stopping at lucky number seven, the list of green foods goes on! Honorable mentions go out to turnips, collard greens, Romaine lettuce, green peas, green beans, green peppers and green apples. By incorporating a few of these items into your routine each day, you can ensure that the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow will be good health for many years to come.
For more tips from Darrell W. Butler, go to DBPTonline.com and take your fitness goals to the next level! Registration is free so sign up today!
Darrell W. Butler is a certified personal trainer with the American Council on Exercise and The National Federation of Professional Trainers. He holds a wide spectrum of coaching and group instructor credentials, and serves as a fitness and nutritional consultant for several radio programs and media publications.