Friday, May 28, 2010

Daily Dish

The 7 Best Greens for You

If you’re following the South Beach Diet lifestyle, you already know the importance of eating greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard. Research shows that eating dark greens may help maintain good health by reducing your risk of heart disease, some cancers, and several other illnesses. They're also rich in beta-carotene, and vitamins C and E, which help protect against free radicals (unstable oxygen molecules that can damage cells), as well as the B vitamin folate and vitamin K. Eating dark greens regularly may also lower blood pressure and cholesterol, promote normal eyesight, and improve gastrointestinal function.

Include these seven nutritional powerhouses in your diet:

  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • kale
  • Swiss chard
  • romaine and red-leaf lettuce
  • bok choy
  • brussels sprouts

How Much Is Enough?
The most recent dietary guidelines published by the US Department of Health and Human Services recommend consuming at least three cups of dark-green vegetables per week, but if you're like most Americans, you don't get even this amount. (On the South Beach Diet far more is recommended.) The good news: All vegetables contribute to a healthy eating plan. So eat a wide variety, both green and otherwise, throughout the week, and you'll take a big step toward gaining many of the nutrients your body needs.

See all South Beach Diet Tips

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