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Healthy green foods

Healthy green food alternatives for St. Patrick's Day

It’s St. Patrick’s Day and many of us may think to grab a pint of Guinness, some corned beef, an Irish car bomb (more power to you!) or one of those four leaf clover sugar cookies covered in green sprinkles, you know the ones.

But if you’re looking for a healthier way to celebrate, here is a list of some healthy green foods that pack a powerful punch and will leave you feeling a lot lighter come March 18.

  • Spinach: Oh the mighty spinach, Popeye wasn’t wrong. Spinach is filled with folate and iron, vitamin C and vitamin A. It’s a great substitute for iceberg or romaine lettuce on salads or sandwiches and also makes a great addition to smoothies, try this berry, pineapple and spinach smoothie recipe.
  • Kiwi: We highlighted the mighty kiwi in a fruit spotlight article last spring. Kiwis are hydrating, full of fiber, vitamin C and low in calories. Eat them plain or add to smoothies, green juice or even as a topping on your salad.
  • Fava beans: Fava beans, also called broad beans, get a bad rap from Silence of the Lamb but these little beans are nutrient dense. They are very high in folate, iron and fiber and also contain potassium, vitamin K, B-6 and zinc. They can be eaten raw or cooked. I like to quickly steam fava beans, adding them to the top of salad or including them in my vegetable side dish at dinner. They have a mild flavor and pair well with most anything.
  • Cabbage: The quintessential side dish for your corned beef and hash, cabbage is an amazing vegetable and if cooked correctly is incredibly delicious. Cabbage is low in calories but high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K. It also contains potassium, iron and magnesium. Cabbage leaves have also been know to reduce inflammation from injury. Check out this cabbage slaw for a delicious recipe.
  • Green tea: Green tea is an easy addition to your daily routine. Studies have shown green tea can reduce the risk for heart disease, help lower bad cholesterol and contains antioxidants that help reduce the risk of some cancers including: bladder, colon, lung, skin and breast cancer. Consider swapping a cup of coffee for a cup of green tea daily, and don’t worry, you’ll still get about 40mg of caffeine per cup, if you’re concerned with feeling sluggish. Here’s a green tea pre-workout hydration drink.

These are just a few of the many green foods to help you celebrate this week. Maybe start your day with a little green tea and end with some Guinness; after all, it’s all about moderation isn’t it?

 Written by Lisa Chase.