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Get in some greens this St. Patrick's Day!
Posted By:  Ashley Meuser
Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patty's Day!  Try to incorporate some delicious and healthy green foods into your day.  How about trying avocados or kale!?  Read up on their health benefits below and check out the two recipes that incorporate these delicious and nutritious foods.

What's so great about avocados and kale?

Avocados:  
  • 1/5th of a medium avocado has 50 calories and has nearly 20 vitamins and minerals
  • The healthy fat in avocados helps absorb fat-soluble vitamins.
  • An ounce of avocado contains 81mg of the carotenoid lutein, a natural antioxidant that may help maintain eye health.
  • A 3-oz serving of avocados contains 76mg beta sitosteol, a natural plant sterol which may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels (HDL).
Kale:
  • Kale can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you will cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components in kale do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they've been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it's easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels.
  • Kale has potential to lower your risk of numerous different cancers - bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate.
  • Kale has more than 45 flavonoids that provide anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Try this recipe for Avocado Blueberry Fruit Salad.  It's full of greens!


Dressing ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange or grapefruit juice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground white pepper
Salad ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp walnuts
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded, and sliced
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed, picked over, well-drained
  • 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 2 cups sliced or diced fresh mango
  • 1 (5 oz) package kale or mixed baby greens; or 8 cups mixed lettuce torn in bite-size pieces
  • 2 Tbsp chopped chives or green onions
Dressing instructions:
  1. In a medium bowl, mix honey, yogurt, and cinnamon together until smooth and creamy.
  2. Whisk in juice; stir in salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  If desired chill until needed. 
Salad instructions:
  1. Toast the walnut pieces in a dry skillet over medium-high heat and stir occasionally for about 7 minutes, or until pieces are browned lightly.  Remove from heat.  Let nuts cool slightly, then chop coarsely and set aside.
  2. Place chopped avocado, blueberries, apple, and mango in a medium bowl and toss with 1/4 cup dressing.
  3. Toss the salad greens in a large bowl with remaining dressing.
  4. Distribute greens evenly on each of 6 salad plates and top with dressed avocado/fruit mixture.
  5. Sprinkle with chopped chives and toasted walnuts.  Serve immediately.
Nutrition information per serving (serves 6): Calories 190; Total Fat 6g (Sat 1 g, Poly 2 g, Mono 3 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 70 mg; Total Carbohydrate 36 g; Dietary Fiber 7 g; Protein 3 g


Try this recipe for Mediterranean Kale.  It uses steamed kale to get the most cholesterol-lowering benefits!


Ingredients:

  • 12 cups chopped kale
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or as needed
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place a steamer insert into saucepan, and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer.  Cover, and bring the water to a boil over high heat.  Add the kale, recover, and steam until just tender, about 7-10 minutes.  
  2. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, soy sauce, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.  Toss steamed kale into dressing until well coated.

Nutrition information per serving (serves 6): Calories 91; Total Fat 3.2 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 108 mg; Total Carbohydrate 14.5 g; Dietary Fiber 2.8 g; Protein 4.6 g

Have a great St. Patrick's Day and try to get in some healthy greens!!  I hope these green foods bring you the "luck of the Irish!"





 
 
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