Eat greens for a healthy St. Patrick’s Day

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

greens
Get creative with those leafy greens. You can even mix in some tuna, chicken, or beans to add some of that meaty flavor.

As you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today with green clothing and four-leaf clovers, take the time to get lucky with Mother Nature’s healthy greenery. Eating vegetables and fruits as part of your overall diet can reduce everything from heart disease to obesity, and even protect you from cancer.

So, rather than chasing that mythical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or trying to catch a leprechaun, bring good fortune to your body with the vitamin-rich goodness of plants.┬áSince vegetables are usually low-fat and low-calorie, you’ll gain little extra weight and your veins won’t get clogged with nasty gunk. Plus, they’re a source of nutrients like potassium, fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Potassium, for example, keeps your blood flowing at a steady beat, ┬áso stock up on some potatoes, lentils, spinach, lima beans, tomatoes, and soy beans.

The fiber in veggies makes your stomach process food smoothly through your digestive system, so that everything comes out alright, and they can make you feel full with fewer calories. Plus, the vitamin A will keep your skin and eyes healthy, as well as defending you from infections. When you throw in some vitamin C, your wounds will heal faster, and those teeth and gums will shine like never before.

So, chop up some cancer-fighting onions, broccoli, and green peas, stack up some disease-fighting corn, dive into heart-boosting kale greens, and get a mega vitamin C load of red bell peppers.

Featured image courtesy of thebittenword.com on Flickr. Image of thai basil and green onions courtesy of Maureen Didde on Flickr.