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Folks have been wearing green clothing on St. Patrick’s Day since the 19th century. These days, Irish and non-Irish alike enjoy all things green, from clothing to milkshakes to beer, on March 17th. Join in the fun by eating these three healthy green foods this St. Patrick Day!
Cabbage is such an everyday staple, it’s easy to overlook how good it is for you. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, and the wonderful thing about crucifers is that they contain detoxifying phytonutrients. That’s why consumption of crucifers such as cabbage (and its cousins: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collard greens, and kale) is linked to lower rates of cancer. Plus, cabbage is nutritious! A half-cup of cooked cabbage provides:
- 102% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin K, which promotes healthy blood coagulation and calcium metabolism
- 47% of the DV of vitamin C, which aids immune function and is needed for connective tissue health
- 1.4 grams of fiber, which is necessary for normal digestion and reduces the risk of heart disease
- Only 17 calories!
Kale is another highly nutritious vegetable. Like cabbage, it’s a crucifer, so it provides more of those detoxifying phytonutrients our bodies yearn for in an age when we’re exposed to so many harmful chemicals. One half-cup of cooked kale provides:
- 664% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin K
- 44% of the DV of vitamin C
- 177% of the DV of vitamin A (as beta carotene), which is necessary for healthy vision, immune strength, and the integrity of skin and mucous membranes
- 13% of the DV of manganese, a mineral that plays a role in bone, joint, and skin health
- 1.3 grams of fiber
- Only 18 calories!
You’ve heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and turns out, that’s true. But vitamins and minerals aren’t the only reason why. An apple provides:
- 6 mg of the DV for vitamin C, but according to a study published in the journal Nature, the antioxidant power of one fresh apple is equivalent to about 1,500 mg of vitamin C! (Just make sure you eat the skin, as that’s where the bulk of the antioxidants are concentrated.)
- Quercetin, a star antioxidant within apples of all colors, which may tame allergy symptoms and protect against heart disease and cancer
- 3 grams of fiber
- Only 65 calories!
St. Patrick’s Day Recipes
For Saint Patrick’s Day dinner, how about a menu of corned beef and cabbage, Colcannon (a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes mixed with kale), and baked green apples?
This recipe for corned beef and cabbage is made in a slow cooker, so you can toss the ingredients into the pot in the morning and forget about it until the afternoon.
Adding to the ease of your St. Patrick’s Day dinner prep is this beautifully simple recipe for Colcannon, featuring just four ingredients, plus salt and pepper.
Green apples are wonderful for baking because they’re tart, so they provide a nice counterbalance to any sugar you might add. Try this tempting baked green apple recipe, which stuffs green apples with dried cherries and walnuts.
What’s your favorite healthy Saint Patrick’s Day recipe? Share in the comments below!