10 green foods for St. Patrick’s Day

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St. Patrick’s Day has us thinking ‘green’.

Our annual celebration of all things green — St. Patrick’s Day — is just around the corner.  My childhood memory of St. Patrick’s Day is cupcakes with green frosting, flavored with a bit of mint.  Not exactly health food, but then it was only once a year.

Cupcakes aside, when it comes to food, green usually means health.   It can refer to the natural color of foods like spinach, loaded with nutrients, or to the environmental impact.  Local foods are assumed to be environmentally green.

With that in mind, here’s a handy list of healthy, naturally green foods you should celebrate, in spring or all year long:

  1. Spinach (and all leafy greens like kale, chard, beet greens and dark lettuces): vitamin A, potassium, fiber, vitamin K, magnesium, vitamin C
  2. Kiwis: impressive vitamin C content
  3. Granny Smith apples: filling thanks to the fiber content.
  4. Peas (shelled and edible podded): vitamin C, fiber, potassium, iron.  Shelled peas have significant protein.
  5. Edamame: protein, iron, fiber, folate, other B-vitamins
  6. Green peppers: vitamin C, potassium, fiber, B-vitamins
  7. Broccoli: potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber
  8. Asparagus: potassium, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin K, B vitamins
  9. Avocado: healthy fats, potassium, B vitamins
  10. Papaya (green on the outside): vitamin C, vitamin A

These foods have several other attributes in common, in addition to being green.  They’re all filling thanks to high water content.  And they’re all naturally low sodium and (except for avocado) low fat.

Eating naturally green foods isn’t limited to St. Patrick’s Day or spring time in general.  You can find most of these foods in the average grocery store all year long.  Depending on where you live, you can find many of them at your local farmer’s market when they’re in season, which makes them doubly green.

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