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Green Foods & Why You Should Eat Them

Let’s get real. How many of us really eat enough green foods and green veggies each day? Notice I didn’t say “vegetables” but “green vegetables”. One of the best things you can do for your body, besides drinking enough water every day, is to increase the amount of dark greens that you eat at each meal. The majority of Americans add potatoes, carrots and peas to their plate because they are considered vegetables and, while they do have their own benefits, not adding dark green vegetables is doing a disservice to your family.

Research by the Centers for Disease Control showed that only one in ten people eat enough whole food green vegetables. Vegetables help protect us against degenerative disease. As a result, the USDA Food Plate says we should be eating more vegetables than any other food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says nearly 50 percent of vegetables and legumes available in the U.S. in 2013 were either tomatoes or potatoes.

For most kids in the U.S. potatoes in the form of chips or french fries are the only consistent vegetable being consumed. Many kids even go days without eating greens. According to this article on, nine out of 10 children fall short of the daily recommended veggie goals.

Greens are the number one food that you can eat regularly to improve your health, according to Jill Nussinow MS, RD and culinary educator in Northern California. Dark leafy greens contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and plant-based nutrients. We try to include green veggies in almost every meal. I realize that sometimes there are picky eaters that like to shove their greens to the side of their plate and would probably like to shove it right into the trash. Because of that, the texture and preparation of that green veggie is probably key to whether that picky eater will devour it or scour at it.

Consider preparing green veggies a different way if you, your kids or spouse aren't a fan of them. Try roasting them with olive oil, sea salt, turmeric, black pepper and garlic. Try blending frozen zucchini into a protein smoothie and grating the zucchini into a meat sauce, chili or pasta dish. You can read more about Picky Eaters HERE. Here's some food for thought: Kids will gladly eat green candies like M&Ms, Sour Patch Kids, cotton candy, or a lollipop, but won’t touch actual real green foods.


​Here are some green foods that you should add into your daily diet according to Delicious Living: Pistachios - these nuts are hard to crack open, but they contain B6 and 18% of your daily requirement of B1. Add a handful to a ziplock pack and snack on them on-the-go or add it to salad. You could also top your brownies with them for crunch, flavor and color. Try them on these black bean brownies. Spinach - adding a handful of spinach to smoothies, soups and dishes is the easiest way to increase greens in your diet. Spinach contains vitamins A, C, K and E as well as minerals that aid in muscle function. You could add some ribboned spinach to your meat sauce, chili, or even a smoothie. Avocado - this creamy fruit is jam packed with potassium and folate. It’s great on toast, with eggs, or made into guacamole. It’s considered a “healthy fat” and can even lower harmful levels of cholesterol. Try making this chocolate pudding with avocados. Zucchini - this low calorie green veggie might be my favorite. It’s high in fiber, rich in antioxidants and a wonderful source of potassium. It has more potassium than bananas! It is rich in B6, B1, B2, B3, zinc and magnesium. Try grating it with a cheese grater and adding it to your chili, making zoodles with meat sauce or my favorite: cutting it and freezing it to add to your smoothies. You won’t even taste it and you will get all the good benefits, all while it thickens your smoothie like a banana but without the sugar.


Summertime is here and you might be traveling or plan on traveling at some point. In my opinion, it’s hard to eat enough greens when you are on vacation, so I always keep Pines Green Duo capsules with me. Taking 6 capsules or tablets is equivalent to one serving of dark leafy green vegetables. Green Duo is a naturally-concentrated dark green leafy vegetable consisting of the highest quality organic wheatgrass and organic alfalfa. PINES Green Duo is a true blend of these two organic superfoods. You now have no excuse not to eat enough veggies when you are traveling or on-the-go. Pines also has a bunch of products to help you get enough veggies into your diet. I love to use their Mighty Greens Superfood Blend powder in my smoothies for added veggies. You can add a tablespoon to your smoothie or juice for a serving of veggies. It’s really a simple and effective nutrient-dense, dark green blend of organic wheatgrass and organic alfalfa combined with other nutrient-dense superfoods… they are great for everyone in the whole family!

Be careful when buying wheatgrass powder or taking wheatgrass shots without knowing how the wheatgrass is grown. Most companies and even juice shops (where you take a shot of wheatgrass juice) aren't growing their wheatgrass properly. You can read more about that HERE.

All of Pines’ products are organic, non-GMO, raw, gluten-free, and I am a big fan. They are also big on educating people about the proper ways of growing wheatgrass. You can read more about that and the History of Wheatgrass HERE. I love my Pines family - they are great people!

I hope some of these tips help you increase the amount of green foods that you eat each day. I have had people reach out to me on Instagram saying things like, “I snuck some zucchini into my son’s smoothie and not only does he have no idea, but he loves it and is drinking it now!” The more green the merrier! Try to figure out how you can add more greens to your meals - your body will thank you!

Here I am with Ron, one of the owners of Pines! He's way awesome!

Follow me on Instagram - click the photo below!


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About Me

Hey! Welcome to Krysten's Kitchen... I guess I can say, "my kitchen." I am all about creating delicious recipes that are made with yummy, real ingredientsI love recreating old family favorites, sweets and everything in between. You'll find a touch of Disney, lots of amazing products and laughter along the way. I launched Krysten's Kitchen with the mission to share my years of research on healthy alternatives to everyday foods that most people can no longer eat due to dietary restrictions, food allergies or special eating lifestyles. 


In 2018, I received the Rising Star Award at ShiftCon & in May 2019 I lobbied on Capitol Hill with the Organic Trade Association and in October 2019 I received the Best Healthy Recipes Blogger at ShiftCon. You can learn more about me, my family and my story, here.

Welcome to Krysten's Kitchen. I hope you'll stay and eat awhile.

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