We all know the importance of getting our greens, but it’s easy to continue to reach for the same ones such as kale and spinach. Instead of relying on just one or two varieties, expand your range to make sure you’re getting a good micronutrient balance. Here are some of the greens we turn to when we’re looking to shake up our routine.
A calcium superhero, these potent greens contain almost 20 percent of your daily value per cup, in fact, their bitter taste is due to the high calcium content.
Part of the same family as beets and quinoa, Swiss chard is almost two veggies in one. Rainbow chard contains a unique set of phytonutrients and antioxidants, thanks to its multicolored stems and veins; it’s also loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, plus magnesium.
High in vitamin C, this mild Japanese mustard green is often found in baby green mixes. This feathery, frizzy green also comes in a reddish-purple variety, and both have a mild peppery flavor that’s a cross between kale and arugula. Use it raw in salads, or chop it and stir into any soup, stew, or tofu scramble.
Dandelion greens (yes, like the weeds in your yard) are peppery and bitter; they’re also a good source of calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc, plus B vitamins and vitamins A, C, and D. Unlike spinach and chard, dandelion greens are somewhat low in the oxalic acid that can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb calcium. They’ve also been used traditionally as an herb to support healthy liver function, and they are a natural diuretic, so they’re great for reducing bloating.