It’s no surprise that green foods are an essential part of a well-balanced diet. They are full of vitamins and minerals that offer a variety of nutritional benefits. You can easily incorporate them into a range of hearty meals.
We’ve made a list of some green foods to spruce up your menu. The list includes green vegetables, fruits, and healthy green recipes.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
List of Green Foods
Leafy greens contain antioxidants and can lower chronic disease risk. While color is not always the best indicator of nutrient status, the dark leaves of leafy greens mean more nutrient content. For example, romaine lettuce has ten times the level of vitamin A that iceberg lettuce has.
Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are abundant in leafy greens. Some essential nutrients in leafy greens include beta carotene, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin K, and lutein.
This type of green food contributes to good health from head to toe. The nutrients listed above have a range of benefits. They support blood clotting and improve vision and bone health.
The honeydew melon has a smooth texture with pale green flesh. It contains plenty of water and helps you stay hydrated. Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are a few benefits of honeydew supplies.
One cup of honeydew has 64 calories, making it an excellent option for weight control. It also has high levels of vitamins such as folate and vitamin K and minerals such as magnesium. These nutrients are vital to keeping bones strong and healthy.
Arugula is a leafy green from the Brassicaceae family, including cauliflower, broccoli, and mustard greens. It features a slightly peppery flavor and is popular in Mediterranean cuisine. Because of its flavor, arugula is often used raw in salads or even added on top of pizza slices. Also, you can sauté arugula to enhance the flavor of soups and pasta.
This delicious, nutrient-dense food has nitrates, pro-Vitamin A carotenoids, Vitamin K, and folate. It can also help reduce blood pressure.
Salsa Verde translates to “green sauce” in Spanish. You can purchase this tasty green food or make it at home! You’ll need Mexican husk tomatoes that leave a sticky residue behind when you peel the husk off. You can find them at the local grocery store or farmers’ markets in the fall. It’s super tangy, smoky, garlicky, and a little spicy. These flavors make Salsa Verde perfect for dipping mountains of nachos and tortilla chips.
Granny Smith Apples
Granny Smith Apples are full of fiber and other essential nutrients. These green apples are perfect for far more than just apple pies. The tart crisp of this type of food can help regulate bowel movements and control cholesterol levels.
Paired with sweet-tasting ingredients, such as cinnamon, nut butter, or yogurt, this tart fruit makes a surprisingly pleasant snack.
Tropical avocados are a top-notch source of healthy fat. This unique food is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help protect against depression, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.
Its creamy texture complements desserts and smoothies while providing a pleasant addition to sandwiches or salads.
Bok choy has a bulbous white stem that grows into a cluster of green leaves. It is also called Chinese cabbage or white mustard cabbage. This nutrient-rich food has a mild and tender flavor. You can cook bok choy for stir-fries and soups.
There are many health benefits of bok choy. It contains selenium to strengthen cognitive function, metabolism, thyroid function, and immunity.
Green Vegetable Chowder
Green vegetable chowder has a bright color and homey vibe. It’s full of spring vegetables like green peas, chives, baby greens, and mint. The soup has a cozy and hearty flavor from cumin, coriander, and garlic. You can also add a squeeze of lemon to your bowls to heighten the flavor and make sure to have a good sprinkling of mint. Everyone in your family will love this green soup.
Spinach has dark-green leaves and is one of the greenest foods available. It has a delicate and subtle flavor that complements a variety of dishes. You can consume spinach raw as a salad or sautéed for entrees. Add it to an omelet or a creamy pasta dish, or even to a delicious fruit smoothie.
This nutrient-dense food has Vitamin K, Vitamin A, magnesium, and iron. It is one of the most protein-rich vegetables out there. It also has folate, essential in red blood cell production, and supports fetus development during pregnancy.
This hot-weather crop also has other names such as “gumbo” and “lady’s fingers,” depending on where you live. It grows well in hot and humid climates, with India being the leading okra producer.
Okra is rich in protein and fiber and low in calories. Plus, it’s full of vitamins like vitamin C and antioxidants.
There are many ways to enjoy this fuzzy green food. You can stir-fry, roast, or boil okra to reap its nutritional benefits. It has a slimy texture and grassy flavor, perfect for those who enjoy eating green foods.
Whether you call them collards, borekale, or tree cabbage, these edible plants feature thick, dark leafy greens loaded with nutrients.
You’ll find collard greens steamed or braised next to a pork dish. You can also use collard greens in slaws, stir-fries, and sandwiches. They can be eaten raw, but the leaves are tough, so most chefs prefer to sauté them before serving.
Collard greens are a fantastic source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, folate, and calcium. They have numerous health benefits, making them one of the best green foods out there.
Cabbage is a part of the Brassicaceae family related to Brussel sprouts, kale, and broccoli. It has dark green leaf clusters and tastes bitter when raw. To remove the bitterness, you’ll need to leave the cabbage in boiling water for a minute.
Cabbages are usually sautéed or boiled for stir-fries and soups. You can also cook them to make cabbage rolls or stuffed cabbage for low-carb dinner options. You can also ferment cabbage leaves to make sauerkraut and kimchi.
Romaine lettuce has dark green edges that provide a nice crunch. It has a crisp and mild flavor and is popular in Turkish cuisine.
Romaine lettuce is often the main ingredient of salads, especially Caesar salads. You can also use romaine lettuce to make sandwiches or lettuce wraps to replace carbs consumption.
Green Pea Soup
Green pea soup is a bright green food that’s delicious. Vibrant and green pea soup is light and creamy and perfect to accompany a grilled cheese sandwich or the first course in a dinner party.
It’s topped with crunchy croutons and chive flowers for a delicious garnish. You can find chives at farmers’ markets! You can also omit the flowers and eat the delicious green pea soup with croutons.
Watercress is a member of the Brassicaceae family and produces little rounded leaves. It has a similar flavor profile to mustard greens and arugula. It’s slightly spicy and bitter and is commonly grown in the United States.
You can eat watercress raw or sauté it for your entree. This green food adds a spicy kick to any salad or soup.
Watercress contains magnesium, calcium, and potassium, along with a large number of vitamins and antioxidants. It’s popular for its medicinal value and is often used in herbal medical remedies across the globe.
Kale is an extremely nutrient-dense food and has fewer calories than most leafy greens. This makes it perfect for managing weight loss.
Key nutrients found in kale are vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, potassium, and fiber. You eat raw kale or sauté it to make a delicious cooked dish.
Sorrel features narrow and spade-like green leaves and can sometimes be confused with mature spinach. Its alternative names are sour grass, spinach dock, and sour dock. It has a tart and acidic flavor and tastes delicious when mixed with green salads.
When cooked, sorrel takes on a lemony flavor that complements the flavor of seafood. You can add sorrel to soups and stews.
This food is high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, folate, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. It is also an excellent source of fiber and proteins, making it a powerhouse in nutritional value.
Green Swiss Chard
There are many variations of Swiss chards available, but all will feature dark leaves and a hefty stalk in the center. The stalk can grow in many colors, so you’ll often find Swiss chard under the names red chard, green chard, yellow chard, white chard, or rainbow chard. It also goes by leaf beet, sea kale, or silverbeet.
Swiss chard has a mellow, earthy flavor and is common in Mediterranean cuisine. The stems of Swiss chard may take longer to cook, so you’ll need to strip them from the leaves to prevent overcooking the leaves.
When sautéed or steamed, Swiss chards make an excellent addition to creamy soups, casseroles, or tacos. Plus, the stems provide a crunchy daytime snack.
Swiss chard is rich in valuable vitamins and minerals and may help lower blood sugar levels.
Green hummus is a bright and flavorful healthy snack featuring green onions, cilantro, spinach, and lime. It’s tangy, and the green color makes it attractive and a fun novelty. You can serve green hummus with pita chips or green veggies!
Endive is part of the Cichorium family, including sunflowers, dandelions, and sunflowers. This edible plant can be somewhat difficult to grow. It has a crisp, nutty, and mellow flavor. Also, this green food is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine and is also associated with Belgium.
You can roast or grill endive with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, enhancing its naturally nutty flavor. It’s also added to salads alongside other leafy greens.
Endive is a good source of vitamins and antioxidants and has numerous health benefits. Research suggests that endive can help reduce inflammation.
Mint Ice-cream Dessert
This ice cream is easy to make at home, even if you’ve never made frozen food before! Use fresh, everyday ingredients such as real mint, cream, milk, and a traditional custard base for a decadent dessert.
Escarole is popular for its dark and thick leaves. The bunched-up leaves resemble a head of lettuce. Because of its bitter flavor when raw, escarole adds an intense flavor to salads and sandwiches. Cooked escarole has a delicious flavor and can be consumed on its own.
Escarole is known for its high fiber content which improves digestion. It also features a high percentage of vitamins and minerals for optimal health.
If you can get past the grassy smell, asparagus is a great healthy choice. It is high in vitamins, minerals, and folic acid. It also has the highest glutathione levels, one of the body’s strongest cancer-fighting agents.
The best way to have asparagus is cooked in olive oil or butter with salt. Its bright and earthy flavor is why people love it.
Perhaps the most delicious green food on this list is green pepper. Peppers are low-calorie and are a great source of vitamin C, commonly used to help prevent colds.
Green peppers also provide a fiber known for improving digestive health.
Some recipes you can make using green peppers are stuffed peppers, stir-fries, and fajitas.