St. Patrick’s Day is a fun day in March to celebrate Irish traditions, whether or not you’re of Irish decent. It can be fun to explore a different culture, but this day often comes with some not-so-healthy traditions. This can include overindulging in foods high in fat or sodium and overindulging in alcohol. It’s okay to enjoy these traditions in moderation, but there are other ways to celebrate Irish heritage while still being heart-healthy.
The American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good movement suggests that you Add Color to your plate to help you gain the nutritious benefits of different fruits and vegetables. This St. Patrick’s Day, add green! There are plenty of green fruits and vegetables that can add variety to your meals and can be a fun way to make your St. Patrick’s Day meals a little healthier.
Here are 7 ways to add more green to your plate:
- Green cabbage- Cabbage is traditionally served with corn beef, which can be high in sodium and fat. Load up on the veggies instead of the meat!
- Kale- Packed with fiber and Vitamins A and C, kale is a super veggie that’s also super versatile.
- Green beans- Want a simple side dish for any week night dinner? Place one pound of green beans in a microwavable dish with ½ cup water, 1 tsp garlic and ¼ tsp of black pepper. Microwave for 6-8 minutes until crisp-tender, drain excess water and serve!
- Kiwi- Kiwis are good on their own or in this Kid-Friendly Big Green Monster Smoothie!
- Brussels sprouts- Sometimes, Brussels sprouts get a bad rep, but they’re hard to pass up when roasted with garlic and rosemary!
- Green pears- Pears are great on their own, but also delicious when baked and served for dessert!
- Limes- Lime, as well as other citrus, are great to liven up water, as well as in cooking and baking. Instead of reaching for heavy beers on St. Patrick’s Day, try this refreshing limeade.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean completely avoiding holidays and traditions. This St. Patrick’s day, while picking out your green, make sure to also fill your plate with green. Your heart will thank you!
For more healthy recipes, tips, tools and motivation, visit www.heart.org/healthyforgood.