St. Patrick’s Day is a fun day in March to celebrate Irish traditions, whether or not you’re of Irish decent. While the holiday is a great time to enjoy a different culture, it also means some not-so-healthy traditions, including overindulging in foods high in fat, sodium and 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 recommends Adding Color to your plate to help you gain all the nutritious benefits of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day means adding more green to your day, so why stop at green outfits and home décor. 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. Try this avocado, cabbage and carrot slaw for a healthier side dish.
- Kale- Packed with fiber and Vitamins A and C, kale is a super veggie that’s also super versatile. Check out 7 things you can do with kale.
- 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, but instead of overindulging in unhealthy foods, reach for nutrient-packed fruits and veggies. 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.