Eating seasonally means lots of leafy greens in the spring. Our CSA farm shares are packed full of greens, with a wide variety this time of year (mustard, arugula, kale, pea shoots, chard, Chinese cabbage, turnip greens to name a few). This often means getting adventurous, trying new creative recipes, experiencing new tastes.
While not every new green you try will be your new favorite taste, there are lots of other reasons to include these leafy greens in our diet… 17 of them to be exact: potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, & K. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) conducted a study that defined “powerhouse fruits & veggies” (PFV’s) – a.k.a. “superfoods” – by how dense they are in these nutrients, all of which are known to help prevent or fight off diseases. Fruits or veggies that provide more than an average of 40% daily expected values of these 17 nutrients, qualify as a PFV.
The PFV’s that top the list might surprise you. All the PFV’s except one are leafy greens (red pepper is the only other). Kale is the trendy leafy “superfood” that everyone is juicing, but greens like watercress, Chinese cabbage, & chard have almost twice the nutrient density of kale. In fact kale barely made the cut as a PFV.
I can hear it now, “Chard, really?” Swiss Chard is that veggie that anyone that’s had a CSA farm share before can’t stand come November, “Really, Chard… again?” So this study should be welcome news. Stop juicing your kale, and start juicing your chard!
Swiss Chard along with other leafy greens make their debut in the farm share this week, and will be featured most weeks from now through October! Always remember if you can’t eat up all your cooking greens in a given week, freezing them for use during the winter months is a great way to preserve these nutritious superfoods.
View the full study and PFV chart here.