Mustard greens This peppery plant is jam-packed with vitamins K, A and C, a triple threat of antioxidants that battle the effects of aging and disease. Heart-healthy nutrients like folate, fiber, potassium and beta-carotene also protect the heart and lungs, while calcium builds stronger teeth and bones. “By providing us with a diverse array of antioxidants, mustard greens help protect our bodies from damaging free radicals,” says Christine Avanti, C.N., holistic nutritionist in Los Angeles and author of Skinny Chicks Don’t Eat Salads (Rodale). Raw or cooked, the pungent green works as a side or combined with casseroles or stir-frys.
Collard greens Bursting with betacarotene, vitamins C and K, calcium, iron and antioxidants (such as lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration), collard greens offer a bevy of health benefits, including cancer prevention, improved circulation, strengthened immune system and improved liver and kidney function, says Edwards. A member of the cabbage family, collards can be added to couscous, pasta dishes and quiche. Bonus: One cooked cup has 5 grams of filling fiber to help control hunger.
Arugula Classified as a cruciferous vegetable, this brother of broccoli has a leg up on lettuce. “Arugula contains about eight times the calcium, fives times the vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K, and four times the iron as the same amount of iceberg lettuce,” says Shulman—not to mention more fiber, folate, protein, potassium and magnesium. Add it up and arugula can help defend against heart disease, osteoporosis, sun damage and certain cancers. Arugula’s peppery punch can perk up salads, sandwiches, soups, sautés and even pizza and quesadillas.
Warm Mustard Greens Salad
PREP: 15 min. COOK: 10 min. SERVES 4
Mustard greens add a spicy, bitter
bite to this warm salad that doubles
as a comfort food.
Juice from 1 lemon (about 1/4
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 small red onion, peeled and
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans,
rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
5 cups mustard greens, rinsed
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1. Mix together the first three
ingredients (lemon, honey and water)
in a small bowl. Set dressing aside.
2. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a pan
over medium-high heat. Add ginger,
onion, garbanzo beans, cumin, chili,
salt and pepper and sauté for 3
minutes. Add dressing, reduce heat
and let simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Trim stems from mustard greens
and coarsely chop leaves. Combine
with shredded carrot in a large bowl.
Top with warm garbanzo bean mixture
and gently toss. Top with crumbled
feta cheese and serve.
Per serving: 251 calories, 10 g fat
(2.5 g saturated fat), 8 g protein,
35 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 450 mg