Leafy greens have no shortage of phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Notably, my three favorites – spinach, swiss chard, and kale – contain the trifecta of phytonutrients – beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. All three of these phytonutrients are in the carotenoid family. Large studies demonstrate that regular consumption of leafy greens preserves eye health and lowers cardiovascular disease and cancer risk. Carotenoids are fat-soluble compounds, and are absorbed better by the body when eaten with fat. Fats that pair well with leafy greens are grass-fed butter, olive oil, or even a little bit of bacon grease (yum!).
Spinach, swiss chard, and kale also contain vitamins and minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin K that are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis. The leafy greens also contain iron which is essential for prevention of iron-deficiency anemia, a common condition when your red blood cells have difficulty transporting enough oxygen to different parts of the body. You can help your body better absorb the iron in leafy greens by adding a fruit or veggie high in vitamin C (think a squeeze of lemon or orange juice over your greens).
- 3 slices uncured bacon
- 4 cups spinach, kale, swiss chard, or other leafy green (roughly chopped if necessary)
- 8 fingerling potatoes, sliced in threes
- 1/2 onion, diced
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- salt and pepper as desired
- Cook bacon in large pan. When done, set slices aside. Crumble slices when cool.
- Heat pan over medium-high heat. Toss in potatoes. Pan fry on 1 side for 5-8 minutes.
- Turn potato slices over. Add onion. Heat until onion is translucent.
- Turn heat down to medium low and add greens and lemon juice. Cover. As greens wilt, uncover and stir.
- When the greens are done wilting, turn off heat and add bacon crumbles, salt and pepper.