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(Julija Sapic/iStockphoto)
(Julija Sapic/iStockphoto)

Healthy Eating Jump-Start Day 9: Eat a leafy green vegetable Add to ...

Have you made a resolution to eat better and lose weight? Follow our month-long program of daily nutrition tips, created by dietitian Leslie Beck to change your lifestyle for January - and beyond. And to get your fitness on track, try our personal trainer-designed Boot Camp 2012 program .

DAY 9: Eat a leafy green vegetable

Leafy greens are low in calories, high in fibre and a good source of cancer-fighting vitamins A and C, vitamin K, folate (a B vitamin), iron, calcium and potassium. What’s more, they’re an exceptional source of lutein and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals that protect against cataract and macular degeneration. Also, research suggests that eating leafy greens on a regular basis slow normal, age-related cognitive decline.

Include one serving of a leafy green vegetable in your diet today. (Ideally, eat a green leafy vegetable most days of the week.) Choose from arugula, beet greens, collard greens, dandelion greens, kale, mustard greens, leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, rapini (broccoli raab), spinach, Swiss chard and turnip greens.

Here are a few serving suggestions:

  • Sauté kale with fresh garlic and chili peppers and drizzle with roasted sesame oil just before serving.
  • Add chopped collard greens, along with golden raisins and slivered almonds, to sautéed onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or until tender.
  • Add sautéed or steamed rapini to a tomato-based pasta sauce.
  • Toss fresh spinach with sliced strawberries and mandarin orange segments for a salad. (Plus, the vitamin C in the fruit increases the amount of iron your body absorbs from the spinach.)
  • Add steamed Swiss chard to omelettes, quiches and frittatas.

Missed earlier days? It's easy to get caught up.

DAY 8: Drink a cup of green tea

DAY 7: Snack on fruit

DAY 6: Use a smaller plate

DAY 5: Eat more veggies

DAY 4: Practise eating slowly

DAY 3: Boost fibre at breakfast

DAY 2: Drink a large glass of water before each meal

DAY 1: Keep a food diary for the next seven days

Want more information related to today's tip? Read on:

Go ahead, nuke those carrots

Balsamic Swiss chard

Vegetarian diet protects against some cancers

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