Food as Medicine: Leafy Greens

Posted by Boston Organics on Jun 4, 2024 1:15:00 AM

Good food is the foundation of good health. Health scientists, and we’re sure most of you, would agree that optimal nutrition is critical to promoting health, improving general well-being and reducing the risk of developing certain diseases. Well, those principles are gaining traction in the Food as Medicine movement which recognizes the potential of food to help prevent and manage chronic disease. Many doctors aim to prevent, limit or even reverse disease by changing what patients eat. The movement has been around for decades, but it's making inroads as physicians and medical institutions make food a formal part of treatment, rather than relying solely on medications. Responding to studies, many insurers are even providing subsidies to cover produce prescriptions for clients: the health benefits are that dramatic!

Portrait of happy multi-generation family standing outdoors

While prescriptions and subsidies may not be available for everyone there are still plenty of easy ways for you to pursue optimal nutrition for your family. And you’re off to a strong start by being part of our Boston Organics healthy food system. We provide only organically grown produce, as much of it grown locally as possible. If you’re striving to eat only locally, we can do that too. Explore our Local Box.


This time of year locally-grown, dark leafy greens – like kale, chard, collard greens, bok choy - are widely available. Packed with vitamins A, C, E, K plus B vitamins that promote heart health, they’re also abundant in carotenoid-antioxidants that protect cells and may block the early stages of cancer. Studies have shown that eating 2-3 servings of green leafy vegetables per week lowers the risk of stomach, breast and skin cancer. They’re rich in minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium while being a good source of fiber and low in calories, sodium, cholesterol and carbohydrates, with a very low glycemic index, which makes them particularly advantageous for people managing or avoiding type-2 diabetes.

Adding Greens to Your Meals

Make a salad: Keep salads interesting by varying their colors, textures – use both raw (carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc) and cooked (roasted sweet potatoes, beets, legumes, cauliflower, broccoli, etc) vegetables. Use a variety of dark and light leafy greens. If your greens are very hardy – like curly kale – massage them with your hands or in a mixer with some olive oil and salt to help soften the fibers.
Wrap it up: Make a wrap with tuna, chicken, turkey or Mock “Tuna”. Add romaine lettuce, spinach, arugula, sprouts and other veggies for some extra crunch. Instead of a flour-based wrap, try a using a collard green!
Add to soup: Add greens with larger, tougher leaves such as collard greens, kale or mustard greens into your favorite soup.
Stir-fry: Add chopped spinach, bok choy or broccoli to chicken or tofu stir-fried with olive or canola oil with some garlic, onion or ginger.
Steamed: Steaming collard greens, mustard greens, kale or spinach until they are slightly soft. Delicious tossed with olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.
In an omelet: Add steamed broccoli and/or spinach to an egg-white omelet for a vitamin and iron rich meal.


Check out this easy recipe for Bulgur with Greens. Pretty much any green will do here and a combination is fantastic! Think beet greens, callaloo, carrot tops, chard, collard greens, dandelion greens, kale, radish greens,  turnip greens and more. Make it a meal with a fried egg on top or fried cubes of tofu or serve as a side to chicken, fish, beef or pork.


Adapted from:,approach%20to%20diet%20and%20health.

Topics: organic kale, Organic Chard, Organic Collard Greens, Organic Leafy Greens, organic vegetables, food is medicine

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