measuring spinach

Nutrition

At Captiva Verde, we believe that organic green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and arugula should be the cornerstone of a healthy diet. Eaten alone, or complimented with whatever other whole, unprocessed foods work for you, organic greens provide a bountiful supply of important vitamins, minerals, and less understood nutritional constituents known as phytochemicals.

A body of research has isolated individual chemicals, like vitamins and minerals and lesser-known phytonutrients, and examined their health effects. At Captiva Verde, we find this of interest, but counsel that fresh, organic greens will always trump greens powder in a jar or a pill containing a purified nutrient. We would like to know exactly what it is about greens that makes them so good for us, but we are content in the meantime to eat diets high in fruits and vegetables, and especially organic greens!

We are bombarded by nutrition information in the media. Often the results of individual studies contradict one another, and sometimes science reverses itself on something previously thought of as conclusive.

The nutrition information presented in these webpages is conservative in that it looks to established scientific sources for information, and refrains from making health claims unless based on established science Thus you will see qualifications like “may” of “is thought to” or “there is evidence to suggest.”There are health claims out there about greens that are so speculative that we deem them not worth talking about.

There is evidence to suggest that organic produce has higher levels of some nutrients than produce grown by conventional means – see our page on Organics.

Balanced Diet

choosemyplateThe USDA’s latest attempt to help us eat a balanced diet takes the form of a plate that shows that half of our diet should consist of fruits and vegetables.

In a 2014 study published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2014/13_0390.htm “powerhouse” fruits and vegetables (PFV) were defined as foods providing, on average, 10% or more daily value per 100 kcal of 17 qualifying nutrients (excluding less-well-understood nutrients like the phytochemicals that are likely what make leafy greens special). In other words, a sort of conventional nutrient density.

No particular consideration was paid to whether people eat these foods and if they do, in what quantity. Of the 41 PFV on the CDC list, 33 are vegetables.Of those 33 vegetables, 20 are on the federal government’s list of the 60 vegetables commonly consumed in the U.S. (see nutrition portal http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/vegetables.html).

Spinach and kale are on that commonly consumed list.

The 13 vegetables on the CDC list but not on the commonly consumed list include things like parsley, chives, and dandelion greens. 

When the CDC list is considered as presented, greens are prominent, but when the list is reduced to 20 commonly consumed vegetables, greens are all in the top ten – extremely nutritious.

Nutritional Content of Greens

Recipes

Latest Recipes

Arugula Basil Walnut Pesto Flatbread

A flatbread opens up many culinary options. They can be sweet or savory, a main course, snack or a side.

»

Creamy Mac and Cheese with Kale

Everyone loves mac and cheese, and it's even better with kale!

»

Coconut Peach Green Smoothie

This not-too-sweet smoothie is a wonderful out-the-door breakfast. Light in texture and keeps you going.

»

Chard, Bacon and Gruyère Omelet

Fluffy eggs filled with chard, smoky bacon and melted Gruyère are a perfect start to a day.

»

Crispy Baked Kale Chips

These crispy kale chips provide all of the goodness of kale, yet satisfy that craving for something crunchy.

»

Roasted Vegetable Couscous Salad with Spring Mix

The rich nutty flavor of couscous with roasted vegetables and crisp spring mix - a perfectly balanced dish.

»

veg