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Chloro-fill up with leafy greens

They’re the textbook definition of healthy eating. They come in all textures, shapes, sizes and colors but have three things in common — they’re green, leafy and loaded with valuable nutrients.

This month’s SuperFood is one of the most versatile foods out there. Leafy greens are delicious, bite-sized powerhouses that humans have eaten for 200,000 years. Since then, however, we have learned the best ways to prepare them, so we can better enjoy their great taste as well as their benefits. (Hint: there are countless ways to eat these greens beyond a salad.)

Kale, for example, is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Just one cup of raw kale offers nearly 700 percent of the daily vitamin K you need, among a myriad other minerals and antioxidants. Chop up some kale for a quick green boost to scrambled eggs or any pasta dish. When possible, though, try to eat it raw, as cooking kale can reduce its nutritional value.

Spinach is the next food that is sure to turn you into the ultimate lean green machine. A softer, sweeter alternative to its kale-y counterparts, it’s an incredibly easy addition to many dishes. With 15 different vitamins and minerals — including more than five grams of protein per cup — spinach also plays a key role in red blood cell production while promoting good heart health. Sauté spinach in any stir fry, or blend a handful of fresh leaves into a smoothie for an extra daily serving of iron.

Don’t forget about romaine lettuce, everyone’s favorite go-to base for Caesar salads. A highly popular leafy green, romaine — like kale — is an awesome source of vitamin A and K. Try swapping out taco shells or burger buns with this luscious lettuce for an added crisp, healthy crunch.

Many leafy greens contain chlorophyll, which acts as a blood cleanser and detoxifier. Darker leafy greens are packed with calcium and magnesium, important for building strong bones and teeth.

Microgreens, arugula, cabbage — the list of these nutritious SuperFoods could go on. But the bottom line is this: don’t be scared of little green leaves. Once you learn how to incorporate them into your daily routine, your body — and your tastebuds — will thank you.

Leafy greens are available across campus. During this time, introduce something new and impress your family at home. If you are still on campus look no further than the Poly Fresh Grab-and-Go salads at Campus Market, or The Ave for your daily dose.