St. Patrick’s Day is an exciting time of year where many people tend to overindulge because they don't have healthier alternatives. But worry not, with our St. Paddy’s pick, you can put down the green coloured mash potatoes, corned beef and that bottomless mug of green beer. We have options that will empower you to eat ‘greens’ that don’t require colouring. You can still maintain your healthy lifestyle, enjoy the festivities while aligning with your genetic sensitivities so you wouldn't have any regrets the next day. These top 5 'green' recipes give you an option for meals to devour throughout the day, and they are enough to make everyone around you green with envy.
Tip 1: Blend an Avo Shamrock Smoothie
Start your St. Paddy’s Day morning right with a healthy shamrock avocado smoothie. Make it even greener by adding spinach and mint leaves, and if you want it sweeter, blend in some frozen bananas. In no time, you’ll have yourself a healthy, creamy mint shake you crave on St. Paddy’s Day, minus all refined sugars and colourants.
It can improve your cholesterol
Did you know that certain genetic markers can increase your risk of high cholesterol if you follow a diet that is high in saturated fats? However, research has shown that regularly eating monounsaturated-rich avocados can increase your ‘good cholesterol’ levels while decreasing levels of ‘bad cholesterol’. As a heart-healthy fat, an avocado smoothie will be the perfect way to kick off your day!
Tip 2: Shell some Edamame Beans
Roasted, boiled, or simply splashed with low sodium soy sauce, these beans make for a fantastic midday snack. Edamame beans are the immature, green form of soybeans that are both delicious and high in protein. Just one cup will meet your folate requirements for the day.
They can reduce your risk of stroke
They contain vitamin B9, which is a micronutrient that is influenced by genetics. With studies showing that an increase in vitamin B9 intake is essential to reduce homocysteine, which is a protein associated with coronary disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. All you need is a serving or more of edamame beans on St. Paddy’s Day to reduce your homocysteine levels.
Tip 3: Have a handful of Rocket Leaves
How about giving a rocket salad a try! Mix a handful of rocket leaves with grated parmesan, avocado, a sweet fruit like mango, peaches or grapes, and walnuts drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil makes for a delectable meal or side.
They can improve detoxification
Genetically, some traits may increase your weekly requirement for spicy-pungent flavoured cruciferous vegetables like rocket leaves, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, or kale. Eating more of them has been found to improve your body's detoxification capability to neutralise and excrete toxins. But, the strong rocket-taste may not appeal to those with a bitter taste perception because of their genetic polymorphisms. This group is known as Supertasters, they perceive bitter and strongly flavoured foods like cruciferous vegetables, wine, coffee and citrus as overly pungent. So, if you're a Supertaster who wants a splash of rocket leaves, be sure to work in a sweet fruit or two!
Tip 4: Try a Green Curry
Thai Green Curry is a somewhat untraditional meal that will make your St Paddy’s spicier. Kaffir lime leaves, fresh Thai basil, lemongrass stalks, fresh coriander and the star ingredient, green chilli make up this toasty fragrant dish for dinner. These are the elements that put the healthy ‘green’ back into the Curry!
It can fight free radicals
Then again, if you just cringed at the thought of adding a little chilli to the mix, you may have a lower genetic tolerance to hot and spicy foods. Capsaicin is a naturally occurring compound found in peppers and other spices that activate that uncontrollably hot, burning sensation in your mouth. If you have this sensitivity but still like it spicy, opt for a milder curry by mixing in a dollop of sour cream or natural yoghurt to reduce the prospects of the ‘burning’ aftertaste.
But for those who like to spice things up, adding red or green chilli to your meals will contribute to your antioxidant intake. Antioxidants can help scavenge free radicals that prevent oxidative DNA damage. So, those of you who genetically have lower internal antioxidant defences', make sure you maximise your intake.
Tip 5: Savour a Slice of Sweet Kiwi
Now, to clean your palate after the St. Paddy’s Day feasting, slice kiwi over some cheesecake to make for a delicious creamy combo. But if you want to keep it lite and simple, blend liquidised kiwi with honey and lemon to create a refreshing sorbet that wraps up the day with a tangy taste.
It's time to say goodbye to insomnia
While no firm conclusions can be drawn, some small studies have shown that having two kiwis before bed may improve your quality of sleep. Kiwi's have sleep inducing properties because they are high in antioxidants that support neurotransmitter functioning necessary for sleep. This could also be useful for those who genetically require more vitamin C than others to maintain healthy levels. Their pulp also has a high serotonin content, this is important because low levels of serotonin can cause insomnia. Lastly, kiwi also high levels of folate which help combat a deficiency linked with insomnia and restless leg syndrome.
As a wise man once said, “yeah, it's St. Paddy's Day. Everyone is Irish tonight” (Norman Reedus). Keep it green and healthy, you’ll thank us later.