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Eat the Rainbow: GREEN Foods

Membership, Nutrition Therapy

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There is something so grounding about consuming green foods to me. Whether its leafy greens, cilantro or my personal favorite – matcha – green foods are special.

Green foods are some of the most nutrient dense foods and consuming leafy greens regularly is associated with decreased risk of flare ups.

I recognize with IBD- they are also often fear foods for many. If this is you – try modifications like blending, cooking, peeling etc. We discuss this throughout the library.

Green foods include many including – okra, parsley, cilantro, green bell pepper, broccoli, broccoli sprouts, green tea, grapes, spinach, zucchini, swiss chard, kale, matcha and many more!

Nutritional Uses:

  • Broccoli sprouts are typically better tolerated than broccoli in IBD and actually have even higher amounts of the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane than broccoli – better tolerated AND more nutrition- it’s a win-win!
  • Collards are a rich source of folate (vitamin B9) and the compound glucobrassicin – they have a protective role against cancer and cardiovascular disease.
  • Spinach, watercress and celery can help improve exercise tolerance through enhancing tissue blood flow and aiding in the utilization of oxygen
  • Avocados have a rich source of several nutrients including folate, antioxidants, vitamin K and helpful monosaturated fats – plus diets that are rich in monosaturated fats may have a positive or protective impact on intestinal inflammation
  • One avocado contains 27% of the daily recommended amount of folate other green foods like leafy greens are also a rich source of folate – those that are pregnant or on IBD drugs like methotrexate have increased demand for nutrients like folate

Plant Compounds in Green Foods: Catechins, Chlorophyll, Epigallocatechin, Flavinoids, Glucobrassicin, L-theanine, Phytosterols, Silymarin, Vitexin, Tannins, Sulforaphane

Try it out: Green Smoothies

I love a green smoothie! My personal favorite is spinach + pineapple + mango and a 1/2 a lemon with water.

Try it out: Matcha Magic

You didn’t think I’d let the green post go by without mentioning matcha did you?! Matcha has been my morning habit for years. My obsession started after attending an actual matcha ceremony – the traditional way matcha is served. Matcha is great in that it contains L-theanine which is thought to help reduce the jitters people normally get with caffeine. Matcha has prebiotic qualities and is rich in epigallocatechins (EGCG) and tastes amazing when made right – what’s not to love?!


Hashem AN, Soliman MS, Hamed MA, Swilam NF, Lindequist U, Nawwar MA. Beta vulgaris subspecies cicla var. flavescens (Swiss chard): Flavonoids, hepatoprotective and hypolipidemic activities.Pharmazie. 2016 Apr;71(4):227-32.

Liu AH, Bondonno CP, Russell J, Flood VM, Lewis JR, Croft KD, …, Blekkenhorst LC. Relationship of dietary nitrate intake from vegetables with cardiovascular disease mortality: A prospective study in a cohort of older Australians. Eur J Nutr. 2018 Sep 20. doi: 10.1007/s00394-018-1823-x. [Epub ahead of print]