How to Enhance Your Greens with Dairy (And Why You Should)

This post is in partnership with Undeniably Dairy

By Keri Glassman

There are a lot of confusing tips and myths in the nutrition world: new superfoods, celebrity-driven trends, “miracle diets” (spoiler alert: there’s no such thing!). But there are two time-tested foods I’ll always stand by: greens and dairy.

I mean, think about it, have you ever heard a dietitian say to eat fewer greens? Probably not. Vegetables like kale, swiss chard, and arugula are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and Americans eat far too little of them.

RELATED: 3 Surprising Things You Never Knew About Dairy

But a truly nutritious diet includes foods from various food groups, and if you’re focusing too much on one food group, you’ll miss the benefits of others. For instance, dairy pairs perfectly with plant foods, providing nutrients like high-quality protein, calcium, and B12. Dairy foods like milk, yogurt, and cheese are sources of complete protein, meaning you’ll get all the essential amino acids your body needs to function and build muscle, and you’ll score eight grams of protein in just one cup of milk.

If you need help combining the two, here are some of my favorite ways to eat both dairy and greens together:

Add parmesan to your salad dressing.

This Caesar-like dressing has a healthy dose of parmesan for a next-level flavorful (and nutritious) salad dressing. I always add it to my Swiss chard.

Make a kale and mozzarella salad.

I love slicing fresh mozzarella over a bed of raw kale, lightly seasoned with pepper and garlic. The bitterness of kale and the sweetness of mozzarella make this a pairing for the ages. Oh, and did you know fresh mozzarella is one of the lowest-sodium cheeses? Best news.

Green-ify your pizza.

Lots of people think pizza is unhealthy, but like anything, it’s all about how you make it. Try adding your favorite green (anything works, but I love arugula) to your next homemade pizza for an added dose of antioxidants. Whole grain or cauliflower crust and protein-packed cheese will make this a well-rounded dinner the entire family will love.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

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The Nutritious Life Editors are a team of healthy lifestyle enthusiasts who not only subscribe to — and live! — the 8 Pillars of a Nutritious Life, but also have access to some of the savviest thought leaders in the health and wellness space — including our founder and resident dietitian, Keri Glassman. From the hottest trends in wellness to the latest medical science, we stay on top of it all in order to deliver the info YOU need to live your most nutritious life.

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