We all hear that the greener the vegetables, the more nutritious they are. All leafy greens have many health benefits and are full of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. They are rich in fiber which is beneficial for weight loss and maintenance because it helps control your hunger by keeping you satiated, or fuller, longer. Fiber is also good for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure; it helps slow down the absorption on carbohydrates into your blood stream which lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. These leafy greens contain a lot of water which helps keep you hydrated and also keeps your skin and hair healthy. They all have health promotional and disease prevention properties and high levels of antioxidants but what nutrients are in each of these green vegetables and what benefits do they have for the body? Here is a list of the top 10 greens and their health benefits:
- Spinach is a great source of iron and rich in vitamin k which plays an important role in cardiovascular and bone health. It is filled with antioxidants including beta-carotene (reduces the risk of developing cataracts), vitamins A and C, lutein (phytochemical that prevents age-related macular degeneration) and zeaxanthin. Spinach makes a good salad and you can even add it to a smoothie where it enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Kale is packed with fiber, calcium, vitamins K, A and C. It is a good source of the minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. It provides significant health benefits, including cancer protection and lowered cholesterol levels. Kale leaves are usually a little rougher than other greens, but you can use some lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil to soften them, which also works as a good dressing.
- Collard Greens are a good source of folate, calcium, vitamins C, A, and K. They are rich in niacin (vitamin B-3), panthothenic acid (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and riboflavin. They contain di-indolyl-methane (DIM) and sulforaphane that help fight prostate, breast, cervical, colon, and ovarian cancers. You can use them to make a wrap, cook them as a side, or eat them raw.
- Turnip greens are the top leafy portion of the turnip. The leaves are rich in calcium which supports the health of your bones and teeth. Very beneficial in fighting heart disease, lung disease, and many forms of cancer and arthritis. They have high levels of vitamins A, C, E, B6, calcium, copper and folic acid which are all beneficial in fighting Rheumatoid arthritis. Turnip greens make a great addition to soups!
- Swiss chard belongs to the same family as beets. It contains a wide array of phytonutrients, shown to provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is also an excellent source of iron, potassium, magnesium, antioxidant vitamin A, free radical-fighting vitamin C, bone-building vitamin K, and skin-enhancing vitamin E. Some of the main benefits include bone health, circulatory system health, eye health, blood sugar regulation, brain health, antioxidant properties, hair health, and helps fight cancer. You can use it in salads, stir fry and many other dishes.
- Cabbage is packed with vitamins K and C. It’s a good source of potassium and fiber and provides beta-carotene which is an antioxidant that battles cancer and heart disease. Red cabbage has even more nutrition than the green. It gets its red color from anthocyanins which also gives berries their purple color and are linked to lower risks of disease. Cabbage is a good addition to a soup or salad and can also be used as a wrap.
- Mustard greens are rich in sulforaphane, an antioxidant enzyme booster that enhances the effects of vitamins C, E and A which can help protect your skin from aging and environmental damage. They are also excellent sources of beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which help prevent arthritis and maintain healthy eyes, hair, and skin. They contain folate which is a B vitamin that may help reduce the risk of heart disease and protects against birth defects. You can add mustard greens to an omelet, salad, soup, stir fry and many other dishes.
- Broccoli Rabe is broccoli’s leafier and bitterer cousin sometimes labeled rapini and often incorporated into Italian dishes. It contains high amounts of potassium, fiber, calcium, and vitamins K, A, and C. It also contains flavonoids which help protect against cancer. It is a good source of folate, a B vitamin that protects against birth defects and heart disease, and a rich source of glucosinolates which your body converts to cancer fighting sulforophanes and indoles.
- Romaine Lettuce is an excellent source of folate, vitamins A, K, C and beta-carotene which helps prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. The darker the leaves are, the richer the nutrition is. It is also a good source of dietary fiber which is good for the heart. The fiber binds to bile salts and removes them from the body which forces the body to make more bile. Bile helps with breaking down cholesterol which will help lower the cholesterol levels.
- Arugula is a hydrating food that helps keep your body hydrated in the heat of summer. It has an array of minerals and has high levels of iron and copper. It contains magnesium, calcium, manganese, zinc, folate, vitamins A, C, and K and luteina and zeaxanthin. It is a rich source of phytochemicals that help prevent cancer and a great source of folic acid. Arugula is one of the best vegetable sources of vitamin K and provides a boost for bone and brain health, it’s also a great green to help maintain healthy weight.
Whatever your needs, we hope you will use this information throughout your weight loss journey and beyond. We are here to help you succeed, just let us know how we can help. You can call us at 1-800-980-7208. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AminoDiet.
Authored by Vivianna