When it comes to leafy greens, no one – neither your doctor, nor your nutritionist or your mother will ask you to eat less. Whichever way you eat them, as salad, soup, smoothies or cooked, they are the most nutritious foods you can eat. Leafy green are loaded with vitamins- A, B, K and other vitamins and also rich in minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron along with disease fighting phytochemicals. Antioxidant contained in leafy greens provides protection against free radicals that causes cell damage. This lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, they are high in fiber, which is an essential nutrient for weight loss. Fiber not only lowers cholesterol and BP, and prevents blood sugar swings but also keeps you feeling full and control hunger pangs. Another great benefit of eating leafy green is that they contain water which helps to keep your body hydrated and hence contributes to beautiful hair and skin.
Here Are 6 Best Green Leafy Vegetables, Which You Must Include In Your Diet To Enjoy Healthy Treat And Good Health:
Swiss Chard is rich in iron, potassium, vitamin K,C and A. It has red stems, veins and stalks on its leaves, soft texture and tastes like beet. This antioxidant rich leafy green helps to stabilize blood sugar, lowers inflammation and also protects the cells from cancer-causing toxins. Eating them will help you to get protection from the risk of diabetes, heart disease and many other chronic diseases. One-half cup of Swiss chard contains 15 calories.
Collards are rich in fiber, folate, vitamin A, C and K. Among all the leafy green, collard greens are best for lowering the cholesterol level by binding the stomach’s bile acid. The phytochemicals contained in this leafy green helps to nurture body’s natural detoxifying system. They have mild flavor and chewier texture. You can eat them as side dish, stir fry or cook them after boiling them briefly. Steaming will preserve more nutrients and increase its bile acid binding power.
Arugula is rich in vitamin A, C, and calcium. It has the highest level of nitrate than any other leafy green and hence helps to increase blood flow. Packed with antioxidant flavonoids, it helps to fight heart diseases and even cancer. It has slightly peppery taste and can be eaten raw, in sandwiches, salad, and soups or added to pasta sauce and stir-fry etc.
Kale is available in different varieties. It can be called nutritional power house because it contains everything that you expect in leafy greens. Kale is an excellent source of vitamin A, C and K and also rich in folate, calcium and potassium. It contains cancer preventing compounds, lowers blood sugar, prevents heart disease, strengthen bones and can also reduce inflammation. The antioxidant present in kale prevents eye disease and vision loss. Kale can be cooked as a main dish and also added to soups, sauces and stir fry.
Spinach is packed with vitamin A, C, D and folate and iron. It also contains host of trace minerals and also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. Rich in different flavonoids compounds, it works as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agents. The minerals contained in spinach helps to neutralize highly acid diet which creates host of health problems in our bodies. The carotenoids present in spinach protect your eyes against macular degeneration and cataracts. The calcium, magnesium and vitamin K contained in spinach are good for bone health. Spinach has sweet flavor and tastes great and is ideal for green smoothies, salads, soups etc.
Broccoli is a tasty green vegetable, packed with dozens of nutrients. Broccoli is a good source of vitamin C and also contains flavonoids that helps in recycling vitamin C. Broccoli also contains other powerful antioxidants like beta-carotene, carotenoids and lutein. It contains cancer-fighting and immune boosting properties and also helps in cholesterol reduction. It also contains a significant amount of omega 3 fatty acids which helps to reduce inflammation. Because of its high fiber content, it prevents constipation, maintains blood sugar level, promotes heart health and aids in digestion. It can be eaten raw, steamed, or added to soups, salads etc.
Leafy green are best food you can eat regularly to improve your health. The above mentioned leafy greens are most widely eaten nutritious green leafy vegetables.