Without a sufficient intake of leafy greens, no diet is completely optimised. These plant foods are truly a miracle of nature; not only are they nutrient-dense and low in calories, but they also contain a wealth of vitamins and minerals.Here are some leafy greens health benefits.
Leafy greens are versatile and can be used in a variety of salads, casseroles, and sandwiches.
What are leafy greens?
You can choose from a variety of leafy green veggies, both common and very uncommon. The majority may be found in the produce section of your neighbourhood supermarket, but for other items, you may need to grow them yourself in pots in your home or yard or go to a place like Whole Foods.
Leafy green vegetables include:
- Red and Green Leaf and Romaine Lettuce
- Green Leaves
- Mustard greens
- Dandelion greens
- Swiss chard
- Turnip greens
What makes leafy greens so special?
Leafy greens include disease-preventing plant-based compounds that may help guard against diabetes, heart disease, and even various cancers, primarily due of the potent antioxidants they deliver. It would appear that Mother Nature knows what she’s doing.
For instance, kale is a fantastic source of folate, potassium, calcium, and the vitamins A, C, and K.
Lettuce, kale, and spinach can be consumed in large quantities, and these veggies have so few calories that they hardly even count. These foods are also high in fibre, which helps you feel fuller for longer and eat less.
Another advantage of fibre is that it lowers blood sugar fluctuations, which reduces uncontrollable cravings for junk food and sweets.
Although different leafy greens have varied qualities, all of them can be regarded as healthy. They include vitamin K, which is crucial for promoting healthy blood clotting in the body.
Additionally, vitamin K can help prevent heart disease, renal damage, bone loss, artery calcifications, and a number of age-related illnesses.
Most leafy green vegetables have more than enough vitamin K for your body to use each day in just one cup. Kale is especially beneficial since it contains around six times the daily required amount of vitamin K.
Eating lush green veggies can actually lower your cholesterol. The fibre in leafy greens binds the bile acids, which are created by the liver and aid in the digestion of fats in the gastrointestinal tract.
The liver must use up considerably more cholesterol to produce bile acids since the bile acids and the leftovers from leafy green vegetables move through the body together. Your endogenous cholesterol level decreases as a result.
According to a study published in the Nutrition Research journal, kale and mustard greens that had been only gently cooked were the best in binding bile acids.
Vegetables with leafy greens are excellent for the eyes. Because they are rich in carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, mustard greens, Swiss chard, kale, and dandelion greens are the finest leafy greens to eat for eye health.
Carotenoids aid in the filtering of the sun’s high energy light, hence reducing the risk of cataracts. Additionally, these carotenoids increase general visual acuity.
Your body will benefit from the pantothenic acid, generally known as vitamin B5, in a cup of raw escarole. Together, the B vitamins facilitate the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, which is then used as cellular fuel.
You must locate a daily source of B vitamins because the body cannot store them. What better approach to improve your diet than by including escarole?
Calcium For Bone Health
Vegetables with leafy greens are rich in calcium. These meals taste slightly bitter because of the calcium.
The quantity of calcium you need each day—roughly 1,000 milligrammes for women between 30 and 50—cannot be obtained from leafy greens alone, but they do contain calcium that is simple to absorb.
Around 75 milligrammes of calcium can be found in a half cup of dandelion greens and 55 mg in a cup of mustard greens.
Given that they are almost entirely fat-free, these meals compete favourably with high-fat dairy products as calcium sources.
Prevent Colon Cancer
Due to their membership in the same vegetable family as cabbage and broccoli, kale and mustard greens can aid in the prevention of colon cancer. According to a study published in one dietetic magazine, those who consumed more of these leafy greens had a lower risk of colon cancer.
How do you eat leafy greens?
Leafy greens can be consumed raw in salads or steamed with other ingredients, such as herbs or other vegetables, or they can be used to stir-fries. In general, it’s best to cook these vegetables with as little heat as possible to preserve their nutritious value.
Both kale and spinach run the risk of overcooking very soon due to their accelerated cooking times.
As with broccoli, which is typically overcooked and has lost important nutrients after it turns a dark green hue, a good cooking rule of thumb is to only steam food until it is a bright free colour.