Leafy green vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre but low in calories. Eating a diet rich in leafy greens can offer numerous health benefits including reduced risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and mental decline.
Here are 14 of the healthiest leafy green vegetables to include in your diet."
Kale is rich in minerals, antioxidants and vitamins, particularly vitamins A, C and K. To reap the most benefits, it’s best eaten raw, as cooking reduces the nutritional profile of the vegetable.
Microgreens are immature greens, which have been popular since the 1980s. They’re flavourful and packed with nutrients like vitamins C, E and K. What’s more, they can be grown all year.
Broccoli is part of the cabbage family and packs several nutrients, including the plant compound sulforaphane, which may decrease heart disease and cancer risk and improve your gut flora and even symptoms of autism.
4. Collard Greens
Collard greens have thick leaves and are bitter in taste. They’re one of the best sources of vitamin K, may reduce blood clots and promote healthy bones.
Spinach is a popular leafy green vegetable that can be used in a variety of ways. It’s a great source of folate, which may prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, during pregnancy.
Cabbage has thick leaves and comes in various colours. It has cancer-protective properties and can be turned into sauerkraut, which offers additional health benefits.
7. Beet Greens
Beet greens are edible green leaves found on the tip of beets. They’re full of nutrients, including antioxidants that may support eye health.
Watercress has been used in medicine for centuries. Some studies have shown that watercress may be beneficial in cancer treatment.
9. Romaine Lettuce
Romaine lettuce is a popular lettuce found in many salads. It’s full of water and fibre, making it a great food to help you lose weight. It’s also rich in vitamins A and K.
10. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is rich in colour and often incorporated into Mediterranean cooking. It contains the flavonoid syringic acid, which may be beneficial for reducing blood sugar levels. However, human-based research on its effectiveness is lacking.
Arugula is a leafy green vegetable that goes by several different names, including rocket and rucola. It’s rich in vitamins and naturally occurring nitrates, which may help reduce blood pressure and improve blood flow.
Endive is a lesser-known leafy green vegetable that is curly and crisp in texture. It contains several nutrients, including the antioxidant kaempferol, which may reduce cancer cell growth.
13. Bok Choy
Bok choy is popular in China and often used in soups and stir-fries. It’s one of the only leafy green vegetables that contain selenium, which benefits your brain health, immunity, cancer protection and thyroid health.
14. Turnip Greens
Turnip greens come from the greens of a turnip plant and are considered a cruciferous vegetable. Studies have found that they may decrease stress in your body and reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, inflammation and atherosclerosis.
Leafy green vegetables are packed with important and powerful nutrients that are critical for good health. Fortunately, many leafy greens can be found year round, and they can easily be incorporated into your meals — in surprising and diverse ways. To reap the many impressive health benefits of leafy greens, make sure to include a variety of these vegetables in your diet."
Words above taken from an article by Autumn Enloe.
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All the best Jan