Leafy greens are some of the most nutritious foods that you can put into your body. They are high in dietary fiber, chlorophyll and other vital nutrients to help your body function at its best. Leafy greens have been proven to be effective in weight loss, and have the ability to ward off the common cold, flu and fever, as well as many other serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart problems. Here are some of the vital nutrients that are contained in leafy greens:
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin which helps the body to eliminate harmful toxins. This helps you to remain young by reducing wrinkles and preventing diseases. Vitamin C also helps the body to absorb iron and calcium, which are also essential for the body.
Thiamine is also known as vitamin B1. It is an essential vitamin to help the body turn carbohydrates and fats into energy. It is also essential for proper muscle movements and nerve cells, as well as brain activity. It cannot be stored in the body; therefore, it is essential that you consume this vitamin daily.
3. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin, which means that you will absorb more if you eat it with a healthy fat such as olive oil. Vitamin K can essentially protect you against osteoporosis and inflammatory diseases. It is also good for the heart as it can help to prevent atherosclerosis (the hardening of arteries) and prevents the blood from clotting.
4. Beta Carotene
Leafy greens contain high amounts of beta carotene which the body uses to produce vitamin A. This vital nutrient can help to protect you against eye problems and recurring infections. It is also essential for healthy hair and skin.
Folate is also known as vitamin B9. It helps with the reproduction of the DNA and RNA cell structures, which in turn can prevent birth defects. Therefore, it is essential that you consume enough folate (about 400 mcg daily), especially if you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant.
Calcium is a mineral that is found in abundance in dark leafy greens. It helps to build and maintain strong bones and teeth and helps to prevent high blood pressure, breast and colon cancers.
Iron is an essential trace mineral that you only need in small amounts. Plants use it to produce chlorophyll, and your body needs it for the formation of red blood cells. It is essential for muscle tissues, hair growth, a strong immune system and healthy brain functions.
Magnesium helps to regulate blood sugar levels, which can help with diabetes and protect against heart and bone diseases.
Potassium helps with muscle contractions, maintains the correct amount of body fluids and can help to fight heart disease, arthritis and digestive disorders.
10. Omega Fatty Acids
Believe it or not, but leafy greens also contain small amounts of omega fatty acids. These are essential for the heart as they help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Eat your leafy greens raw whenever possible so that you can obtain the maximum benefits of them, as cooking or any kind of high heat will destroy the vital nutrients that they have to offer.