Growing up we always heard, “you better eat your greens.” Much though we resisted these beneficial leafy veggies, they are one of the best sources of nutrition we can find. Now that we are grown, we have no excuse not to get enough greens. As you peruse the grocer isle, it can feel a bit overwhelming when it comes to selecting your roughage. Check out the 5 most beneficial leafy greens and add them to your shopping list today.
This sweetly flavored green can be eaten raw or cooked. 1 cup of cooked spinach offers more than 1000% of your daily recommended value of vitamin K, and nearly 400% of your vitamin A. It is also rich in manganese, folate, magnesium and iron. Eating spinach protects you against osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer and arthritis.
A member of the cabbage family, this flowery green adds a variety of taste and texture to your diet. Loaded with vitamins C, K and A, folate and manganese, this tasty veggies offers a great source of dietary fiber as well. Broccoli contains the anti-cancer phytonutrients sulforaphane and indoles, which have shown in studies to deactivate a potent estrogen metabolite that promotes tumor growth. Cruciferous veggies have also been shown to lower your risk of certain aggressive cancers like ovarian, bladder and breast cancer.
3. Swiss Chard
This valedictorian of leafy greens provides an endless list of nutrients to your diet including high amounts of vitamins, K, A, C and E, along with magnesium, manganese, potassium and iron. These tall leafy green veggies come in large stalks that are either white, yellow or red with fanning green leaves. The combination of fiber, traditional nutrients and phytonutrients give this veggie a proven track record for fighting digestive cancers.
4. Mustard Greens
These peppery, spunky leaves can be either flat or crumpled in texture, with various different edges. A great source of vitamins K, A, E and C, these plants are also the source of the brown seeds used in Dijon mustard. The nutrients found in mustard greens team up to fight free radicals that can damage cells, and also promote lung health.
5. Romaine Lettuce
If you are going to enjoy a salad, remember that not all lettuce is created equal. Go for the Romaine when you are selecting lettuce. It is rich in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that help to prevent disease and alleviate digestive problems commonly found with lettuce consumption. The beta-carotene and vitamin C in romaine make these leafy salad greens healthy for your heart. Eating a salad a day will greatly decrease your risk of heart disease.
Getting a daily serving of leafy greens will help prevent cancer, heart disease, arthritis and other diseases. Leafy greens offer a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Eat your serving of greens with a source of healthy dietary fats to help with nutrient absorption. These fats include extra virgin olive oil, a variety of nuts, coconut oil, fish oil and flaxseed oil. Keeping a fresh salad in your fridge is a great way to ensure you will get all the greens you need each day.