The Healthiest Leafy Green Vegetables

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Leafy green vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber 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.
Using vegetables for losing weight is a smart idea – they are low in kilojoules/calories, contain vitamins and minerals, and fill you up with their fibre and water. They have what nutritionists call a low kilojoules density. In other words, there’s a lot to eat on your plate but they have fewer kilojoules in each bite. In the old days, diet sheets would call them “free vegetables” as you could eat as much of them as you wanted. They were, and still are, incredibly low in everything you don’t want and powerhouses of things you do, like antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

4 Best Leafy Green Vegetables

1. Cabbage

The health benefits of cabbage include its frequent use as a treatment for constipation, stomach ulcers, headaches , obesity, skin disorders, eczema, jaundice, scurvy, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, eye disorders, heart diseases, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Cabbage is a leafy green, red, or white biennial vegetable which is grown annually. This calciferous vegetable and is round or oval in shape. It consists of soft, light green or whitish inner leaves covered with harder and dark green outer leaves. It is widely used throughout the world and can be prepared in a number of ways, but most commonly, it is included as either a cooked or raw part of many salads. Cabbage belongs the group of Cole crops, which means that it is closely related to broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

Cabbage is frequently recommended for people who want to lose weight in a healthy way. Since cabbage is packed with many beneficial vitamins, mineral, and other nutrients, it is a healthy dietary option for people to eat and is quite filling since it has high levels of fiber, which add bulk to the bowels. It is also low in calories, amounting to only 33 calories in a cup of cooked cabbage. Therefore, people can go on the popular “cabbage soup” diet, and eat plenty of food to stay healthy, without gaining excess weight!

2. Broccoli

Broccoli is a branched, green vegetable with either purple or more commonly green flower buds. It belongs to the calciferous family, along with cauliflower, cabbage and kale and it can be eaten raw or cooked, with just 80g (about 2 spears) counting as one of your five-a-day.

There have been many health claims over the years about broccoli and whether it could be labelled a ‘superfood’ or not, but its nutrient-rich profile does offer some real health benefits.

Broccoli is a good source of fiber and protein, and contains iron, potassium, calcium, selenium and magnesium as well as the vitamins A, C, E, K and a good array of B vitamins including folic acid.

3. Watercress

One of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by humans for good reason. A member of the mustard family, highly rich in vitamins, and used in salads to impart a delicious mustard-like flavor. Being semi-aquatic, Watercress should be transplanted to a cool stream of pure clean water or grow in pots and add fresh water daily. Often wild foraged in the mountains of Appalachia, these highly nutritious, easy-to-grow greens are frost-tolerant and winter hardy. They have yellow flowers which are also edible and easily self-seed. Outside leaves can be harvested continuously starting within a couple of weeks of emerging. Cress can be used as a substitute for watercress in salads, soups and stir-fries. Nutrients: very high in vitamins A, C and K; folate, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium.

Watercress, a mineral-rich green leafy vegetable, is a calciferous plant grown for centuries. The nutritious watercress falls under the Brassiness family. Its health benefits are obtained from the high content of vitamins and minerals. And, also due to the antioxidant properties of the petrochemical structure of watercress plant.

Watercress contains more vitamin C than an orange, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, and more folate than bananas. The phytonutrients are where the health benefits of watercress are contained. Watercress contains vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, which are required for a healthy body.

4. Turnip Greens

The high levels of nutrients in turnip greens can enhance health and help prevent disease.Turnip greens can help maintain healthy skin and hair, because of their high vitamin A content.
Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair. It also plays a role in sebum production, and sebum keeps the hair moisturized.
Vitamin C is important for building and maintaining collagen, which provides structure to skin and hair. It also provides benefits for the immune system.
Turnip greens and other calciferous vegetables contain nutrients that may offer protection against cancer.
Turnip greens also contain an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid. This has been shown to lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity and prevent oxidation stress-induced changes in patients with diabetes.

 

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