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Health Benefits of Green Leafy Vegetables

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She researches and shares remedies for using certain products for illnesses.

Green Leafy Vegetables

Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables have many health benefits, and they are available in the supermarkets all year long. An added bonus is that they are not that expensive. They can feed a family from one cabbage or one bunch of collard greens or one bag of spinach.

The dark greens are a great source of vitamins A, C, and K. Because they are packed with fiber, leafy green vegetables are a versatile addition to a healthy diet.

Green leafy vegetables are very versatile, and they are available in several varieties. They are low in calories and fat, but high in fiber and vitamins A, C, and K. Most of them are also a good source of folate, calcium, iron, protein, and manganese.

Eating green leafy vegetables can lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes and lower the risk of other diseases.

Kale

Kale

Kale

Kale is perhaps the best known of the green leafy vegetable and has been considered the healthiest even though the others are not far behind. It can be eaten raw or cooked. Kale has a lot of nutrients, especially when it is eaten raw.

Cooking the greens diminishes some of the nutrients, but vitamins A, C, and K and manganese don't change.

Collard Greens

Collard Greens

Collard Greens

Collard greens are one of the better known leafy vegetables and a favorite side dish for Southern cooks. However, they do not contain as much protein as the other greens in the family.

A cup of cooked collard greens has only 4-5 grams of protein. Even though that is a small amount, it is a significant amount for a vegetable.

Mustard Greens

Mustard Greens

Mustard Greens

Mustard greens provide 10 percent of a person's amount of calcium. Most people know that calcium keeps bones and teeth strong and is good for the heart and keep blood pressure at a safe rate.

Eat mustard greens as often as you can for their health benefits.

Spinach

Spinach

Spinach

The leaves of spinach are sweet. They are rich in vitamins A, C, and K like so many of the other greens. Spinach is a good source of folate and iron.

Spinach is beneficial for stronger bones and a stronger immune system. It also enhances muscle performance and is good for a healthier heart.

Cooked spinach has only 7 calories in a cup-size serving. Therefore, it is an excellent food to eat if someone is trying to lose weight. Spinach can be eaten raw on sandwiches and in a salad. Spinach can also be steamed or sauteed and eaten as a side dish. For variety, put spinach in omelets, curries, and pasta dishes.

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard

If you do not know how to identify the green leafy vegetables, you can always identify Swiss chard by the stems that come in a variety of bright colors, including white, yellow, pink, red and green.

Swiss chard is very similar to kale and has a texture similar to lettuce. Like the other green vegetable, Swiss chard is a rich source of vitamins A, C, and K with small amounts of iron, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.

The leaves are tender and have a sweet crunch when added to salads and sandwiches. They can also be cooked and served as a delicious and healthy side dish.

The consumption of Swiss chard may help fight cancer, regulate blood sugar levels, improve digestion and maintain healthy brain function.

Arugula

Arugula

Arugula

Arugula is not as popular as the other leafy greens, but it should not be overlooked because it is rich in vitamins A and C, as well as being a good source of calcium and fiber.

You might not have purchase arugula, but you probably have eaten it because it is often found in those bags of salad blends. It has a peppery flavor and could be delicious in a vinaigrette salad or added to creamy pasta dishes.

At first glance, arugula looks similar to oak leaves.

Escarole

Escarole

Escarole

Escarole looks like a dark lettuce, but it has thicker curly green leaves and a robust flavor that makes it a popular addition to soups. It can be eaten raw, grilled, sautéed, or cooked in dishes.

The inner leaves may be more suitable for salads, and the outer leaves are better for cooked dishes.

Cabbage

Cabbage

Cabbage

Cabbage is a favorite for most people because it is versatile. It can be eaten as a side dish and can be used to prepare sauerkraut.

Cabbage is a probiotic-rich food that improves digestion, the immune system, and it reduces inflammation.

Broccoli

Broccoli

Broccoli

Some people don't consider broccoli in the family with the green leafy vegetables, but it is included because it is part of the cabbage family.

Broccoli is rich in vitamins A, C and K, and it contains fiber and folate. This versatile green vegetable can be eaten raw or served as a side dish or cook into stir-fries or casseroles. Who doesn't love the combination of beef and broccoli?

Lettuce

Lettuce

Lettuces

Lettuce comes in several varieties. People might be familiar with most of them that include Romaine, curly endive, and iceberg. All of them are used primarily in salads.

The darker the lettuce, the more nutrients it has. All of them are low in calories. Romaine lettuce contains just 10 calories per one-cup serving.

Just so you know, McDonald’s is the largest purchaser of lettuce in the world. After all, the fast-food restaurant sells salads and puts lettuce on their burgers.

Other Green Vegetables

The above list contains the most popular green leafy vegetables, but the list does not include all of them. Some of the others will interest you. They include the followings:

  • Dandelion greens
  • Endive
  • Watercress
  • Scallions
  • Purslane
  • Rapini
  • Pak choi

Comments

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on June 10, 2018:

Tim, I am getting into the habit of eating greens more than I used to. I add a little vinegar to my greens also for a little extra kick.

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on June 10, 2018:

I love green vegetables. I usually like all of them with a little vinegar. Thanks for a well written article about some very healthy foods.

Sincerely,

Tim

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on June 05, 2018:

peachy, when I did my research I found it and bok choy is another name for it. I added it to my list.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on June 05, 2018:

Maybe it is called bok choy?

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on June 04, 2018:

peachy, thanks for your comment about the green vegetables. I had never heard of Pak Choi, but will add it to my list.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on June 04, 2018:

I love mailed and Pak Choi very much