Top 12 Leafy Green Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables form an integral part of every health-conscious individual’s meals and diet plans. These vegetables contain minerals, vitamins and fiber. They protect against diabetes and build immunity, and have plenty of other benefits as well.
The top, best and most preferred green leafy vegetables are the ones listed below:
Spinach is one of the most inexpensive leafy green vegetables available. It is full of Vitamin A and C, Iron, Potassium and protein. It lowers blood pressure and asthma, and builds collagen required for healthy skin and hair. It even builds healthy bones. No wonder then that Popeye, the sailorman, gulped down cans and cans of spinach for that sudden burst of energy, and children wanted to imitate him all the time. Lucky for parents that kids learnt that! Spinach can be cooked along with other vegetables to make healthy soups and many mouth-watering recipes, or can simply be eaten raw in salads or added to sandwiches.
Broccoli is one of the cruciferous vegetables, which is low on calories and rich in Vitamin A and C, folate, potassium and fiber. It lowers blood pressure and fights colon cancer. It resembles a cauliflower or a tree, and can make any dish look colourful and appealing with its bright green color. It can be eaten cooked or raw, and can be added to pastas, salads or soups.
Cabbage is another favourite with health-conscious people, as it is low in calories and rich in vitamins. It is found in red, green and pale yellow colour, but the health benefits remain the same. It helps in repairing the natural wear and tear in the body, and thus combats aging. It can be cooked or eaten raw in a variety of salads. It helps in easy bowel movement and prevents constipation, and is also known to have anti-cancer properties.
Kale is a vegetable rich in Vitamin A, C and K and potassium, iron and manganese. It contains antioxidants that control cholesterol and cancer. It strengthens immunity and is a blessing for the anemic as more oxygen gets into the body with its regular consumption. Moreover, it is good for the eyes, skin, hair, nails and heart of a person. The folic present in Kale prevents heart diseases. Kale leaves could be green, purple or red, and they can be added to salads or smoothies.
5. Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard is rich green in color, and is abundant in Vitamin K. It strengthens the bones and helps in treatment of neuro-disorders, especially for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. It further contains Vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids. The potassium and iron present in Swiss Chard help in the formation of red blood cells. It increases immunity against infections. However, people suffering with oxalate urinary tract stones are advised against eating Swiss Chard, as it contains oxalic acid which could develop into oxalate stones in these patients. It can be eaten raw after washing thoroughly, or can be boiled or cooked for dishes.
6. Collard Greens
Collard Greens are rich in Vitamin C and fiber. They contain calcium like that of dairy products. Since calcium is essential for bone building, those who are lactose intolerant can safely consume Collard Greens instead of dairy products. Collard Greens contain phytonutrients like lutein and lipoic, which protect the eyes from ultraviolet rays, and also keep the heart healthy. These greens are low on calories and are ideal for those looking for weight-loss. It is best eaten raw or lightly cooked, as overcooking could deprive it of all its nutrients. This again, should not be consumed by those suffering from kidney stones.