Leafy greens are an essential part of a healthy diet. They provide many important vitamins and minerals that help support optimal health. Examples of leafy greens include spinach, kale, collard greens, romaine lettuce, arugula, Swiss chard, mustard greens and bok choy. Adding leafy greens to your diet is an easy way to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs for optimal health.
Consuming more leafy greens can be highly beneficial to our health. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and they have been linked to reducing the risk of several chronic diseases.
Here are some benefits of consuming more leafy greens :-
Green veggies are rich in fibre, which prevents sugar spikes. WHO suggests consuming more than 400 grams of vegetables per day to improve overall health and reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases.
1. Lowers the risk of heart disease :-
Leafy greens are rich in nitrates, which can lower blood pressure and improve blood vessel function, reducing the risk of heart disease.
2. Reduces the risk of cancer :-
Leafy greens contain compounds such as sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol that have been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
3. Improves digestive health :-
Leafy greens are high in fiber, which promotes healthy digestion and reduces the risk of constipation.
4. Supports brain health :-
Leafy greens are rich in vitamin K, which has been linked to improved cognitive function and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Good in nutrition :-
Leafy vegetables are good in nutrition i.e. there are a number of vitamins and antioxidants in basic cooking herbs. Add flavor to your dishes and nutrition at the same time. Basil contains vitamin A and beta-carotene; cilantro contains vitamin A, beta-carotene, and vitamin C; parsley contains vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E; oregano contains vitamin A and vitamin C; and sage contains vitamin A and beta-carotene.
Now, let’s talk about how to consume more leafy greens. Here are a few tips :-
1. Add them to smoothies :-
Adding spinach or kale to your morning smoothie is an easy way to sneak in some leafy greens.
2. Make salads :-
Salads are an obvious way to consume more leafy greens, but try to mix it up and add different types of greens such as arugula, watercress, or Swiss chard.
shredded cabbage is an easy fix to add greens to your weekly meals. Instead of using lettuce in your tacos, substitute shredded cabbage. It will give your tacos a crunch factor and add nutrition to your meal. Use finely shredded cabbage or baby spinach when making salads instead of lettuce. This ups the nutrition factor for your meal.
3. Steam or stir-fry them :-
Cooking your greens can help make the nutrients more available and easier to digest. For example – Kale, Swiss chard, and spinach are all delicious sautéed in olive oil with some grated or sliced garlic and a dash of red pepper flakes, with an addition of a toss of grated Parmesan to finish it off as a special treat. This side dish can be cooked in a jiffy and can become a tasty addition to your regular menu.
When using spinach, be sure to squeeze out the liquid after cooking so you don’t end up with watery spinach in your food. Wilt the spinach in a saute pan then add it to scrambled eggs, omelets and even quiche.
4. Use them as wraps:-
Use large leafy greens such as cabbage or collard greens as a wrap instead of traditional tortilla wraps.
Green vegetables are providing majority of the minerals and vitamins the body requires each day, research indicates that leafy greens also include special nutrients that support disease prevention and good body processes.
I trust these tips are helpful in getting you to consume more leafy greens. Remember, they are not only good for you but also delicious. Always eat seasonal one.