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Why You Need to Eat Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables are nutritious items that may help round out a well-balanced diet. They are usually high in nutrients and fiber while being low in calories and fat. It has nutritional compositions which are often connected with several health advantages. According to recent research, individuals should diversify their vegetable consumption and try to fill half of their plate with fruits and vegetables.
Some leafy greens can be eaten raw, while others must be cooked. People may usually distinguish these veggies by their green hue and edible leaves, as the name indicates.

Here is the list of some leafy green vegetables

Kale

Kale
Kale, or leaf cabbage, belongs to a group of cabbage cultivars grown for their edible leaves, although some are used as ornamentals. Kale plants have green or purple leaves, and the central leaves do not form a head. Kale has sturdy central stems and long leaves that curve at the tips. It’s high in nutrients including fiber and antioxidants. A recent study reveals that eating a lot of fiber may help avoid type 2 Diabetes.

Collard Green

Collard Greens
Collard is a group of certain loose-leafed cultivars of Brassica oleracea, the same species as many common vegetables including cabbage and broccoli. Collard greens, often known as collards, are members of the cabbage family. They feature broad, fan-shaped leaves and sturdy stalks. While they may be eaten raw, they can be bitter and difficult to chew; therefore many people braise or steam them. Collard greens are high in vitamin A, C, folate, vitamin K, and calcium.

spinach

Spinach
Spinach is another leafy green that is high in vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, folic acid, and calcium. According to a recent study, spinach may help slow the course of Alzheimer’s disease. It also includes carotenoids, which may aid in the prevention of eye illnesses and the maintenance of eye health. Its leaves are a common edible vegetable consumed either fresh, or after storage using preservation techniques by canning, freezing, or dehydration.

cabbage

Cabbage
Cabbage, comprising several cultivars of Brassica oleracea, is a leafy green, red, or white biennial plant grown as an annual vegetable crop for its dense-leaved heads. Cabbage leaves range in color from green to purple to white. Cabbage is frequently sautéed, stir-fried, or boiled. Cabbage is also fermented to create kimchi and sauerkraut. Sulforaphane, a chemical found in cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, may reduce a person’s risk of cancer. 

According to a reliable source, this chemical may lower a person’s chance of developing breast cancer. It may help protect cells from oxidative damage during cancer radiation therapy and reduce the risk of stroke and hypertension.

Benefits
Carbohydrates are abundant in leafy greens. They also have fewer fat and calories than many other foods, but they can have protein and other minerals. According to a 2020 study, green leafy vegetables are high in bioactive substances including niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, flavonoids, carotenoids, sulforaphane, and others. These substances include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which may result in a wide range of health advantages, including a lower risk of stroke, anemia, high blood pressure, some malignancies, and diabetes. They may also benefit gastrointestinal health, and immunity, as well as heart, bone, and skin health.
According to recent study, eating leafy greens on a daily basis may help delay cognitive deterioration associated with ageing.

How To Include In Your Diet
People might use the following methods to incorporate leafy greens into their diet:
Salads – Put raw greens, such as spinach and beet greens, in a dish; dress with vinaigrette or lemon juice; and serve as a salad.
Healthy Bowls – Make a nutritious dish by combining greens with proteins, fruits, and whole grains.
Wraps – As a wrap filler, combine romaine, cabbage, or Swiss chard leaves with additional components.
Soups – Greens like bok choy and Swiss chard are soup classics. In the last few minutes of cooking, add chopped greens to soups or stews.
Pizza – To make a healthy pizza, replace meats and processed toppings with veggies.
Sautés and Stir-Fries – Toss leaves, noodles, veggies, nuts, and seafood together.
Pesto – Use leafy greens instead of basil as the main ingredient in pesto.
Juice – When creating juice, add some greens like kale and parsley for added nutrients and a pungent kick without the fullness that smoothies may provide.
Sandwich – Aside from the standard tomatoes, pickles, and avocados, greens such as lettuce, arugula, and spinach can be included to sandwiches.
Sauces – Leafy greens can be chopped or pureed and added to sauces. People can, for example, mix vegetables like beet greens and add them to marinara sauce.
Smoothies – To prepare a nutritious green drink, combine spinach with other healthy fruits and vegetables such as beets, carrots, cucumber, and ginger.
Add-Ons – Greens may enhance the flavor of dishes. They may be cooked in a variety of methods, including grilling, steaming, boiling, braising, and stewing.

Summary
Green leafy vegetables are high in nutrients and may provide a number of health advantages. Consuming greens on a regular basis can be helpful to health and may help avoid various health concerns. Although greens are healthful, they can interact with some medications, and excessive consumption might have negative consequences. Some greens include anti-nutrients, which prevent nutrients from being absorbed. However, this is usually remedied by properly boiling the veggies.

References

  1. Cooper AJ, Forouhi NG, Ye Z, Buijsse B, Arriola L, Balkau B, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and type 2 diabetes: EPIC-InterAct prospective study and meta-analysis. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012.
  2. Bondonno CP, Yang X, Croft KD, Considine MJ, Ward NC, Rich L, et al. Flavonoid-rich apples and nitrate-rich spinach augment nitric oxide status and improve endothelial function in healthy men and women: a randomized controlled trial. Free Rad Biol Med. 2012.
  3. Braam LA, Ocke MC, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Seidell JC. Determinants of obesity-related underreporting of energy intake. Am J Epidemiol. 1998.
Dr. Manju Rani
Dr. Manju Rani
I'm a culinary nutritionist at MintBagg and expertise in the field of food and nutrition for the past five years. Holding a valuable experience of PGIMER Chandigarh she has been working on weight loss management for the past 2 years underlying various chronic conditions and holds a great interest in writing a research paper. Manju, also with great taste and love for cooking helps her clients with her.
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