Leafy Green Vegetables | What Do They Offer Our Bodies?

Apart from fruits eating leafy green vegetables daily provides major health benefits to our general health and physical fitness. Not to mention, people who eat more fruits and vegetables engage in part of an overall healthy diet. Whereby, they are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases as well.

After all, you’ll agree with me that; being overweight and obese has become a major problem in many leading nations. This has led to an increase in diet-related disorders like diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. In addition, the leafy greens and green veggies contain plenty of vitamins and minerals which help the body absorb protein and amino acids.

Leafy Green Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables don’t just look pretty – Image by Carla Burke from Pixabay

As a matter of fact, nearly 80% of adults and 56% of children do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. And the situation is really bad in other countries as well.

As an example, the 2018 Australian Health Report found that more than 99%of children and 96% of adults don’t eat the recommended intake. And that is of five serves of vegetables a day. It’s recommended that teens aim to eat 2 to 3 servings (1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw) per week.

What do Leafy Green Vegetables provide?

In the first place, the leafy green vegetables provide you with enough nutritious and bodybuilding components! Of course, because leafy green vegetables contain plenty of vitamins and minerals which help the body absorb protein and amino acids. One serving of kale contains more calcium than one serving of milk and more vitamin C than an orange.

Research has shown that eating at least 2-5 cups of fresh leafy green vegetables along with 30-60 minutes of physical activity can help lower the risk of becoming overweight. And also cut the risk of cancer, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

Leafy Green Vegetables

Basically, your body needs a little dietary fat to absorb some of the vitamins found in dark green leafy vegetables. You can do this by adding a bit of olive oil or salad dressing to your dark leafy green vegetables. Or even, by eating them with a meal that includes fat such as low-fat milk or cheese. This helps to make sure your body absorbs all of the vitamins you eat.

Many preparation methods and recipes for dark leafy greens already contain some type of fat. Such as oil, butter, or cheese in which case you don’t need to add any more to get those important nutrients.

Why Should you eat Dark Leafy Green Vegetables?

Simply, because dark green leafy vegetables are good sources of many vitamins (such as vitamins A, C, and K and folate) and minerals (such as iron and calcium). They’re also great sources of fiber. Research studies suggest that the nutrients found in dark green leafy vegetables may prevent certain types of cancers and promote heart health.

In reality, even Popeye (the spinach-loving sailor) actually helped increase the American’s consumption of the leafy green vegetable by 33%! Now science is backing the fact that the more greens we eat, the better it is for muscle strength.

For instance, one serving of kale contains more calcium than one serving of milk and more vitamin C than an orange. The lutein and indoles found in green vegetables like broccoli, bok choy, asparagus, etc help make bones and teeth stronger. They also enhance muscle recovery and tissue repair.

Here are the complete benefits;

Reduce the risk of cancer

Eating leafy greens provides you with antioxidants and phytochemicals which can reduce the risk of certain cancers. These nutrients fight free radical damage caused by toxins and pollutants in our environment. Therefore, adding green vegetables to your daily diet is definitely going to improve your long-term health and lower your risk of many diseases.

They make you look good!

The fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals in green vegetables provide you with all the nourishment your hair and skin need, giving them a natural glow. With regular consumption of green vegetables, you can reduce the effects of environmental pollutants that accelerate aging.

Green vegetables contain vitamin C, a collagen-building antioxidant, which fights wrinkles, grey hair and other signs of aging. Greens also fight acne, rosacea, and other skin conditions while strengthening the hair and reducing hair fall.

They give you greater energy

With regular consumption of green vegetables, you not only have lower cholesterol, but also improved vision, better bone, and bowel health. The fiber in green veggies eliminates piled up toxins and waste in the colon to prevent constipation. This helps you get more energy to do your day to day tasks. They also prevent age-related memory loss and improve cognitive and brain function.

Aid in weight management

Greens increase satiety and keep you full longer. They help control hunger pangs and aid in weight management. Green veggies help your body absorb nutrients and essential fatty acids better to improve organ functioning and enhance metabolism. This automatically helps the body burn fat more effectively and maintains weight.

What are the examples of dark leafy green vegetables?

Arugula 

It has a peppery taste and is rich in vitamins A, C, folate, and calcium. Arugula can be eaten raw in salads or on pizza and sandwiches or added to stir-fry, soups, and pasta sauces.

Broccoli 

It has both soft florets and crunchy stalks and is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, folate, and fiber. Broccoli can be eaten raw, steamed, sautéed, or added to a casserole or soup.

Collard Greens 

They have a mild flavor and are rich in vitamins A, C and K, folate, fiber, and calcium. The best way to prepare them is to boil them briefly and then add to a soup or stir-fry. You can also eat collard greens as a side dish. Just add your favorite seasoning and enjoy!

Dandelion Greens 

They have a bitter, tangy flavor and are rich in vitamin A, C, iron, magnesium, and calcium. They are best when steamed or eaten raw in a salad.

Kale 

It has a slightly bitter, cabbage-like flavor and is rich in vitamins A, C, and K. Kale is tasty when added to soups, stir-fries, and sauces. Massaging the kale with your hands before you eat can help reduce the bitterness.

Mustard Greens 

They have a peppery or spicy flavor and are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, and calcium. But, they are delicious when eaten raw in salads or in stir-fries and soups.

Romaine Lettuce 

It’s nutrient-rich lettuce that is high in vitamins A, C, and K, and folate. It can be eaten raw in salads, sandwiches or wraps.

Spinach 

It has a mildly sweet flavor and is rich in vitamins A and K, folate, and iron. Spinach tastes great eaten raw in salads, steamed, or sautéed. Try adding spinach to an omelet! Spinach is also one of the best greens to add to smoothies because the flavor is so mild that it will not change the taste of your smoothie.

Swiss Chard 

Tastes similar to spinach and is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, and iron. It’s best stir-fried, added to sauces, or eaten raw in salads.

The Bottom Line

Botanically, there is a distinct difference between fruits and vegetables. However, they both come with an impressive set of nutrients and health benefits. From decreasing your risk of chronic disease to slimming your waistline.

Current guidelines recommend getting at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, with 3 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit (20Trusted Source). In the end, the classification of fruits and vegetables isn’t as important as eating a variety of both. In that case, to take advantage of the diverse nutrients they provide.

Also, a study has shown that 5 powerhouse plant-based foods are all greens and they are:

  • Watercress
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Swiss chard
  • Beet greens
  • Spinach

To find out the complete list of 30 best green veggies that are good for you, click here. Read also,

Resources;

I hope the above-revised guide was helpful towards your next dietary plan. But, if you’ll additional contributions or questions, please Contact Us, or simply, leave your insights in the comments box below.

Below are more useful and related topic links;

  1. Tomatoes Beneficial Dietary Plans
  2. Why is eating Watermelon important?
  3. What are the Benefits of Broccoli?
  4. How are Fruits and Vegetables different?
  5. Carbohydrates Health Benefits and Risks

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