So, What are Green Vegetables? That’s one among many questions the jmexclusives readers frequently search for on our blog. With this in mind, I hope the revised guide below will be 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 section below this Health & Fitness guide. Bearing in mind, 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.
What are Green Vegetables?
The Green Vegetables, also called leafy greens, salad greens, pot herbs, vegetable greens, or simply greens, are plant leaves eaten as a vegetable, sometimes accompanied by tender petioles and shoots. These 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.
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.
What are the Benefits of Vegetables?
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.
Please Note; 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. Below are the complete benefits;
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
Which are Examples of Green Vegetables?
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. A good example is that of the 2018 Australian Health Report.
Whereby, the research conducted found that more than 99%of children and 96% of adults don’t eat the recommended intake. And that is of five servings 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.
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. 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 as can be seen below.
Arugula is deemed as a superfood containing vitamins A and K as well as folate. It has a peppery taste and is rich in vitamins A, C, folate, and calcium.
Notably, it heals inflammation of the gut and helps protect eye and heart health while also fighting cancer. Being a nutrition-dense food makes Arugula one of the best salad vegetables.
If you are following a low-calorie diet, you can easily make Arugula a part of it. Have a cup of Arugula salad to prevent deficiencies, detoxify the body, keep bowels regular, and also curb unhealthy food cravings. Arugula can be eaten raw in salads or on pizza and sandwiches or added to stir-fry, soups, and pasta sauces.
Here is an easy Arugula salad recipe consisting of cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, and avocado.
Broccoli has both soft florets and crunchy stalks and is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, folate, and fiber.
According to experts, eating broccoli in the morning for breakfast can help you lose weight. It is rich in vitamins A, C, and K and is a low calorie, nutrient-dense food. Broccoli is also very rich in fiber. It can be eaten raw, steamed, sautéed, or added to a casserole or soup.
But, the best way to eat it for weight loss is to eat it fresh. Steam it for a few minutes, salt it and eat it with grilled chicken for a complete meal.
You can read and learn more about Broccoli Health Benefits | Why Should You Eat It?
3. Broccoli Rabe/Rapini
Broccoli Rabe is one of the dark green vegetables and is said to be the number of weight loss superfood by many experts. It has a strong flavor that goes well in weight loss smoothies. Not forgetting, it’s loaded with vitamin C and iron.
In addition to that, it also contains 2 g of fiber per cup which keeps your digestive system running properly. The high antioxidant content also keeps your inflammation free and prevents free radical damage. This also aids heart health.
While the high vitamin K content of Broccoli Rabe makes it an excellent vegetable for your bones. Also, the Lutein and Glucosinolates in this healthy green leafy vegetable can keep your eyes healthy. You can make a power smoothie with broccoli rabe, apple, banana, yogurt, parsley, and honey.
4. Collard Greens
Collard Greens are low in calories and rich in calcium, vitamin C, and fiber. Eat at least 2 cups of collard greens with other healthy green vegetables daily.
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!
Also, the best way to cook them is to steam them in a small amount of water to preserve their Vitamin C. You can use the water used for cooking to make stews or soups. Combine greens with other greens, whole grains, and other vegetables in a stir fry recipe. Collard greens can be overpowering in salads.
Kale is a dark green vegetable that is extremely rich in Beta Carotene, Vitamin A, and Lutein. These are necessary for the prevention of eye diseases and lung cancer.
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. Kale is also a low-calorie food. Whereby, 1 cup of raw kale has only 30 calories.
Eating this healthy vegetable before the main meals can help you consume fewer calories. Thus resulting in weight loss. Kale is also rich in fiber and protein. So try snacking on crispy kale chips in place of unhealthy potato chips when looking to lose weight.
6. 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.
The popularity of lettuce diet shows why this green leafy vegetable is one of the healthiest veggies for weight loss. This filling vegetable helps you consume fewer calories and it contains tons of vitamins, fiber, and phytochemicals.
The best way to eat lettuce is to make a salad with other healthy low-calorie foods like tomatoes, cucumbers, and chicken, etc for a delicious meal.
Of all the green vegetables, spinach is one of the most nutritious. It has a mildly sweet flavor and is rich in vitamins A and K, folate, and iron. A study conducted on 38 obese women over a period of 3 months showed even more evidence.
In that case, participants who drank green juice consisting of spinach lost an average of 5 kilos more weight. Compared to a control group that was given a placebo. The reason behind this, concluded by the researchers, was the thylakoids in spinach. Where they extended digestion, reduced unhealthy cravings, and produced a feeling of satiety.
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.
8. Swiss Chard
The 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.
Additionally, like all its other leafy green counterparts, it’s low in calories and high in nutrients. And apart from antioxidant vitamins, it also has magnesium. This dark green vegetable contains more than 300% of your daily Vitamin K requirement.
Swiss chard recipe by Weight Watchers is extremely popular.
9. Iceberg Lettuce
Lettuce may be known as ‘rabbit food’ but it is also the best weight loss foods available to man. Romaine lettuce is considered healthier than iceberg lettuce because of higher nutrient content.
That said; Iceberg lettuce is still a weight watcher’s best friend thanks to its low-calorie content, high fiber, and low Glycemic index. Its crisp texture and mild taste make it a wonderful addition to salads, subs, wraps, etc.
The best way to use it for weight loss is the salads. You can also add it to juices.
According to a study published in the British Journal of Medicine, chicory root fiber can trigger weight loss. This can be attributed to the oligofructose extracts found in chicory root. Often, which reduces energy consumption while maintaining feelings of hunger and satiety.
This green veggie is also a fantastic source of vitamins A, C E, and K. And for an easy, perfect pairing; make pasta with chicory greens and Andouille chicken sausages.
Many clinical trials have been conducted on Artichoke extracts for weight loss. Artichokes contain tons of vitamins, magnesium, biotin, folic acid, chromium, and dietary fiber.
They also contain natural diuretic compounds. Trials suggest that artichoke extracts speed up bile secretion, act as a natural laxative and help you lose water weight and toxins.
Steam Artichokes for 20 to 30 minutes, and you can use it in dips and sauces.
12. Mustard Greens
Mustard Greens 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. And in reality, they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
The rich antioxidant content helps protect from diseases like diabetes and cancer. Simply, because this low calorie, nutrient-rich green leafy vegetable contains 500% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin K.
Apart from that, it also contains manganese, folate, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals necessary for weight loss. Regular intake of this healthy green vegetable can help lower cholesterol and detoxify liver and blood.
The best way to eat Mustard greens for weight loss is to sauté it in olive oil with some ginger, garlic, and sesame seeds, etc. Here is the best mustard greens recipe.
Eventually, Cabbage, which is one of the best green vegetables, may not lead to weight loss directly but being a low-calorie food, is considered ideal for weight watchers. Cabbage Juice and Cabbage Soup are both extremely beneficial for fighting inflammation in the body.
It is also one of the most nutritious foods available and contains vitamins A, C, K, and beta carotene. Equally important, Cabbage is also rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, lutein, and anthocyanins. The high antioxidant content of cabbage reduces oxidative stress which is often the root cause behind lifestyle diseases like obesity.
The best way to eat cabbage for weight loss is to make a fat-burning soup with other vegetables. Season it with a ready package of dry onion soup mix. Eat as much of this soup as you like while reducing carbohydrate intake.
14. Dandelion Greens
Dandelion is a medicinal green vegetable that is extremely rich in nutrients. Although they have a bitter, tangy flavor, they are rich in vitamin A, C, iron, magnesium, and calcium.
It contains all vitamins except vitamin D, and also is a rich source of zinc, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. Dandelion greens also contain phytochemicals and high amounts of dietary fiber. In fact, the latter often leads to a laxative and detoxifying effect.
They are best when steamed or eaten raw in a salad. You can also steep them into your tea or mix them with other salad vegetables.
15. Okra and Watercress
One of the most nutritious greens to eat is Okra. It is rich in fiber and also has a low Glycemic index. Grilled and pickled okra or gumbo preparations are the best ways to lose weight with this healthy green vegetable.
Okra is digested slowly thereby making you feel full longer. It also improves blood glucose balance and helps in weight management and regulating metabolism. The best ways to eat Okra is including it sliced in stews and gumbo.
On the other hand, many people have gone on a 6-week watercress diet to lose several kilos. This low calorie cruciferous green vegetable contains proteins, vitamins A, C, and K as well as calcium, manganese, and potassium. Keep in mind that there are many delicious ways to eat Watercress.
As an example, you can throw a handful in your morning smoothie, make a pesto, add it to pasta sauce, and add it to your sandwiches/ wraps and soups.