If you are following a healthy lifestyle, you already know the importance of eating dark greens, which are rich in beta-carotene, folate, and vitamins C, E, and K, as often as possible. Research shows that consuming dark leafy greens can promote good health by fighting the inflammation caused by free radicals, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and reducing your risk of heart disease. In addition, dark greens in the Cruciferae family (a.k.a. cruciferous vegetables) have been found to help protect against macular degeneration and possibly help reduce age-related memory loss. So, for better health, make a point to include these 10 dark green powerhouses in your diet:
Arugula, also known as rocket, is a less recognized cruciferous vegetable that provides many of the same benefits as the better-known vegetables of the same family such as broccoli, kale, and Brussel sprouts.
Besides supplying good amounts of protein, phosphorus, and zinc, beet greens are also a great source of fiber. Packed with antioxidants, they are high in vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese, and low in fat and cholesterol.
Bok choy is a popular winter season leafy cabbage vegetable in mainland China and Korea. Its leaves and stalks carry anti-oxidant plant-chemicals that may offer protection from breast, colon, and prostate cancers.
Collard greens are various loose-leafed plants that belong to the Brassica oleracea species and are among the best vitamin C foods. They are a good source of vitamin K and soluble fiber, and they also contain multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties.
This super green is packed to the max with nutrition that puts it high on the list of the world’s healthiest foods.
Loaded with disease-fighting nutrition, mustard greens are full of great peppery, rich flavor, yet so light in calories, you can eat as much as you want and are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protective phytonutrients.
Romaine & Red Leaf Lettuce
Romaine Lettuce is a very good source of dietary fiber, manganese, potassium, biotin, vitamin B1, copper, iron, and vitamin C. It is also a good source of vitamin B2, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, phosphorus, chromium, magnesium, calcium and pantothenic acid. Red Leaf Lettuce is a good source of Dietary Fiber, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Selenium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Potassium and Manganese.
Spinach is considered to be one of the healthiest foods on earth. Spinach nutrition has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities, and is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence.
Swiss Chard contains high levels of nitrates, which been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the amount of oxygen needed during exercise and enhance athletic performance.
Turnip Greens are highly nutritious and offer a variety of health benefits through their supply of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
How much is enough? The USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommend that Americans fill half their plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal, and that includes dark leafy greens. But the real point is that eating a wide variety of vegetables, green and all the other colors too, at as many meals as possible throughout the week will put you well on your way to getting a wide range of the essential nutrients you need for optimal health and until next week, be happy, healthy, and beautiful!