We’ve all been told to “eat our greens” by mom and dad growing up – but do we really know just how vital a rich diet of leafy greens is? In this edition of our monthly blog, we’ll explore the importance of leafy greens and where to grab the best and richest nutrients available.
The Best Sources:
Microgreens are chock full of nutrients, these tiny powerhouses contain much more nutrients than their fully grown counterparts. You can expect to find vitamins C, E and K in this group of leafy greens. Given that microgreens are the immature versions of their vegetable sprouting adults – they can be grown all year round.
Spinach is probably the most popular and well publicized leafy green – thanks in part to a certain cartoon character from days of old. This fully-fledged member of the leafy green diet boasts an impressive array of vitamins K and A and a rich source of manganese. Spinach is an excellent source of folate boosting and is particularly beneficial during pregnancy.
Cabbage forms part of the stable diet in many places around the world as well as being synonymous with various cuisines such as sauerkraut in Germany and kimchi in Korea. Cabbage improves digestion, boosts the immune system and may be linked to aiding weight loss.
Kale has been hyped in the media this past decade and lauded as a superfood; it isn’t hard to see why. With just a cup of a kale (67 grams) you can expect to take care of your daily requirements of vitamin K 6 times over, double your daily needs of vitamin A and well over your daily dose of vitamin C. This rich anti-oxidant is a fantastic addition to any leafy green diet.
Other important sources:
Watercress, Beet greens, Romaine Lettuce, Swiss Chard, Arugula, Turnip Greens & Bok Choy
The Potential Effects of a Rich Leafy Green Diet:
- Improvements to Bone Health
Vitamin K rich leafy greens provide the minerals needed to form osteocalcin; this protein is vital in bone formation and aids your body in sustaining strong and healthy bones.
- Maintaining a Strong Memory
Published studies have found that diets which contain at least one serving of leafy green vegetables a day help fight the age-related effects of declining memory. Give your cognition a strong ignition with leafy greens and aid your memory in working as best it can.
- Helps Combating Type 2 Diabetes
The bountiful supply of fibre present in leafy greens helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. High fibre foods slow the process of digestion and this in turn slows the rate of sugar absorption into the bloodstream. These fibre rich foods help in preventing hyperglycemia and maintaining a more manageable blood-glucose level.
- Aids in Maintaining Good Eyesight
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease which can result in the decline in eyesight or complete elimination of central vision, this can harm your ability to read, write and drive. An exercise rich lifestyle with leafy greens can lower the risks of developing this condition.
- Lowers Cholesterol Levels
The fibre present in many leafy greens, particularly Swiss Chard, helps to fight the effects of cholesterol by binding to it, resulting in much more of it being excreted through waste. A rich leafy green diet can lower the risk of heart disease.
Celebrate your health and body by including leafy greens in your daily intake, these powerful foods are a cost effective way of maintaining good health and ensuring your body has access to all the nutrients it needs throughout the day. If you have a garden or balcony you can grow your own greens and ensure you always have access to some excellent sources of vitamins and minerals.
These versatile greens present a myriad of options for intake and consumption, for those on the go perhaps a green juice smoothie to keep you powered up? Join us at Wellness on Alon for your daily dose of green goodness with our juice shots.
We wish you all good health & happy eating.