Parsley and endive, oak leaf lettuce and iceberg, romano and spinach, arugula and chard, watercress and kale – the variety of green leafy vegetables is so great that it is not difficult to include them in your diet! Add them to salads and smoothies, serve as a side dish, or cook as a main course. Why do this? Here are six reasons.
1. Keep youth
Vitamin K is very important in preventing age-related changes. Its deficiency can lead to cardiovascular disease, fragility of bones and calcification of the arteries and kidneys. One cup of any fresh leafy greens will provide at least the daily requirement for vitamin K. Kale, or kale, contains six times the daily requirement, dandelion greens five times the daily requirement, and chard three and a half times the daily requirement.
2. Reduce cholesterol levels
The liver uses cholesterol to make bile acids to help metabolize fat. When bile acid binds to the fibers of these greens, it is excreted from the body. That is, the liver must use more cholesterol to make new bile acid. As a result, cholesterol levels are reduced. Steamed mustard greens and kale do this even better than raw.
3. Improve eye health
Leafy vegetables, especially kale, dandelion, mustard greens, and Swiss chard, are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids help reduce the risk of cataracts and improve visual acuity.
4. Become more energetic
A cup of raw endive provides one-tenth of the body’s daily needs for vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). B vitamins help convert carbohydrates into glucose, which the body can use for energy. These are water-soluble vitamins, which means that our body does not store them, so you need to get them daily from food.
5. Strengthen bones
Bitter foods, which include many leafy vegetables, help the liver cleanse the blood and stimulate the production of digestive juices. And also a bitter taste indicates the presence of calcium. It is unlikely that you will eat enough greens in a day to get 1000 milligrams of calcium (the recommended intake for women). But together with other sources of this macronutrient, greens can help to cope with this task. For example, dandelion leaves (100 grams) contain almost 20% of the daily value of calcium, arugula – 16%, and mustard – 11%.
6. Prevent colon cancer
Kale and mustard greens belong to the cabbage family – and they are real superfoods. Specifically, a study published in 2011 in Journal of the American Dietetic Associationhas shown a link between consumption of these vegetables and a reduced risk of colon cancer.
In my app with recipes Live-up! for iOS and Android, you will find many ideas on how to cook greens simply and deliciously.