- Contain Vitamins, Minerals, Phytochemicals and Iron
- Low in Calories
- Contain Antioxidants
- Contain essential Chlorophyll
- Contain the chemical, Nitrate
Going for green is the healthiest move you can make to keep your body operating in peak condition. That’s because green, leafy vegetables contain an extremely high proportion of all the essential elements we need for healthy living.
Almost every essential vitamin, mineral and phytochemical we need can be found in leafy green vegetables. They are also rich in iron, magnesium, potassium, folate, and calcium.
They keep us strong, fighting anaemia because of their iron and preventing cancer with their flavonoids that impede the growth of cancerous cells.
Greens are low in calories and that makes them essential in weight control. They deliver the nutrients but not the calories of many other foods. And because of their high water content, they make you feel full longer.
The antioxidants in greens also strengthen your immune system. Greens even improve your eyesight because they contain essential chemicals like zeaxanthin that stave off cataracts and vision problems.
It is your green vegetables’ primary ingredient, chlorophyll; however, that is its greatest gift. It works to improve your blood circulation and keep your blood pure, to detoxify your body and stop bacteria from growing. It helps your liver function and helps to fight disease by tackling inflammatory conditions.
Leafy greens benefit you in other ways as well.
A study conducted at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science found that eating your greens can minimize tissue damage from a heart attack. That is because green vegetables contain the chemical, nitrate.
The scientists believe that nitrate is the secret to the improved heart health witnessed in people who embrace the Mediterranean Diet. Nitrate is especially plentiful in spinach, lettuce and other leafy greens.
The researchers discovered that building up nitrate stores in heart muscles could make the difference between a mild heart attack and one that causes serious damage or death. They theorized that since nitrate also accumulates in the brain, it could potentially help minimize the damage from strokes as well.
Earlier studies have linked the eating of leafy, green vegetables with lower risks of stroke, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease, lower risks of certain cancers, eye diseases and digestive problems, reduced risk of kidney stones and bone loss, higher scores on cognitive tests, and higher antioxidant levels.
As the trend to healthy eating continues, more and more food stores are stocking more leafy, green choices than the humble head of lettuce. Our choices now include Swiss chard, spinach, kale, collard greens, cabbage, mustard greens, rocket and bok choy. Expand your leafy green repertoire. Try a variety of different greens and keep notes on your favourites. Select the freshest vegetables available and eat them lightly steamed or in a juice/smoothie within a day or two after purchase for the best nutritional value.
Eat your leafy green vegetables raw whenever possible by incorporating them into juices/smoothies, adding green leaves to salads etc. so you can receive all the other health benefits mentioned.
Whenever possible, select organic vegetables. If there is no supply available, purchase fresh non-organic greens and other green vegetables and wash them thoroughly before eating.