Eat More Greens!

 

Green and green leafy vegetables are perhaps one of the most potent superfoods that contain high amount of minerals and vitamins required for healthy living. Including green vegetables in your diet will help keep you away from serious illness and help you live longer. Inexpensive tasty and widely available, green vegetables are an important addition to your diet that can provide innumerable health benefits. To stay healthy and fit, aim to eat at least 4-5 servings of green vegetables daily.

Why are Green Veggies Healthy?

Apart from being packed with powerful nutrients, green vegetables contain an abundance of phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are chemicals that are basically the immune system of a plant. The presence of these chemicals in plants helps protect the plants from various disease, injuries and insects. Similarly, the presence of these chemicals in the vegetables works beneficially for our immune system. The presence of phytochemicals in natural food not only help decrease cholesterol levels and prevent cell damage, but are highly effective in treating diabetes, hypertension, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Types of Green vegetables

Generally green vegetables can be classified into three types- salad greens, cooking greens and cruciferous.

lettuce leavesSalad greens: Dark leafy salad greens that include both leaf lettuce and non leaf lettuce constitute to this dark green vegetable group. High in fibre content, B vitamins, beta-carotene, calcium and iron, vegetables in this category are usually non- bitter and vary in texture and flavour. Common vegetables included for salad greens include spinach, watercress, Romaine, kale, Swiss chard, frisee,  red or green leaf lettuce, lambs lettuce and iceberg lettuce.

Cooking Greens: Greens that need to be cooked before consumption are known as cooking greens. Containing high amount of calcium, iron, beta carotene B vitamins and vitamin C, cooking green are distinguished by their pungent flavor and high concentration of nutrients. However, while cooking these veggies can reduce their vitamin C content, it does increase their levels of vitamin A and K. Vegetables such as spinach, kale, collard, Swiss chard, beet, turnip and mustard are some of the common cooking green.
Cruciferous: This includes broccoli , cabbage, cauliflower, including bok choy and kale. Packed with high fibre content, iron, potassium, protein, vitamin C, beta-carotene, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, broccoli contains numerous phyto nutrients essential for good health. Although green broccoli is most widely available, Chinese broccoli and purple broccoli are now also fairly common

 

Nutritional benefits of Green Vegetables

Green vegetables are packed with essentials nutrients required for the proper functioning of your body. Including them in your diet will nurture your body and help you stay healthy and feel lively. Take a look at some of their nutritional benefits listed below-
Calcium: Dark green vegetables like spinach, kale and broccoli are loaded with calcium. The presence of this vital nutrient helps keep your bones and teeth strong and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Iron: Green vegetables contain high amount of iron content that not only help your body become resistant to do daily activities, but also help cure ailments caused due to low levels of hemoglobin in a natural way.
Magnesium: Green vegetables contain high contents of magnesium that can be highly beneficial  in curing health issues such as asthma, anxiety, muscle cramps, heart disease naturally.
Beta-carotene: The presence of beta-carotene in veggies such as spinach, collard greens and Swiss chard not only help protect your skin from UV rays of the sun, but also contribute to the growth and repair of the body tissues.
Antioxidants: Packed with antioxidants like lutein, vitamin C and zeaxanthin, green vegetables such as cucumber, kale, broccoli and courgettes help reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Vitamin A and C: Green vegetables such as kale and spinach are rich sources of Vitamin A, D, C, E and K. While the presence of Vitamin C helps build a strong immune system, Vitamin A works beneficially in helping the body process nutrients.

Health Benefits of Green Vegetables

Dietary benefits: Including green veggies in your diet can make your diet a high- fibre and low-fat diet. Fibre helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and also helps slow down the absorption of carbohydrates in your blood stream after meals. As a result, the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease is reduced.
Anti-Cancer Diet: Green vegetables contain nutrients that facilitate the repair mechanism of the body and also guard the body against free radicals. It is important to note that free radicals can contribute to the formation of cancers.Therefore, regular intake of green vegetables can work beneficially in helping prevent cancer in a natural way.
Reduce Heart Disease: Apart from being a low fat and high nutrient diet, green vegetables contain high fibre content that help limit the absorption of cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease.
Younger looking Skin: The presence of Vitamin C and high concentration of polyphenols in green vegetable can help prevent skin- ageing. When the presence of Vitamin C in green vegetables helps resist sagging and thinning of skin, the existence of polyphenols not only provide protection against wrinkles and skin laxity, but also reduced skin damage caused due to sun exposure.
Promotes weight Loss: Due to the high fibre content, eating green vegetables daily will not only help you feel fuller for a longer time, but also prevent you from overeating, which of course helps with weight loss. In addition, green vegetables contain fewer calories when compared to other food. For example, while once cup of pasta contains nearly 190 calories, one cup green beans have only 44 calories and one cup broccoli has only 30 calories.
Improve eyesight: Rich in vitamin A, eating green vegetables can help promote good eyesight, especially in children. Children who eat green veggies on a regular basis reduce their chances of wearing spectacles when they grow up.
Help you stay Hydrated: Green leafy vegetables contain high amount of water content. Consuming them on a regular basis can help main hydration levels.
Improve Mood: Leafy greens are rich in folate that help reduces your chances of having memory loss or cardiovascular disease. Additionally, since folate encourages the production of serotonin, eating green veggies can help improve mood and ward off depression.

Green vegetables are indeed a versatile,  superfood that can most certainly help promote and enhance a healthy lifestyle. Full of goodness –  and with so much variety, eating more has never been more important!

green juice

Lindsey Fitness Tip :

 

Have you thought about juicing green vegetables to help get your recommended 4 – 5 daily portions