There is perhaps no better way to turn around the quality of your diet than by increasing the amount of leafy green vegetables that you consume on a daily basis. In our previous article on juice extractors we showed which type of juicer works best with these types of foods, now we will show you all of the benefits that they can provide your body. For optimum health, these should be a staple of your every day diet.
Whether you enjoy the occasional salad, include them in your meals or side dishes, or you just want to juice them, leafy veggies can provide your body with just about everything that it needs to excel. Below are just some of the ways that these vegetables can have a positive result on your health.
Leafy greens, particularly kale, mustard greens, dandelion, and Swiss chard offer carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, essential for filtration of high-energy light which may cause eye damage. The nutrients reduce the discomfort that may be caused by glare, lower the risk of cataracts while increasing your sight.
Besides, the carotenoids contained in dark-green leafy vegetables concentrate in the eye lens and the macular region of the eye’s retina. Here they act as protectors to the eye. They offer protection against cataract and age-related macular degenerations, a known cause of blindness in the elderly.
Kales and mustard greens lower cholesterol levels in the body. This happens when the liver utilizes cholesterol for making bile acids that help in fat digestion. When the fibre from the green binds with the bile acid, it is excreted. Therefore, the liver has to utilize more cholesterol for the production of new bile acid and voilà, thus reducing cholesterol levels. Steamed mustard and kale are known to work to a greater extent than raw. Besides, weight is maintained since fibre keeps you feeling full thus controlling your hunger.
Some green vegetable contains carotenoids, flavonoids and antioxidants known for cancer-protective properties. Broccoli, cabbage, Kale and mustard greens belong to the nutrient-rich Brassica family. They contain indoles and isothiocyanates, known to protect people from colon and other cancers. Lutein and zeaxanthin found in green leafy vegetables may lower the risk of certain types of cancer, like breast, skin and lung cancer, as well as prevent heart disease and stroke.
Due to the high content of magnesium and low glycemic index, green vegetables are important for people with diabetes type 2. An increase by one serving per day leads to a 9% lower risk of diabetes. Besides, green leafy vegetables are full of disease-fighting phytochemicals. Fiber lowers cholesterol levels and blood pressure, thus, temper blood-sugar swings by decreasing the absorption of carbohydrates to the bloodstreams after meals. This strongly reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases as well as type 2 diabetes.
Help to increase body energy
A cup of raw escarole provides u to a tenth of your daily body needs for vitamin B5, otherwise known as pantothenic acid. The B vitamins convert the carbs in food into glucose used by the body as fuel to produce energy.
Healthy Bones and Teeth
Dandelions, Swiss chard, kales and mustard greens tend to be slightly bitter. This is a good sign that reflects high calcium essential for strong bones and teeth, as well as muscle function. The high vitamin K content in greens increases the production of osteocalcin, an essential protein for bone health. Vitamin C contained in green vegetables also lowers bone loss and reduce the risk of fractures.
Beta-carotene in collard greens, Swiss chard and spinach help in growth and repair of body tissues. The nutrient also protects your skin from sun damage. In the body, beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A. on the contrary; high doses of vitamin A can be toxic leading to liver, bone, and neural disorders, besides birth defects.
Helps Stabilize Mood
Green vegetables are rich in folate that can minimize the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as memory loss. Folate also plays a role in the production of serotonin, which may kill depression and improve mood.
Healthy Looking Skin
The vitamin E in green leafy vegetables works with vitamin C to ensure the skin stays healthy even with age. The two vitamins as well protect your skin against the damaging rays of the sun and reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Top Leafy Greens For Juicing
Broccoli: It is rich in vitamin C and an excellent source of vitamin A, folate and potassium. Has 25 calories per serving.
Green Leaf and Romaine Lettuce: Has high in vitamin A and some folate. Each cup contains 10 calories.
Cabbage: Although paler in color compared to other leafy greens, this famous cruciferous vegetable is a crucial source of cancer-fighting compounds and vitamin C. A half a cup cooked has 15 calories.
Iceberg Lettuce: It is bland-tasting and mostly contains water. While it tops in consumption rate, it tends to be last on the list of health benefits.
Collards: Have similar nutrition to kale. They have a heartier texture as well as a stronger cabbage-like taste. One-half cup contains 25 calories.
Turnip Greens: Are tenderer thus, require less cooking period. Turnips are sharp-flavored and low in calories yet full of vitamins A, C, K, and calcium.
Swiss Chards: It contains vitamins A and C, and has oxalates, which can bind to calcium. Chard contains 15 calories in a one-half cup.
Spinach: Packed with folate, vitamins A and C. Cooked spinach offers more nutrition than raw because heat reduces oxalate content. A cup contains 20 calories.
Kale: It is a provider vitamins A C, and K. it has a perfect calcium amount and supplies folate and potassium as well.
Mustard Greens: Apart from calcium, it is equipped with vitamins A, C, and K. Cooked mustards have 10 calories in a half a cup.
Stay Lean By Going Green
While green leafy vegetables offer numerous health benefits, sometimes they can trigger IBS in sensitive individuals. Additionally, for someone who is under dosage of a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin), increase in consumption of leafy vegetables may lead to blood clotting due to their vitamin K content. Therefore, it is important to get your doctor to monitor your blood as well as the medication dosage to avoid complications.