Regular consumption of vegetables, and more importantly the green vegetables, have proven to be very crucial to a healthy living. Green veggies are the natural providers of a variety of vitamins and irons, and that’s why they form the most important part of a healthy diet.
Potassium, calcium, vitamin A, C and K are some of the most common nutrients in green vegetables. To maintain a high percentage of these nutrients, it is not advisable to overcook them. In fact, some of them are just steamed and eaten raw.
There are many types of green vegetables and all of them provide nutrients, although the percentage varies from one vegetable to another. I have compiled a well researched list of the best green vegetables and their benefits to your health.
On top of my list is this very familiar member of the cabbage family. It was a popular food for the ancient Romans with its commercial growth commencing in the early 1920s in U.S.
90% of broccoli content comprises of water, 7% is carbohydrates while 3% is protein. Its protein percentage is one of the highest in the vegetables category.
It has twice as much vitamin C as that in an orange and its calcium can be compared to that in milk. In order to take advantage of this, it is advisable to eat raw. Studies have shown that broccoli can prevent certain types of cancer.
This is one of the best green vegetables that you will not miss to see in any healthy family. Just like broccoli, kale was one of the most popular leafy veggies in the ancient Rome.
Despite the fact that some people don’t find its taste appealing, it still remains one of the healthiest food. In a single cup, there are 6.7g and 2.2g of carbohydrates and proteins respectively. Vitamins A, C and K are also available.
Just like many other green veggies, kale can protect against cancer, with over 70% of researchers supporting this narrative. Brain development, heart support and vision improvement are some of the other benefits of kale.
It is believed that spinach originated from Persia and spread across Europe in the 12th century. Since then, it has joined the list of the most healthy green food across the world.
It is very rich in iron which plays a vital role in the work of the red blood cells. Spinach also contains vitamin A, C, K, B2, manganese and magnesium. All these nutrients are very important to the overall functioning of our body.
Being one of the richest vegetables in vitamin K, it beneficial to bone health and blood clotting. You can, therefore, include this in your next meal and enjoy the benefits.
Despite being one of the foods with the least calories, 11 in every 100g, it still makes it to this list of the best green vegetables. Just as the name suggests, this plant grows in water, one of the reasons why thorough cleaning is needed before cooking.
As early as 400 BC, it was already being used for medical purposes. Whether it was just a belief or the ancient people really knew what they were doing, watercress has proven to be very healthy to anyone who consumes it.
The good thing about this plant is that it is very versatile in the manner in which it can be used. The most prominent nutrient in this vegetable is vitamin K. Vitamin C, vitamin A and manganese are also available in watercress.
5. Collard Greens
Collard greens are not very familiar to many but that doesn’t mean they are not important. They are known for their ability to lower cholesterol more effectively that the drug meant for that purpose.
As we’ve seen in various types of vegetables already, they have the ability to fight cancer. In addition, they also pose vitamins A, K and folate. Folate is a vitamin responsible for making new cells and is essential to every human being.
Quite an unfamiliar member of the cruciferous, arugula is rich in nitrate. This helps in increasing the blood flow hence improving the performance of the body.
The antioxidant in this vegetable has been proven to reduce the changes brought by stress the body of a diabetes patient. It is also believed to prevent ulcers.
7. Swiss Chard
It has large tender leaves and thick stalks. It contains antioxidants that help stabilize blood sugar level and fight against toxins that might end up causing cancer.
The antioxidants in Swiss chard also protect against inflammations in the intestinal walls. Consumption of this green has also proven to be very vital in the prevention of heart diseases.
8. Bok Choy
Also known as Chinese cabbage, bok choy is a member of the cruciferous family. That said, it, therefore, goes without saying that it has almost similar benefits as those broccoli, kale and the rest of the members of the cruciferous family.
It contains a good amount of potassium which helps in muscle development and maintaining the blood pressure. Other notable nutrients in this vegetable are vitamin C, vitamin A and manganese.
Its origin is believed to have been in the Mediterranean and just like watercress, it was used for medical purposes. There are a lot of benefits that comes with its consumption.
It helps in the prevention of anemia, solving indigestion problems and in reduction of heart related diseases.
Finally on this list is another very famous vegetable which is also a member of the cruciferous family. It is by now evident that vegetables in this family are full of the very beneficial nutrients.
It has less than 20 calories per half cup. Studies have shown that consumption of cabbage has the effect of reducing the risks of obesity, protection from radiation therapy and prevent constipation.
And if you are interested in learning more, the video below is definitely of great help for you.
There are very many green vegetables to include in your meal today, you just have to choose the one that best suits your needs. For those who have a problem with the taste of some of the vegetables, there are some which will please you.
In general, all green veggies have a variety of vitamins needed in your body every day. Most of the nutrients in them also help in the prevention of some chronic diseases like cancer. Make sure to add at least one type of vegetables in your meal every day to enjoy the natural benefits of this plants.
Disclaimer: This is a Guest Post from Helena Houston over at OkayMother.com. Here is her biography