The Health Benefits of Leaf Vegetables

With so many vegetables out there, leaf vegetables are one of the healthiest vegetables to eat.  Not only are they are low in calories, they are high in antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins and minerals.  Eating leaf vegetables-also called greens, leafy greens and pot herbs-gives a high amount of nourishment to your body.



While many people associate leaf vegetables with cabbage, lettuce and spinach, many other vegetables are also leaf vegetables. These include:

 

Collard greens

Mustard greens

Kale

Asparagus

Artichokes

Leeks

Chard

Spring Greens

Turnip Greens

Garden Cress

Watercress

Beet and radish greens

 

While leaf vegetables can be cooked or stewed, it is best to eat them raw.  When you cook them, the vegetables will lose a lot of their nutritional value.  Not only that, they taste a lot better when they are eaten raw.  Many people love the crispiness of raw vegetables compared to when they are cooked.

Many leaf vegetables help stimulate the production of the red blood cells in the body. An anemic person benefits from these vegetables because they are high in iron. Not only do leaf vegetables increase the number of red blood cells and make them stronger, it improves the circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the entire circulation system. This also gives people, especially athletes, more energy and stamina because of its high levels of carbohydrates.

Leaf vegetables are an excellent source of dietary fiber.  By including leaf vegetables in your daily diet you are promoting excellent intestinal health.  If you suffer from constipation or want to prevent it leaf vegetables help keep you regular.

Our bodies need folic acid in order to have healthy cells.  Expecting women need this acid to help prevent birth defects in their children.  Many leaf vegetables are high in folic acid.

Leaf vegetables boost the immune system because they contain flavonoids and Vitamin C. If you have a cold or the flu, eating leaf vegetables can help fight the symptoms. You can even prevent yourself from getting sick in the first place by including leaf vegetables in your daily diet.



Since many leaf vegetables contain lutein, your eyes can be protected from conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts.  Many of these vegetables are also high in zinc.  This mineral also is an excellent aid to preserving your eyesight.






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