Vegetables, which are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, are essential in any healthy diet. They're also hearty and tasty, making them ideal for lunches, stews, smoothies, and sandwiches. The recipes can be made nutritious by adding a healthy touch of the veggies and experimenting with new or unique production elements. Although all veggies are healthful, a few stand out for their high nutrient content and tremendous health advantages.
Link (n.d.) published the list of nutrient-dense vegetables on a credible website. Among these, green and leafy substantially impact human health.
Why leafy green vegetables?
This is because they are high in a range of vitamins and minerals, they must be included in any balanced diet. In addition, vegetables with green leaves have low sugar and saturated fat content, making them ideal for a diet to lose weight. They also maintain your body by strengthening your immune system, reversing the effects of aging, and reducing heart problems, hypertension, and cancer.
Spinach is the top most nutrient-rich vegetable among green leafy vegetables. It is an annual plant that can reach a height of 30 cm (1 ft). In moderate climates, spinach may survive the winter. Simple, ovate to triangular, alternating leaves come in various sizes. Spinach lacks most of its nutritional content within a few days in storage. It is sometimes packed in either nitrogen or air to extend storage life. Fresh spinach may be contaminated with cadmium according to the region of harvesting.
Spinach - Dietary Value
Spinach has lots of dietary benefits. They are supported by evidence that one cup of spinach is packed with 16 percent and 120 percent of the Daily Value for vitamins A and K, respectively. This daily value provides only seven calories.
WebMD stated some other benefits of the green superfood known as spinach.
1. Good for bone health
It improves bone health by avoiding osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is the disease in which bone degenerates. It is a rich source of calcium, magnesium, and water. Its water content will keep your body hydrated. If you need extra water, add spinach to your meal.
2. Fills your stomach
Spinach gives you the feeling of being full so much. It is due to the thylakoids present in the leaves of spinach.
3. Cures Anemia
The iron present in spinach cures iron deficiency. It also helps to reduce inflammation and speeds up the recovery of wounds.
4. Minimizes the risk of chronic diseases
Spinach minimizes the risk of chronic disease due to antioxidants, beta carotene, and lutein. A study also favors the benefit of spinach by proving its positive effect on heart health. Spinach consists of protein, dietary fibers, ascorbic acid, niacin, alpha-tocopherol, choline, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and antioxidants. It also contains many pesticide residues.
Broccoli is cultivated for its edible blossom heads and consumed as a vegetable. The broccoli plant has a tall green stem that produces thick oval leaves. The color ranges from gray-blue to green. The plant can grow to 1 m in height and produces branched green flower heads covered in white or yellow flowers.
Broccoli- Dietary Value
One cup of broccoli weighing 92 grams gives 77% and 90% of vitamin K and C, respectively. In addition, it is also a good source of folate, potassium, and manganese.
1. It helps the body fight against diseases.
Broccoli also contains a vast amount of antioxidants and beta-carotene. These nutrients improve the immune system. In addition, vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells—WBCs fight against the disease-causing organisms entering our bodies.
2. Protective against cancer
Broccoli has a protective effect against cancer. It contains glucosinolate and its byproduct. Its sprouts also have an anti-inflammatory effect.
3. Strengthen the bones
Calcium and collagen both work collectively in providing strength to the bones. For example, broccoli contains excessive vitamin C that helps in collagen production.
4. Good for skin health
Moreover, vitamin C is also suitable for skin health and protects against skin diseases such as skin cancer and shingles.
5. Improves digestion
It also improves digestion and avoids constipation.
6. Avoids chronic diseases
Moreover, you cannot deny the role of broccoli in reducing chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
7. Broccoli: A 'clean' vegetable
Broccoli consists of the smallest amount of pesticide. It lies in the list of fifteen clean vegetables by the Environmental Working Group 2019. That's why it poses a low contamination threat for human beings.
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable consisting of multiple beneficial nutrients. It is a green and leafy vegetable belonging to the group of cabbage. It grows well in colder months and is an excellent addition to vegetables. The colder kale is best to cook. Winters convert the sugars to starch and increase the fiber content. It can be eaten raw, cooked, steamed, boiled, or sauteed. In natural form, it can be digested easily. Kale chips, smoothies, and kale side dishes add kale to various meals.
Kale- Dietary Value
Kale is a rich source of fiber, calcium, antioxidants, iron, and vitamins C & K, similar to spinach and broccoli. One cup of kale weighing 21 grams consists of calcium, potassium, copper, and vitamins A, B, C, and K.
1. A rich source of antioxidants
Kale consists of antioxidants named lutein and zeaxanthin, which play a positive role in preventing macular degeneration. The degeneration of the eye's retina helps an individual to see. Further, the antioxidants help the removal of free radicals from the body. These toxic molecules are produced in our bodies due to chemical reactions, which can cause cell damage. It helps lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Kale gives the feeling of a full abdomen due to the protein and fiber. Its important constituent is glucosinolates.
2. Effective for diabetes and cancer
It has anti-tumor properties to prevent cancer. It is also beneficial for diabetes. According to a study, fibers present in kale minimize the risk of type 2 diabetes.
3. Improves digestion and skin health
Kale is full of fiber and water and improves digestion. In addition, its nutrients, such as beta-carotene, and vitamins C & K, are vital for skin and hair health.
4. Suitable for women's bone
Vitamin K is good for the bone health of postmenopausal women. One cup of kale consists of 20 % of the daily consumption of Vitamin C. It helps to repair the cells and slow aging.
5. Improves immunity
It also improves immunity and has antioxidative properties.
Thus, from the above discussion, we conclude that leafy green vegetables are rich in nutrients. These nutrients help to improve the overall health of the body.
Don't forget to add green vegetables to your meal the next time!
Edited by: Ayona Mitra
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