Let’s be honest, most of us know what foods are good for us. We have all read many health articles on topics like “The Top 10 Superfoods”, all of which consist of some kind of leafy green vegetable. Disclaimer: not all articles and lists are to be trusted. Now while I don’t particularly love superfood labels, green leafy vegetables definitely deserve a spot on that list. Almost all of us could do with more of them in our diets. I find that it’s much easier to make good choices once we are more informed and that is why I wrote this blog!
Green leafy vegetables contain a concentrated source of nutrition. They are high in Vitamins A, C, E, K and certain individual categories are rich in many of the B-vitamins. Vitamin K helps prevent inflammatory diseases and protects against osteoporosis. Folate is one of those B vitamins, very important during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects in the foetus, but that’s not all. It also plays a role in the prevention of cancer, particularly colon, breast, cervix and lung cancers by assisting in DNA duplication and repair. I found this so interesting!
Carotenoid- antioxidants are found in abundance in green leafy vegetables, which contribute to their heart disease and cancer fighting properties. Evidence suggests that eating as little as 2 to 3 servings of green leafy vegetables per week may lower the risk of breast, stomach and skin cancer.
The high fibre content makes this group of vegetables ideal for gut health and weight management.
So what foods are included under “green leafy vegetables” you may ask? The good news is that there are so many!
Find below a list of commonly consumed green leafy vegetables:
Dark green lettuces include romaine, green leaf, arugula or rocket, kale, mustard greens, collard greens, cabbage, broccoli, Swiss chard, spinach, dandelion, red clover and watercress.
They can be used creatively sautéed with some olive oil and lemon with seasoning, in salads, soups, smoothies, desserts- yes desserts and many more.
Ensure that these green leaves appear in your shopping basket sometime this week! Your body will thank you.