Green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, cabbages, bok choy, mustard greens, beet greens or spinach are the most inexpensive but healthy storehouse of best nutrients. Sadly, they are the least consumed ones. Except for salads and burgers, it rarely finds it way into main dishes.
Some of the health benefits of green leafy vegetables are as follows:
– A portion of green leafy vegetables consumed daily reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases by more than 10 percent as it contains rich fiber, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin C and phytochemicals such as lutein, zeaxanthin, beta- cryptoxanthin and beta- carotene- all of them beneficial for heart.
– It is essential for people with Type-2 diabetes as the presence of Vitamin K helps to increase the growth of osteocalcin which lead to good bone structure development and health. It also has magnesium and low glycerin levels beneficial for type-2 diabetes.
– Green vegetables are a rich source of Vitamin A which reduces the risk of blindness in children. It also improves the immune system of children and adults alike.
– The presence of calcium and iron improve the digestive system.
– They contain flavonoids, quercetin, lutein, zeaxanthin and other nutrients which has fighting properties against cancer. Eating 4 servings of green leafy vegetables thrice a week is enough to reduce chances of cancer, mostly breast cancer, skin cancer and colon cancer.
– Quercetin also has anti – inflammatory properties that reduces allergies.
– It also contains carotenoids which help in the overall well being of the eyes. They provide a protective sheen against degeneration of the eyes in the elderly, especially against cataract formation. Carotenoids are found in the ‘macular region of the retina’.
If possible, have a glass of vegetable juice daily,make it a part of your daily diet. Chinese are known to make a great use of green leafy vegetables in their diet.