If you need some reasons to eat leafy green veggies, I am not going to disappoint you here. There are so many choices, including lettuce, spinach, kale, romaine, mustard greens, turnip greens and many more. The nutritional profile of these veggies are such that you should be eating them all the time. They’re pretty affordable and you can do so much more with leafy greens than make another salad. Check out all of these reasons to eat leafy green veggies, then get ready to load your cart with them next time you get groceries.
1. Water Content
You probably know that you should be drinking adequate amounts of water every day, right? Did you know that some foods have a high water content, which contributes to your intake? That makes this one of the best reasons to eat leafy green veggies. With all that water in them, you can quench thirst and keep your entire body healthy at the same time.
2. Vitamin K
Many of the very dark leafy greens, including kale and spinach, are high in vitamin K, a nutrient you need for several reasons. A deficiency in this nutrient can interfere with how your body clots blood, which can be scary if you get injured. Use kale in soup or sauté it as a side dish. A handful in a salad is pretty good too.
3. Low in Calories
It’s a good idea to have a general idea of your calorie intake. Taking in more calories than you consume can lead to weight gain, which in turn can lead to a whole bunch of health problems. The trick is to find foods that are filling, but won’t overload you on calories. Most leafy greens make the cut, provided you don’t slather them in butter, cheese sauce or other unhealthy things like those.
4. Vitamin a
You need vitamin A because it protects your immune system, keeping you from developing a whole range of illnesses and diseases. In general, deeply colored vegetables contain a good amount of vitamin A. Boost your intake by adding romaine to your turkey sandwich, tossing some spinach on your pizza or having some broccoli with hummus for an afternoon snack.
Antioxidants are compounds found in leafy greens that can help fight a range of health issues, including cancer. Antioxidants work in your body by fighting free radical damage, which combats changes to your cells that can lead to cancer of many types. If you ask me, leafy greens are a tasty way to prevent cancer. What do you think?
Also called folic acid, folate is a B vitamin that plays an important role in DNA and fetal development. A lack of this nutrient during pregnancy can lead to several birth defects. That’s why it’s so highly recommended to women of child bearing age. It can prevent issues before a woman knows she’s pregnant. Leafy greens can help ensure that you’re getting ample amounts each day.
Your body needs some fat to function as it should, but too much is unhealthy and can lead to an increased risk of heart disease and obesity. Leafy greens contain no fat, making them a great option if you’re watching what you eat. Just be sure you don’t douse them in a bunch of fatty salad dressing before you eat.
Have I inspired you to eat more leafy green veggies? Which ones are your favorites? Share some cooking or prep tips so we can all enjoy our leafy greens.