The Benefits Of Leafy Greens vegetables are high in fiber and low in calories. But did you know they also have other health benefits? Kale, spinach, collard greens, romaine, cabbage, Swiss chard, mustard greens, bok choy, arugula, and other vegetables are abundant in vitamins and minerals and contain a lot of water. Leafy greens’ components had shown in studies to help prevent cancer, improve eye health, and promote a healthy pregnancy. And that’s only the start.
This article examines the top six science-backed health advantages of leafy greens and offers advice on how to eat more of them.
1. Leafy Greens Low in calories, high in fiber
Dietary fiber, a non-digestible carbohydrate that supports good bowel motions. And can help you feel full, is abundant in dark green vegetables.
They’re also low in calories, so they’re wonderful to add to meals and snacks if you’re attempting to shed pounds.
Fiber has been related to satiety and reduced appetite. Therefore consuming fiber-rich foods like leafy greens may indirectly lead to a decrease in overall calorie consumption and weight loss.
Furthermore, high-fiber diets promote the growth of healthy gut flora. Which may protect against heart disease, colon cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
In terms of calories and fiber, here are some quick facts on the nutritional benefits of leafy greens.
- Arugula (2 cups, raw): ~10 calories, 0.6-gram fiber
- Bok Choy (2 cups, raw): ~18 calories, 1.4 grams fiber
- Collard Greens (1 cup, raw): ~11 calories, 1.4 grams fiber
- Kale (1 cup, raw): ~19 calories, 0.9-gram fiber
- Mustard Greens (1 cup, raw): ~15 calories, 1.8 grams fiber
- Spinach (1 cup, raw): ~10 calories, 1 gram fiber
- Swiss Chard (1 cup, raw): ~7 calories, 0.6 gram fiber
Leafy green veggies are a good source of fibre and have a low-calorie count. Greens include fiber, which can help you feel full and reduce weight while also protecting you from chronic diseases.
2. Leafy Greens may benefit bone health
Vitamin K is abundant in most leafy greens, and it may play an important role in preserving bone mass and preventing fractures.
For example, three cups (100 grams) of collard greens contain nearly four times the required acceptable intake (AI) of vitamin K.
Dark leafy green vegetables, in particular, contain a form of vitamin K known as K1 (phylloquinone).
Vitamin K1 deficiency is associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis. A disease marked by fragile bones that shatter easily and lower bone mineral density, which is a measure of bone strength.
Over the course of ten years, a study of 2,807 adults found that those who consumed the least amount of vitamin K1 in their diets. Had a 57 percent higher risk of hip fracture than those who took the most vitamin K1.
Eating vitamin K-rich dark green vegetables may thus assist support optimal bone health and preventing bone-related disorders.
Leafy greens are high in vitamin K. They may help prevent fractures and poor bone strength. Which linked to low vitamin K intake.
3. Rich in antioxidants that may have anti-cancer properties
Antioxidants, which are chemicals that help fight damage caused by reactive molecules known as free radicals, are abundant in leafy green vegetables.
Excess free radicals in the body combined with a deficiency in antioxidants can cause oxidative stress. Which is linked to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer.
Some of these chemicals, such as lutein and vitamin C, are shown in test tubes to have anti-cancer properties. To disrupt the life cycle of cancer cells.
While the antioxidants in leafy green vegetables may help protect against cancer. An additional human study is needed to completely understand the link between a leafy green diet and the risk of cancer.
Leafy green veggies are high in antioxidants, which help battle underlying cell damage caused by free radicals and may even help prevent cancer.
4. May help promote a healthy pregnancy
Dark green veggies may also aid in the promotion of healthy pregnancies.
This is due to the fact that most leafy greens are high in folate, a B vitamin required for the correct development of fetal cells and organs.
One cup (30 grams) of spinach, for example, has more than 14 percent of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for folate.
Getting enough folate from foods like leafy greens is vital for maternal health during pregnancy and preventing birth problems like neural tube defects.
According to the research of over 23,000 women, kids born to moms with the lowest dietary folate intake per day were 77 percent more likely to experience brain or spinal cord abnormalities than babies born to mothers with the highest dietary folate consumption.
A variety of leafy greens is included in your diet to help prevent issues caused by a lack of folate during pregnancy.
Folate, a nutrient present in spinach and other leafy greens, is essential for a baby’s healthy development. Increasing your folate intake by eating more green vegetables is one way to do so.
5. Good for eye health
Leafy greens include antioxidants that may help to improve eye health.
Kale, spinach, and other leafy green plants are high in the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.
These molecules could aid in the prevention of eye illnesses like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This is likely due to the fact that they work as antioxidants in the body, combating oxidative stress. Which is linked to the development of eye illnesses.
Those who consumed the most lutein and zeaxanthin had a 40% lower risk of developing advanced AMD than those who drank the least of these nutrients, according to a study that monitored over 102,000 people for more than 15 years.
Consuming lutein and zeaxanthin-rich leafy green vegetables, such as kale and spinach, may thus assist promote good eye health.
Some antioxidants found in leafy greens, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, may help to lessen the risk of eye illnesses such AMD and cataracts.
6. May help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes
Consumption of leafy green vegetables may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. A condition characterized by high blood sugar caused by the body’s inability to utilize insulin.
In fact, a meta-analysis indicated that increasing leafy green vegetable consumption by 1.5 servings per day was linked to a 14 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
Leafy greens may protect against diabetes in a variety of ways. For one thing, the antioxidants in them may aid in the fight against oxidative stress in the body. Which can lead to diabetes.
In addition, leafy greens are high in magnesium, a mineral that is involved in over 600 bodily functions. A high magnesium intake is associated with a lower risk of diabetes in several studies.
leafy greens linked to a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes. As a result of their high antioxidant and magnesium content.
How to eat more leafy greens
Leafy greens are pleasant and flexible.
Greens add to soups, stir-fries, eggs, and pasta meals as a base for smoothies and salads.
To prepare a leafy greens smoothie, blend spinach, frozen berries, a scoop of nut butter, and almond milk in a blender until smooth.
Try arugula or kale in a salad with a variety of chopped vegetables, lentils, unsweetened dried fruit, almonds, olive oil, and balsamic dressing.
Leafy greens used in salads, smoothies, drinks, soups, and many other dishes.
In Conclusion: Why are Leafy Greens vegetables good for you?
Spinach, kale, arugula, collard greens, romaine lettuce, cabbage, mustard greens, and other leafy greens are among them. They’re high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals while also being low in calories.
Leafy greens have a range of health benefits, including promoting healthy pregnancy, protecting eye problems, and lowering the risk of diabetes.
Use these vegetables in salads, soups, smoothies, and stir-fries to get more of them into your diet.