No single fruit or vegetable provides all of the nutrients we need to be healthy. Although most of us are aware of the importance of vegetables in our diet, very few of us actually eat the optimum amount. In fact, our typical Western diet often consists of processed, calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods which is contributing to the rise in obesity and other health conditions. The typical diet today leaves our bodies lacking vitality and craving nourishment by prompting us to eat more which ultimately leads to weight gain.
In spite of mistreatment, our bodies have the power to renew and heal when supplied with necessary nutrients.
Here are some of the benefits that adding more greens to your diet can have:
- Vegetables in our diet can reduce risk for stroke, cancer, heart diseases, type-2 diabetes.
- Dietary fibre from fruits and vegetables helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. It also helps to fill you up and keeps your digestive system happy.
- Greens are low calorie but still packed with loads of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that will keep you feeling energized all day as well as help you to lose weight.
- Leafy greens are an excellent source of folate, which helps your body produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. In other words they are a natural way to help relieve stress levels.
- The folate in dark green vegetables is also known to prevent age-related cognitive decline.
- The vitamin K contents of dark green leafy vegetables provide a number of health benefits including: protecting bones from osteoporosis and helping to prevent against inflammatory diseases.
- Good source of iron! Iron deficiency leads to anaemia, a common health problem among pregnant and lactating women and also children. It is easily preventable by adding greens like spinach to the daily menu.
- Improve eye health. Carotene in greens gets converted in the body to form Vitamin A which prevents blindness.
- Green vegetables like kale, broccoli, spinach and cabbage increase chances of conception. They are an excellent source of folic acid which is known to improve ovulation and prevent birth defects.
- Good source of potassium. Potassium helps to lower blood pressure and may also make blood vessels less stiff.
So, whether you need to lose just a few kilos or are looking to improve your general health, adding greens to your diet will help you achieve your goals.
List of top nutrients and in which vegetables they can be found:
- Folate: Frisee, Asparagus, Romaine lettuce, Spinach, Turnip greens
- Fiber: Artichoke, Peas, Avocado, Lima beans, Jicama
- Vitamin C: Red bell pepper, Broccoli, Green bell pepper, Green chili pepper, Brussels sprouts
- Beta-Carotene: Sweet potato, Pumpkin, Carrots, Mustard Greens, Spinach
- Lutein: Spinach, Swiss chard, Mustard greens, Turnip greens, Radicchio
- Magnesium: Spinach, Swiss chard, Lima beans, Artichoke, Peas
- Vitamin K: Mustard greens, Spinach, Kale, Collard greens, Turnip greens
- Potassium: Sweet potato, Lima beans, Swiss chard, Spinach, Portobello mushrooms
- Iron: Spinach, Broccoli, Green soy beans, Asparagus, Baby lima beans, Peets, Sweet potato