The Health Benefits of Eating Green Vegetables
Remember when you were a kid and your mom used to remind you to eat all your veggies? She knew what she was talking about – especially when it came to those of the green variety. Now that you’re an adult, perhaps with children of your own, you may still find getting that daily recommended dosage of healthy greens to be a challenge. If you need a little more convincing, here are a few of the many incredible benefits to eating green vegetables (and which ones pack the most punch).
Most of us remember spinach being associated with Popeye. Well, turns out that old sailor was onto something because spinach really can make your body stronger. That’s because spinach is very rich in plant-based omega-3s and folate, both of which are good for the heart and bones. This leafy green is also loaded with lutein, a compound that is believed to promote healthier muscles. Enjoy it steamed as a side dish, include it in your favorite soup or try one of the many mouthwatering spinach recipes in our collection.
Many health gurus and nutritionists consider kale to be one of the healthiest foods on the entire planet, so it’s no surprise this one made the list. What’s so great about it? Well, how about the fact that just one little cup-full contains three grams of protein, 206 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin A, 134 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C and a whopping 684 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin K. And all of that for just 33 teensy calories. Don’t like the taste? No problem. Just add some frozen kale to your favorite green smoothie and you’ll never know!
Whether you love it or hate it, one thing’s for sure: these mini trees are huge on nutrients and health benefits. Consider this: just one cup of chopped broccoli contains three grams of protein, 2.4 grams of dietary fiber, 135 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C and 14 percent of the recommended amount of folate. Broccoli is good for everything from the digestive system to eye and heart health to a stronger immune system and more. Tired of the same old boring broccoli dishes? Check out our creative recipe collection for some cool and tasty ideas.
You can find these delicious veggies in everything from roasts and casseroles to stir-fries and soups. Or, you can enjoy them as is for a fast, delicious and nutritious side for almost any dinner dish. Green beans made our list of top green vegetables because they are so high in carotenoids, specifically beta-carotene and lycopene. Both of these contain natural antioxidant properties, which means they’re super good at helping the body fight off illness. Brighten up your dinner table with our Hanover Green Beans recipe tonight.
These large, leafy veggies may not always show up as high on the list as broccoli or spinach, but collard greens carry their own fair share of nutritious health benefits. Specifically, one cup of boiled collard greens is packed with five grams of protein, eight grams of fiber and only 63 calories. Consuming just this small amount will give you more than 250 percent of your daily vitamin A, more than 50 percent of vitamin C, 26 percent of calcium and 10 percent of vitamin B6 and magnesium. These greens are delicious as-is or spruced up with peppers, onions, garlic, and other herbs and spices.
If you love cultural cuisines such as Indian, African or Caribbean, you might already be enjoying okra on a regular basis. This unique-tasting green veggie, also sometimes affectionately referred to as ‘ladies’ fingers,’ is great when roasted or fried and makes an excellent addition to dishes like curry or stir-fries. Your body will love okra for its natural ability to help manage digestive health and also regulate blood sugar and fat levels.
As you can see, in terms of health benefits, green veggies bring an awful lot to the table. And with so many different options to choose from, you’re sure to find creative ways to get even the pickiest eater enjoying more greens. What are you waiting for? Start going green and start getting healthier today!