nutrition

The Best Leafy Greens: Nutritional Face-Off

If you’ve been doing your research on what it means to eat healthy, one thing that you should know by now is the fact that eating your greens is important.

Green vegetables are loaded with nutritional value, high in fiber and will also provide hardly any calories to your daily diet plan. Basically, they are the hottest celebrity on the red carpet of foods. Whether you’re hoping to lose weight, maintain your weight, or simply improve your health and physical performance, getting those leafy greens into your diet is a must. But, which ones are best? While everyone knows that spinach is associated with muscle building thanks to the Popeye’s character, what is it about spinach that makes it so?

Let’s give you the low-down on these leafy greens so you can see which to serve up with your next salad.

Collard Greens

Raw Organic Green Collard Greens

Ever heard of collard greens? If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t. But, neglecting this powerful leafy green is neglecting what may just be one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.

Collard greens are a nutritional superstar, containing over 800% of your vitamin K intake. Eat this one and you’ll have no problem with blood clothing – what vitamin K is known for. In addition to that, this green is also rich in vitamin A, manganese, vitamin C, fiber, calcium, B vitamins, as well as iron and copper. The leafy green is great for helping to detox your body thanks to the sulfur-containing nutrients that promote the removal of any toxic substances in your system.

In addition to that, they’re also very powerful for lowering your cholesterol levels. Eat these regularly and you could be kick-starting your heart health. The one caveat with this green? You’ll want to steam it for optimal results. Steaming helps to bring out the cholesterol-lowering benefits even more than eating it raw, so try it as the next side dish for your meal.

Romaine Lettuce

Romaine Lettuce

Okay, so romaine lettuce may have gotten the backseat in your diet for quite some time, always choosing kale or spinach over it. And while both kale and spinach do have their own unique set of benefits, don’t overlook romaine lettuce any longer.

One key benefit that romaine does offer is a very rich dose of folic acid, which is needed by both genders for optimal reproductive function. Women who are planning on trying to conceive should be taking in sufficient folic acid on a daily basis. Men who get enough of this nutrient will have an increased sperm count. In addition to this, romaine lettuce may also help to boost your mood, combatting feelings of depression, so that’s another reason to be getting it in.

Try adding it to more salads than just your Ceasar salad mix.

Chicory

Chicory

Another leafy vegetable that few people ever even consider adding to their diet, chicory stands out as one of the best vegetables for helping combat disease.

It has a very rich supply of polyphenols, which are powerful micronutrients that help prevent a number of diseases in the human body. To put this into perspective, chicory contains over double the level of polyphenols that spinach does, so you can see just how powerful this is. Chicory is also a rich source of inulin, which is a carbohydrate fiber. For those who are struggling with blood sugar regulation, this can be hugely helpful.

Finally, it’s also a great source of calcium, vitamin A, as well as potassium and can help you manage your digestive health.

Beet Greens