Leafy greens are some of the best foods that you can eat if you plan to go for a raw vegan lifestyle. They are staples in vegetable salads, and are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber but low in calories. Eating leafy greens comes with a lot of health benefits, such as the reduced risk of heart disease, obesity, mental decline, and high blood pressure.
Dark green leafy vegetables also contain plant pigments called zeaxanthin and lutein, both of which can prevent strokes, breast and lung cancer, and heart disease. Some examples of these vegetables are kale and spinach. Leafy greens are also high in antioxidants, filled with minerals, natural sources of fiber, and can also improve your metabolism. No wonder a lot of people are incorporating them into their diets.
If you also want to include leafy greens in your meals but you don’t have any idea what vegetables you should get, you’re in the right place. Today, we will give you a list of the healthiest leafy green vegetables that you can add to your raw diet.
Turnip greens are the turnip plant’s leaves. Turnips are root veggies similar to beetroot. These greens contain more nutrients compared to the turnip itself. Some of the nutrients that you can get from turnip greens are folate, vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, and manganese. These leafy greens have a strong and spicy flavor.
They are considered to be cruciferous vegetables. This means that they can help decrease certain health conditions, like inflammation and heart disease. Turnip greens are also rich in antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, gluconasturtiin, quercetin, myricetin, and glucotropaeolin, which can all help in reducing stress in the body. You can use turnip greens as an alternative to spinach and kale in most recipes.
Kale is probably the most nutrient-dense vegetables that you can find because it contains a lot of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Some of the antioxidants that kale contains are beta-carotene and lutein, which can both reduce the risk of diseases caused by oxidative stress. Kale is best consumed raw to be able to get all of its health benefits, because cooking may reduce its nutrient profile.
Bok choy is also known as a type of Chinese cabbage. It has thick, dark-green leaves, and is usually added to soups and stir-fries. It contains selenium, which is a mineral that plays an important role in cognitive function and immunity. It is also an essential mineral for proper thyroid gland function. This gland is found in your neck. It releases hormones that are important in metabolism.
Microgreens are immature greens from seeds of herbs and vegetables. They are usually 1 to 3 inches tall. They are usually used as a garnish or decoration, but they are also healthy leafy greens. Despite being small in size, they are filled with flavor and nutrients. Based on a study, microgreens have more nutrients compared to their mature counterparts. Some of the nutrients that you can get from them are vitamins C, K, and E.
Endive is not a popular leafy green due to its difficulty to grow. It is curly, crisp in texture, and has a nutty and slightly bitter taste. You can eat it either raw or cooked. A half-cup of raw endive can contain 72% of vitamin K, 11% of vitamin A, and 9% of folate. It is also a great source of kaempferol, which is an antioxidant that can reduce inflammation.
Collard greens are loose-leaf greens that have thick leaves and have a hint of bitterness. They are also related to spring greens and kale. They are a good source of vitamins A, B9, K, and C, and are also rich in calcium. A cup of cooked collard greens contains 1,045% of the DV for vitamin K, which is an important vitamin to prevent blood clotting.
Arugula is a leafy green that is also known as rucola, colewort, and rocket. It has small leaves and a slightly peppery taste. You can add it to salads or use as a garnish. It is also being used medicinally and cosmetically. Arugula is rich in pro-vitamin A carotenoids, and vitamins K and B9 or folate. It is one of the best sources of dietary nitrates, which can turn into nitric oxide in the body. This may help increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure.
Spinach is one of the most popular leafy green vegetables, and it can be easily added to many dishes, like salads, smoothies, and soups. It is rich in vitamins A, K, manganese, and as well as folate, which is important in red blood cell production. For pregnant women, it is also great to each spinach along with taking a prenatal vitamin because it can help increase your folate intake.
Swiss chard features dark-green leaves and a thick stalk that can be white, yellow, red, or green. It is commonly used in Mediterranean cooking and belongs in the same family as spinach and beets. Swiss chard has an earthy taste. It is filled with vitamins and minerals, such as manganese, potassium, and vitamins C, K, and A. It also has a unique flavonoid called syringic acid, which can be beneficial for lowering blood sugar levels.
Romaine lettuce is another popular leafy green that has sturdy, dark leaves and a firm center rib. It is a crunchy vegetable that is usually used in Caesar salads. This leafy green is a good source of vitamins A and K. It can also help improve the levels of blood lipids, reducing the risk of heart disease.
Beet greens are edible and rich in calcium, potassium, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin K, and riboflavin. Aside from that, they are also rich in antioxidants beta-carotene and lutein, which can reduce the risk of eye disorders like cataracts and macular degeneration. You can add them raw to salads and soups, or sautéed and eaten as a side dish.
These are the healthiest vegetables on the leafy greens raw food group that you can add to your diet. Leafy green vegetables are truly packed with essential and powerful nutrients that can promote good health. Fortunately, many of these leafy greens can be found and bought in stores and can be easily added into meals in surprising ways. We hope the information we share will help you decide what leafy greens you’ll add to your diet.