Why You Need More Leafy Greens
By Sara Butler
You may not realize it, but the leafy greens you’re always hearing you should eat more of? Well, you should eat more of them. This is because they are little leafy powerhouses of vitamins and minerals your body needs. Forget the fancy supplements and reach for these little green beauties to add some nutrition to your life.
Arugula is a great way to get calcium without fat. Just one cup of arugula has 125 milligrams of calcium. When you pair that with an olive oil-based dressing, some seeds, and a little protein, you’ve got practically the perfect meal. It also contains magnesium, which along with calcium helps to protect your bones as you grow older.
Watercress is technically a cruciferous vegetable like cauliflower, but it acts in your body like a giant filter. The compounds contained in watercress help your body to excrete carcinogens. If you’re a partaker of tobacco, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop smoking for your health, but watercress can help your body to rid itself of all that cancer-causing stuff you’re filling it with.
Bok Choy is a really unappreciated vegetable. It has 23 percent of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin A, and about a third of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C. It also happens to contain phytochemicals that help to fight cancer and lessen the impact of aging on the cells in your body. So, when in doubt – add a little bok choy!
Spinach is probably a leafy green you’re really familiar with. It did give Popeye his amazing strength! The vitamins and minerals contained in spinach aren’t just good for muscles, though – they’re great for your eye function. In fact, the lutein in spinach helps to filter the light in the eye, so it may have a hand in reducing your risk of age-related macular degeneration, too.
This slightly bitter green is a great defender against heart disease. It’s packed with fiber, which has been found to show a reduction in your chance of dying from coronary artery disease by about 15 percent. It also has 20 percent of your daily recommended intake of folate, which also reduces your risk of developing heart disease.
Mustard greens are packed with an amino acid called tyrosine. Tyrosine may help to boost your concentration and memory – so more than just the spicy taste of these leafy greens can snap you to attention.