Health Benefits of Leafy Greens
By Paul Rothbart
There are a whole variety of leafy green vegetables. They have different tastes and textures and can be prepared in many ways. Cooked or raw, greens are a nice addition to the menu. Spinach is perhaps the best known, but kale, arugula, and chard are other common greens. There are many others and they have something in common besides their color. They all provide excellent health benefits. High in nutrition and fiber, low in calories, leafy green vegetables are one of the best of all foods. Here are some of the ways they keep you healthy.
Milk is the food most people believe is the best for bones, but greens offer plenty for strong bones. Dark, leafy green vegetables are loaded with calcium, the mineral the body uses to build bone density. Broccoli and kale contain Vitamin K, another nutrient that is helpful for healthy bones. The greens also have fewer calories than dairy and none of the fat.
For aging adults, keeping the brain functioning well and the memory sharp is a concern. This is another benefit of the green leaf veggies. Neurology published a study that showed people who ate greens every day had a slower rate of cognitive decline than those who didn't. The greens eaters also had a sharper memory. It was the equivalent of someone a decade younger.
Greens have shown an ability to boost the immune system. Moringa leaf can help the body repair oxidative damage. Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, arugula, and broccoli were found to have the best immune system benefits of all.
The enzymes break down food and absorb the nutrients. A deficiency of them can cause all kinds of intestinal distress like painful bloating and acid reflux. Raw leafy greens boost production of digestive enzymes and keep the gut healthy. They also provide the body with healthy bacteria that aids in digestion.
Beta-carotene is a healthy nutrient that gives carrots their orange color but it is also found in greens. Beta-carotene is great for the skin, keeping it youthful and glowing. It is also a natural sunscreen, protecting the skin from the sun's UV rays. All of the leafy green vegetables contain beta-carotene with kale being the best source.
It's well known that vegetables are a vital part of a healthy diet. The leafy green ones are among the best. In a salad, a soup or stew, as a side dish, or in a smoothie, they add variety and flavor to the diet. They also provide some wonderful benefits to your health.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Layton, Utah