What Are the Best Greens For Good Health?Whether it was mum, grandma, or a well-meaning teacher, you’ve probably been told to eat your greens at some point in your life – and responded by dramatically holding your nose and forcing a questionable vegetable into your mouth. But as a grown up, you can no doubt see they were right all along. Question is, what are the best greens for good health?
Let’s peer into the crisper to find out…
Spinach: the winning greenSome say spinach is the healthiest green of all. And it’s easy to see why: it’s full of folate which helps protect against breast cancer growth. Spinach is also packed with potassium, keeping your muscles working well and your blood pressure regulated (backed by a 2015 study). On top of that, spinach is an antioxidant powerhouse, helping curb chronic diseases including cancer.
Curly kale tops the listThis hipster favourite has a lot going for it, and has earned its ‘superfood’ title. Kale blows other greens out of the water when it comes to lutein, a powerful antioxidant and carotenoid that guards eyesight. Kale is also packed with B vitamins, potassium, copper and calcium, and just one cup of the curly green provides your daily intake of vitamins A, C and K. It even contains omega-3 fatty acids, a natural anti-inflammatory.
One study found kale juice also increases “good” HDL cholesterol by 27%, while lowering LDL cholesterol by 10% and increasing antioxidant activity.
Broccoli beats other greensAs a cruciferous green (alongside cabbage, cauliflower, kale and bok choy), broccoli contains phytochemicals and other goodies that have been shown to detoxify some cancer-causing substances before they take hold in the body.
Numerous studies have shown broccoli to be beneficial in preventing other chronic diseases. And just one cup of raw broccoli gives you more than your daily requirement for vitamin K and vitamin C, and contains lots of potassium, folate and magnesium.
Brussel sprouts spring aheadBrussel sprouts are another cruciferous veggie with beneficial plant compounds. They have loads of the antioxidant kaempferol, which prevents cell damage and chronic disease by guarding against free radicals.
A humble sprout also gives you a broad spread of vitamins and minerals: vitamin A, C and K, as well as folate, potassium, and manganese.
Can’t stomach sprouts? Bok choy and rocket are other cruciferous veggies you could try.