You hear it virtually everywhere these days: eat more green
leafy vegetables. And with good reason; leafy greens are among
the most nutritious of all vegetables, offering major benefits
to your entire body, including your brain, your bones and
your heart, while helping to prevent cancer, detoxify your
body, boost your immune system and give your more energy.
Not bad for a bowl full of greens!
However, most Americans are not eating enough of these incredibly
healthy foods. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) reported that less than one-third of American adults
eat the amount of fruits and vegetables the government recommends,
despite the fact that diets rich in these healthy foods are
known to prevent disease.
Bok choy, a type of Chinese cabbage, tastes great as
a side dish and also helps prevent cancer, protect against
cataracts and fight free radicals in your body.
Give These Uncommon Greens a Try
If your diet is lacking in healthy greens, or if you're looking
to experiment with a tasty and healthy side dish tonight,
the following greens deserve a spot on your table. They're
incredibly good for you, low in calories, easy to prepare
and, best of all, they're delicious!
Kale has a pungent, earthy flavor that is excellent on its
own or mixed with other vegetables. Once you sauté
or steam it lightly, kale makes a great side dish and is delicious
added to cole slaw, stir fries, soups -- even mashed potatoes
and homemade pizza!
Notable Nutrients: vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese,
fiber, copper, calcium, vitamin B6 and potassium
Health Benefits: Kale contains compounds that
fight many forms of cancer, optimize your cells' ability
to detoxify, lower your risk of cataracts, promote lung
health, support your immune system and help keep your
brain sharp as you age.
2. Collard Greens
Though collard greens are popular in Southern cooking because
of their rich smoky flavor, they are largely ignored by other
cuisines. This is a shame, as collard greens are delicious
lightly steamed and served with lemon juice and olive oil,
garlic and onion or even black-eyed peas and rice (for a more
Notable Nutrients: vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese,
folate, fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamin B2 and vitamin
B6, and a good source of vitamin E, magnesium,
protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, vitamin B5,
niacin, zinc, phosphorous, and iron.
Health Benefits: Collard greens are rich in phytonutrients
that help your body to detoxify, fight against cancer,
provide antioxidant protection, support your immune system,
protect your heart and lungs, ease the symptoms of menopause
and protect your mental function as you age.
3. Mustard Greens
Mustard greens have a strong, peppery flavor and their brown
seeds are used to make Dijon mustard. Simply sauté
them and add them to sweet potatoes, stir fries, casseroles
and even pasta salad for a bit of a spicy kick.
Notable Nutrients: vitamin A, vitamin C, folate,
vitamin E, manganese and fiber
Health Benefits: Mustard greens are packed with
antioxidants that fight against the damaging effects of
free radicals, protect your lungs and heart, help keep
your mind sharp, reduce the symptoms of menopause and
protect against rheumatoid arthritis.
4. Turnip Greens
When it comes to turnips, most people focus on the root,
but the greens of this plant are also incredibly healthy (and
have a pleasant, slightly bitter flavor). Turnip greens are
delicious sautéed or steamed as a side dish with garlic,
onion, olive oil and lemon, or as an addition to soups, stews
Notable Nutrients: vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin
E, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, copper, fiber and manganese
Health Benefits: Turnip greens help provide relief
from rheumatoid arthritis, promote colon health (including
lowering the risk of colon cancer), fight against atherosclerosis,
promote lung health, and fight against declines in mental
Turnip greens can be added to soups, stews, and pasta,
and they help keep your colon, lungs, heart and brain
5. Sea Vegetables
Sea vegetables, better known as seaweed,
are the leafy greens of the sea. Though not technically a
vegetable (they're actually classified as algae), seaweed
is loaded with nutrition and has a unique, slightly salty
flavor. Sea vegetables can be eaten on their own as a snack
(in the dried form) or can be added to soups, salad, stews
and stir fries.
Notable Nutrients: Seaweed contains the broadest
range of minerals of any food -- the same minerals found
in the ocean and in human blood, such as potassium, calcium,
magnesium, iron, and iodine. It also contains vitamin
K, folate, and the B-vitamins riboflavin and pantothenic
Health Benefits: Sea vegetables may help to prevent
cancer, promote healthy thyroid function, prevent birth
defects and heart disease, provide relief for the symptoms
of menopause and help reduce
inflammation in the body.
6. Romaine Lettuce
When many Americans think of lettuce, they may think of iceberg
lettuce -- the nutrition-less, flavorless, pale lettuce that
usually comes on fast-food hamburgers. Romaine lettuce, on
the other hand, is loaded with nutrition and has a crispy
texture and fresh flavor. Romaine lettuce makes an excellent
base for salads, a great topper for sandwiches and an ideal
"wrapper" that can be filled with anything from
to chicken salad.
Notable Nutrients: vitamin A, folate, vitamin
C, manganese, chromium, fiber, vitamin B1, vitamin B2,
potassium, molybdenum, iron, and phosphorous
Health Benefits: Romaine lettuce helps protect
the heart, particularly by supporting normal cholesterol
levels and blood pressure.
Brussels sprouts look like tiny cabbages, and they
have the health benefits to match. Brussels sprouts
protect against cancer, birth defects, rheumatoid arthritis
Endive, which is the second growth of the chicory plant,
can be pale yellow or purple in color and has a pungent, bitter
flavor. This crisp, lettuce-like vegetable makes a unique
addition to salads but can also be steamed or sautéed
and served as a hot side dish.
Notable Nutrients: Potassium, calcium, magnesium,
iron, zinc, B vitamins, vitamin C, folate and selenium
Health Benefits: Endive is rich in compounds that
help boost the immune system, detoxify the body, promote
regularity, lower the risk of cataracts and protect the
8. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts often get a bad rap because of their strong
flavor and smell, but when prepared correctly they are delicious!
Steam them until they're tender, then season them with some
butter, salt and pepper, or try them with olive oil, balsamic
vinegar or even feta cheese. You can either leave them intact
or cut off the base and separate the leaves (then toss them
with seasonings and serve like a salad).
Notable Nutrients: vitamin C, vitamin K, folate,
vitamin A, manganese, fiber, potassium, vitamin B6 and
thiamin (vitamin B1), omega-3 fatty acids, iron, phosphorous,
protein, magnesium, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin E,
copper and calcium
- Health Benefits: Brussels sprouts help to prevent
cancer, detoxify your body, promote healthy skin, colon
and immune function, protect against rheumatoid arthritis
and protect against birth defects.
9. Bok Choy
Bok choy is a type of Chinese cabbage with a mild flavor
and a great crisp texture. It's excellent sautéed with
onions, olive oil and salt and pepper, or add it to stews,
soups and casseroles.
Notable Nutrients: vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene,
calcium, fiber, potassium and vitamin B6
Health Benefits: Bok Choy can help prevent cancer,
protect against cataracts and fight free radicals in your
Remarkable Anti-Toxin, Cancer-Fighting Power of Cruciferous
Once and For All, Are America's Favorite Vegetables Good for
You or Not?
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report March 16, 2007
To get more information about this and other highly important topics, sign up for your free subscription to our weekly SixWise.com "Be Safe, Live Long & Prosper" e-newsletter.
With every issue of the free SixWise.com newsletter, you’ll get access to the insights, products, services, and more that can truly improve your well-being, peace of mind, and therefore your life!