By: JOY MIHANNI
Edited By: ARYA ROERIG
Why are cabbage, broccoli, turnip greens, and spinach rarely seen at the dinner table? Why is lettuce the only green vegetable that we mostly ever use, when green vegetables are recognized by nutritionists as one of the most inexpensive sources of so many important nutrients?
Leafy vegetables are the best for weight management and a healthy lifestyle. They are useful in reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease as well. Leafy vegetables are low in fat, high in dietary fiber and rich in folic acid. They also contain vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and many phytochemicals. Being very high in vitamin A, green vegetables improve your immunity greatly. Did you know that millions of children around the world have an increased risk of blindness due to a lack of vitamin A? Start munching away at those veggies!
Carotenoids are the colorful plant pigments that the body can turn into vitamin A. They’re powerful antioxidants are also found in dark-green vegetables. Carotenoids can protect against both cataract and age-related degeneration in the eyes. Not only that, but these veggies contain many powerful antioxidants that have cancer-protective properties. Cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli are rich in indoles and isothiocyanates, which protect you against colon and other cancers. Those little broccoli sprouts alone have been reported to contain ten or more times as much sulforaphane, a cancer-protective substance, as mature broccoli does. Who would’ve thought?
Eating dark green vegetables helps with weight management as well. The low-calorie and high-fiber contents of these foods allow you to eat as much as you want of them. You’ll be satisfied and avoid weight gain at the same time. The nutrients they provide can also help facilitate the body’s repair mechanisms and help protect the body against free radicals. Remember that free radicals are said to contribute to aging and to the formation of cancers.
If you have diabetes or your blood sugar is high, you can also benefit from eating green vegetables. Research shows that eating a serving of green vegetables everyday can help decrease the risk of diabetes by as much as 9 percent. More so, green vegetables also contain calcium and vitamin K, which can aid in preventing bone fractures.
Who knew the humble little dark-green vegetables were so healthy in so many ways? Next time you need a side dish or a snack, try reaching for a handful of these vitamin packed little vegetables.