Here at Health & Fitness Together we don’t only advise our clients on what is the best programme to reach their goals, but also we emphasise how important and beneficial it is to include green leafy vegetables in their diet.
Greens are the No. 1 food you can eat regularly to help improve your health, with fibre along with vitamins, minerals, and plant-based substances that may help protect you from heart disease, diabetes, and perhaps even cancer.
1. Kale: This nutrition powerhouse offers everything you want in a leafy green, It's an excellent source of vitamins A C, and K. Has a good amount of calcium for a vegetable, and also supplies folate and potassium.
2. Turnip greens: "If you buy turnips with the tops on, you get two vegetables in one," Turnip leaves are another Southern favourite traditionally made with pork. More tender than other greens and needing less cooking, this sharp-flavoured leaf is low in calories yet loaded with vitamins A,C, and K as well as calcium.
3. Spinach: Popeye's favourite vegetable has 20 calories per serving, plus it's packed with vitamins A and C, as well as folate. And because heat reduces the green's oxalate content, freeing up its dietary calcium, cooked spinach gives you more nutrition than raw. Spinach leaves can be cooked quickly in the water that remains on them after rinsing, or they can be eaten raw in salads. Bags of frozen chopped spinach are more convenient to use than block kinds, and this mild-flavoured vegetable can be added to soups, pasta dishes, and casseroles.
4. Broccoli: With 25 calories a serving, broccoli is rich in vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin A, potassium, and folate. Its stalks and florets add both crunch and colour to stir-fries, raw or steamed, or mixed into boiling pasta during the last three minutes of cooking so both are ready at the same time.
5. Red and Green Leaf and Romaine Lettuce: A familiar sight in salad bowls, these lettuces are high in vitamin A and offer some folate. Leaf lettuces have a softer texture than romaine, a crunchy variety used in Caesar salads.
6. Cabbage: Although paler in colour than other leafy greens, this cruciferous vegetable is a great source of cancer-fighting compounds and vitamin C. Available in red and green varieties, cabbage can be cooked, added raw to salads or stir fries, shredded into a slaw, or made into sauerkraut. It's also a staple of St. Patrick's Day boiled suppers and can give off a strong smell when cooking. One-half cup cooked has 15 calories.
7. Iceberg Lettuce: This bland-tasting head lettuce is mostly water. But it's the country's most popular leafy green. While tops in consumption, it's last on our list for its health benefits. It can be a starter green, to draw people into a broader array of salad greens.