Top 5 Leafy Greens

Packed with nutrients and low in calories, greens are superstars in the vegetable world. They offer numerous health benefits including a reduced risk for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. However, not all greens are created equal. Check out below for my favorite choices and why you should try them too!



Kale

Flavor - deep and earthy, sometimes bitter, tastes “healthy”

Benefits- fantastic for eye health due to the antioxidant beta carotene, and vitamins A, C, and K.

Prep- to preserve the nutrient content, consume kale raw. It can be added to a smoothie or chopped and massaged in olive oil to soften the leaves and make chewing much more enjoyable!



Collard Greens

Flavor- surprisingly mild, sweet and earthy, similar texture to cabbage

Benefits - in a two-cup serving, collards are a good source of fiber and are high in folate, potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K.

Prep- bring about 1 inch of water to a simmer in a large pan, cut out the thick bottom part of the rib, place the leaf in the water just until it turns bright green, let cool and use as a wrap for any filling you desire.

Arugula

Flavor - spicy, peppery, and slightly bitter

Benefits- contains vitamins A, C, K, and B9, additionally a great source of dietary nitrates, which turn to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide has been shown to increase blood flow by dilating blood vessels.

Prep- mix in to your salad

Spinach

Flavor - tender and slightly sweet

Benefits- packed with vitamins A and K and contains folate, which plays a key role in red blood cell production.

Prep - add to a smoothie or mix in to any salad



Beet Greens

Flavor- extremely earthy

Benefits - good source of fiber and a rich source of potassium, vitamin A, K, calcium, and riboflavin. Additionally, contains glycine betaine, which lowers inflammation by reducing the build-up of the amino acid, homocysteine.

Prep - the younger leaves can be eaten raw in a salad; however, the mature larger leaves should be cooked to reduce the oxalic acid content and improve the bitter flavor. I like to sauté them in a little coconut oil and garlic.

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