This month DiGG will be celebrating the greenest of American holidays, St. Patrick’s Day! To get in the holiday spirit we will be all about GREEN…green vegetables that is. Need another reason to reach for your green produce? Check out these body boosts you get from adding in more dark leafy greens:
1-Healthy Cells and Blood
Leafy greens are an excellent source of the B-Vitamin, folate, necessary for growth of healthy cells and blood. Folate helps prevent neural tube defects in newborns if ingested in the right amount during pregnancy. It is also known to help prevent heart disease by reducing the amount of homocysteine, a compound known to damage our arteries.
2-Glowing Skin and Healthy Hair
Everyone wants glowing, smooth skin and healthy hair and eating greens can help you achieve that. Vitamin C, an antioxidant found in dark leafy greens can help prevent free radical damage that could lead to wrinkles and fine lines. It also helps the body produce collagen, a protein which aids the growth of cells and blood vessels giving skin its firmness. Greens like spinach, Swiss chard, and collards, are an excellent source of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. This antioxidant helps with the growth and repair of your cells. It can even help protect the body from sun damage!
Luetin and zeaxanthine are important antioxidants that protect the cells in our eyes from age related damage. Dark leafy greens are one of the best sources of these compounds.
4-Strong Bones and Teeth
Think the only way to keep your bones strong is by drinking dairy? Think again! Greens like collards, turnip greens, and spinach contain calcium, vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium; all nutrients needed to keep bones and teeth strong and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
We all know we need to eat more fiber but do you know why? Fiber helps promote a healthy GI system and keeps things moving along, if you know what I mean! Fiber provides us with a fullness factor which can help maintain weight and it reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. It also works to control blood sugar and cholesterol levels. So chow down on your greens to fill up!
You can see how dark leafy greens are a great addition to your meal plan. Just don’t be like most Americans and reach for the iceberg, which is mostly water!
Choose dark leafy greens and other rich green vegetables like the ones listed below:
Dark Green Vegetables
Dark green leafy lettuce
Green leaf lettuce
Red leaf lettuce