If you’ve been told that there are numerous health benefits of dark leafy greens, you’re probably wondering what they are. Here’s what you need to know.
When you think about eating a healthy diet, you probably envision a lot of vegetables. Rightfully so! Veggies, and especially dark, leafy greens, tend to be loaded with plentiful nutrients. While you should definitely “eat the rainbow” (that is, you should eat vegetables of every color), getting in your leafy greens is especially important.
First, we should specify what qualifies as a leafy green. We’re specifically talking about dark greens such as spinach, kale, mustard greens and collard greens. While lighter colored greens like romaine and butter lettuce may be crisp and delicious, they don’t pack the nutritional punch of their richer-toned cousins.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s what you need to know about the nutritional benefits of dark leafy greens.
Vitamin K is a crucial nutrient for health and well-being. An important nutrient for healthy blood clotting, vitamin K also works in the blood to help transport calcium. Therefore, you need vitamin K in order for any calcium you consume to be effective. This makes vitamin K not only important for blood health, but for musculoskeletal health as well.
Fiber is plentiful is leafy greens, and with it comes numerous benefits. Fiber can help you maintain a healthy weight and promote regular digestion. One of the ways fiber works is by moving through the digestive system, undigested. This has the effect of keeping things moving and increasing regularity in digestion.
Additionally, the b-group vitamins that are so important for our health and well-being are found abundantly in leafy greens. Among the many important b-group vitamins is folate, or vitamin B9. Folate is absolutely crucial for women of childbearing age, as it is thought to help prevent neural problems during pregnancy.
Dark leafy greens are also rich in bone-supporting calcium. As an example, according to the USDA, spinach contains about 30 mg of calcium per cup.
Lutein is a carotenoid, a type of antioxidant that helps protect your skin and eye health. Lutein if found in plentiful amounts in leafy greens, making these veggies beneficial for your skin quality and eyesight. Perhaps this is one of the reason many people report more glowing, healthier skin when they start eating more greens!
Where to Get Your Greens
Of course, it’s perfectly easy to get your greens in by adding them to salads, smoothies and soups. Alternatively, Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Greens, Collagen Veggie Blend and Collagen Sports Greens all contain an array of healthy vegetables alongside nourishing collagen protein to support your health.