Leafy green vegetables are natural foods which have a rich content of nutrients right from protein, vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, calcium to selenium, and zinc. Also, it contains phytochemicals, compounds such as beta carotene, anti oxidant molecules and fiber. The USDA suggests each person to eat at minimum 3 cups of leafy green vegetables per week. However, it is necessary to know the benefits and nutritional values of these important green vegetables.
Nowadays, everyone have awareness to be healthy and live a long and prosperous life. Due to this reason, everyone should try to include more fresh vegetables into their diet. A high vegetable diet undeniably promises a relief from all the major and minor problems of the body. People who eat greater amounts of vegetables in their diet are high on energy and feel less lethargic or stressed out. The nutrition which is provided by vegetables helps body to perform all the activities by supplying all the necessary requisites to the body cells and organisms for supporting life.
Fresh green vegetables can help to get free of several diseases for example heart disease and stroke, painful intestinal ailment called diverticulitis, cataract, blood pressure, cancer and macular degeneration and vision loss. Excluding these, vegetables have a low fat and calories content and thereby they minimize the problem of excessive weight or obesity.
Consuming too much green vegetables can provide some amazing vegetable nutrition benefits such as,
- 22% reduced risk of certain cancers
- Better teeth and bone structure
- Stronger immune system – less colds, flu and infections
- Macular degeneration and glaucoma protection
- Less chance of weight gain
- A 41% lower risk of heart disease
- Improved memory and brain functioning
How much vegetables should be taken in daily diet?
Consume at least 5-7 servings of fresh green vegetables every day. Seasonal vegetables should be encouraged and also you can include variety in vegetable type and color in your diet. Dark green vegetables are very good source of minerals and phenolic flavonoid anti-oxidants. While yellow and orange color vegetables are rich in Vitamin A, α and β carotenes, zea-xanthins and crypto-xanthins.
Selection of vegetables:
To get maximum health benefits of green vegetables, go for organic farm vegetables when ever possible. If you can find them from the nearby local farm owners they are not very expensive. Organic farm vegetables are smaller in size but they have rich flavor and feature good amounts of vitamins, minerals. Also, they are stuffed with numerous health benefiting anti-oxidants.
Always purchase small quantities of vegetables from market so that they should last within a day or two. Buy only such vegetables which feature freshness, bright in color and flavor and feel heavy in your hands. To find out blemishes, spots, mold and signs of insecticide spray on vegetables, carefully look at them. In place of purchasing section of vegetables, buy whole vegetables (for example, pumpkin).
Proper use of vegetables:
Rinse vegetables especially green leafy vegetables with clean water, immediately after shopping. Wash in salt water for few minutes and quietly swish in cool water till you are pleased with cleanliness. This will ensure you that they are free from dust, sand and any residual chemical sprays. The health benefiting properties of a vegetable declines with time so use them early while fresh. In order to preserve nutrition of green vegetables for short periods, store them in plastic wrappings or in zip pouches.
List of green vegetables with their nutrition facts and their nutritional values based on per 100gm:
|Pumpkin||56 kJ||6.5 g||1.36 g||0.5 g||0.1 g||1.0 g||29%||Various||Various|
|Broccoli||141 kJ||6.64 g||1.7 g||2.6 g||0.37 g||2.82 g||3%||Various||Various|
|Asparagus||85 kJ||3.88 g||1.88 g||2.1 g||0.12 g||2.20 g||–||Various||Various|
|173 kJ||9 g||5 g||3 g||0.2 g||1 g||77%||Various||Various|
|Lettuce||55 kJ||2.2 g||–||1.1 g||0.2 g||1.4 g||–||Various||Various|
|Cabbage||103 kJ||5.8 g||3.2 g||2.5 g||0.1 g||1.28 g||–||Various||Various|
|Spinach||97 kJ||3.6 g||0.4 g||2.2 g||0.4 g||2.2 g||52%||Various||Various|
|102 kJ||5.7 g||2.35 g||3.4 g||0.19 g||1.01 g||–||Various||Various|
|Sweet Potato||360 kJ||20.1 g||4.2 g||3.0 g||0.1 g||1.6 g||79%||Various||Various|
|Turnip Greens||84 kJ||4.4 g||–||3.5 g||0.2 g||1.1 g||–||Various||Various|