Popeye realized it first: greens are good for you…
Okay, not really, but he does convince children all over the world to try spinach for the first time.
Whatever the case, the world is on a leafy green kick. (Read: the rise of kale and the creation of the green smoothie.) Thanks to science, we know green veggies are an imperative part of a healthy diet. They’re full of rich nutritional value and bestow unique health benefits on its consumers.
Here are some of the incredible health benefits of 5 favorite (and really easy to grow) leafy greens — spinach, lettuce, arugula, romaine, and kale.
SPINACH: The OG Superfood
- Spinach has tons of beta-carotene, lutein, and xanthene in it—all of which are very beneficial for your eyesight and helpful in reducing eye ulcers, eye itching, and dry eyes. Consuming spinach can also help prevent cataracts due to the presence of zeaxanthin.
- For a veggie, spinach has tons of easily digestible protein, which helps in muscle growth, our body’s ability to heal, and our metabolic efficiency. There’s also thylakoid in spinach, which is suggested to be able to curb hunger and cravings.
- If you regularly consume spinach, the potassium, folate, and various antioxidants in the veggie are known to boost your brain power. It’s specifically linked to reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
LETTUCE: The Forgotten Health Hero
- Lettuce possesses anti-inflammatory properties and has shown a significant ability to control our bodies’ inflammation.
- The consumption of lettuce actually drastically reduces cholesterol levels—they proved it in mice. This means that simply upping your lettuce intake could prevent cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
- Goodbye insomnia. Back in the day, lettuce was traditionally used as a sleep inducer. Now, it’s been proven there’s a depressant chemical in lettuce that can naturally ease our bodies into a good night’s sleep.
ARUGULA: The Fine Fettle Expert
- These leaves are detoxing machines due to the number of antioxidants in them. Because of this, they’re also good for bolstering your immune system against illnesses of all kinds and severities.
- Arugula is PACKED with vitamins (K, C, and A), minerals (potassium, manganese, iron, and calcium), and antioxidants. It’ll boost your health, keep your mind clear and focused, and aid in the fight against free radicals.
- Vitamin K has an especially strong presence in arugula. A.K.A., eating arugula promotes bone formation! People who have osteoporosis reportedly saw improvements in bone health when they consistently ate arugula.
ROMAINE: More Than Just Water
- At a mere 17 calories per serving, romaine lettuce is every dieter’s dream. It also has a high water content, which can sate your appetite and hydrate your body.
- One serving of romaine provides your body with 10% of its daily potassium needs. Potassium is vital for maintaining and improving musculature, so if you’re looking for muscle strength, romaine is your leaf.
- It’s the heart-healthy veggie. Forty percent of your Vitamin C daily needs can be satisfied with one serving of romaine. The leaves are especially good at preventing cholesterol from sticking to your blood vessel walls, and thus can help prevent heart disease.
KALE: Super (Food) Star On the Rise
- Kale is a dieter’s Dream. One cup of kale has 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 0 (yes, zero) grams of fat. It’s also filled with vitamins, folate, magnesium, and other nutrients. If we’re talking health boons per calorie, kale’s rate is the best around.
- It’s also packed with Iron. Kale actually has more iron per calorie than beef. Iron is absolutely necessary for your body to function—it aids in the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transports oxygen around the body, helps grow cells, and encourages proper liver function.
- Forget Advil — Kale is a totally effective anti-inflammatory. One cup of kale has 10% of the recommended intake of your daily omega-3-fatty acids. These are the acids that fight inflammation, arthritis, asthma, and other autoimmune disorders.
Trust us, you’ll feel healthier and happier if you eat your greens.
PRO TIP: Grow your own! With customized soil and fertilizer, the nutrients will be richer and the health effects stronger.
*All medical facts sourced from organicfacts.net
The information in this story is not intended to replace a one on one relationship with a qualified medical professional.