Many of us are not motivated to add greenery to our plates. If that is the case, then you do not realize all the health benefits they provide. Research has shown green vegetables help with colon health, cancer, and heart health. They contain minerals, folate, antioxidants, and flavonoids which help decrease free radicals from damaging cells in your body and can lower your risk of cancer and many diseases. Some can contain lutein and beta-carotene which support eye health and may reduce risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Green foods can help increase energy, immunity, strengthen bones, increase gut health, and detox your body. Start adding a little greenery to each meal and your health will benefit from it.
Here are some examples and their benefits.
- Kale contains vitamin K which helps with bone health and blood clotting. It is also high in fiber helping with colon health. Kale is an excellent source of vitamin C and flavonoids, decreasing free radical damage in the body which decreases cancer risk, and helps the immune system work effectively so it can fight disease. Some studies show kale can regulate blood sugar with a meal. It also contains lutein and beta-carotene which support eye health and may reduce risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Microgreens are young greens sprouted from seeds of herbs and vegetables. They are flavorful and packed with vitamin C, E, and K.
- Beet greens are rich in vitamin A and K, fiber, riboflavin, calcium, and potassium. They also contain antioxidants beta-carotene and lutein.
- Seaweed contains iron and zinc, and is a good source of iodine, helping with thyroid function.
- Bok Choy contains selenium, helping with proper thyroid function, immunity, cognitive function, and cancer prevention.
- Green beans are high in fiber which can help lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar.
- Asparagus is an excellent source of fiber, an array of vitamin B, and folate.
- Broccoli is rich in vitamin C, K, folate, potassium, manganese, and iron.
- Collard Greens are good sources of vitamin K and help with healthy bones.
- Kiwi contains fiber, vitamin C, and folate. Research suggests that kiwi contains serotonin and eating them regularly could help people fall asleep faster and have a longer and better quality of sleep.
- Swiss Chard is rich in vitamin A, C, K, potassium, and manganese.
- Spinach is packed with folate, vitamin A, K, and manganese.
- Romaine lettuce is a good source of vitamin A and K.
- Turnip greens are high in vitamins A, C, K, folate, calcium, and manganese. They also contain several antioxidants that help decrease stress in the body.
- Avocados contain healthy fats that help with cholesterol levels and heart health. It is also high in vitamin E which helps with free radicals, memory & cognitive function. Avocados also contain lutein which helps with preventing age related macular degeneration. They are high in fiber helping with colon health and maintaining healthy weight.
Keep in mind to eat well balanced meals daily. Watch out for some medications such as Warfarin (Coumadin) as it interacts with foods high in vitamin K. Also, if you have stomach/bowel issues and kidney disease you may want to talk to your physician about making any changes in your diet.
Sources: Healthline, WebMD, Everyday Health, and Medical News Today
About Shima: Shima graduated from the University of Arkansas with a BS in Microbiology in 1997 and worked at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences with the Infectious Disease Department on clinical trials for over 4 years. She then pursued a career change and graduated with her Doctorate degree from St. Louis College of Pharmacy in 2007. During her years enrolled in pharmacy school she worked part-time at St. Louis University, where she helped design a laboratory protocol for the BCG Vaccine Study, which received full funding in 2011.
Shima joined Sinks and Medley Pharmacy in September of 2014 as a pharmacist. She continually strives to focus on improving outcomes and raising the quality of life for patients with all types of medical ailments and conditions.