Leafy greens are a great way to improve your health because they contain many vital nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. As a nutritionist, I would highly recommend incorporating more of the following lettuce leaves into your diet.
Spinach is easy to get all year round and is full of iron, calcium, potassium and vitamins B6, C and K. It is also a good source of antioxidants, which can reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease and cancer.
It is best eaten uncooked, as part of a salad, as cooking tends to destroy the polyphenols and flavanols that occur naturally in the leaves. Certain polyphenols and flavonoids may reduce the chance of developing certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Kale has a unique flavor that can vary somewhat depending on the variety and how it is prepared. If you can handle the bitter taste, kale is packed with important micronutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. It is also a good source of vitamins, including vitamins A, B, E, C and K.
Avoid blanching and cooking kale as it can reduce the amount of water-soluble minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals in the leaves. Kale can be eaten raw in salads.
A cup of uncooked kale (21 g) has only nine calories.
My third choice is swiss chard, which has a slightly sweet taste and good amounts of vitamins A and C. Even a small amount of chard (about 175 grams) can meet your daily needs for vitamin K, which is important for the blood. clotting and healthy bones.
Swiss chard, which comes in a variety of colors, also has essential minerals such as iron, copper, potassium and calcium.
The necklace is a good source of lutein, which is important for eye health. They are full of vitamins A and C and minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, copper and selenium and are a good source of fibre. As with spinach, you can get this all year round.
If you’re in the mood for a leafy green with a fresh, sharp, slightly bitter and peppery flavor, consider adding arugula to your plate. People have been consuming it since at least Roman times and it is a popular pizza topping.
Arugula, also known as arugula and eruca, is packed with nitrates that studies have shown can improve athletic performance. Arugula is also rich in vitamins K and C, as well as calcium and polyphenols.
Crunchy and mildly flavored, romaine lettuce is full of nutrient-dense goodness. It is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, K, C and folate (a B vitamin that is especially important during pregnancy). These nutrients are essential for maintaining overall health and supporting a healthy immune system.
Romaine, also known as lettuce, is also a source of fiber, which is known to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer.
If you enjoy a little spice and want to incorporate a leafy green with a distinct flavor into your meals, watercress is a great choice. Not only does it provide a burst of flavor, it also provides a rich source of vitamins A and C and antioxidants. Research suggests that watercress may be a therapeutic agent in oral cancer.
If you’re looking for a leafy green with a mild flavor and satisfying texture, bok choy is a great choice. This variety of Chinese white cabbage can be used in stir-fries, soups, salads or simply sautéed as a side dish.
It is rich in fiber, as well as various vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This leafy green can help maintain bone health, immunity, vision, heart health, blood pressure, and possibly prevent certain types of cancer.
I prefer to have a balanced diet and adding these leafy greens can help me stay healthy, improve my immunity and reduce my risk of various chronic diseases. They are also low in calories, making them a good choice for those who want to control their weight. So enjoy them in salads, smoothies, soups or as a side dish to your favorite dishes.
Svrajit Sarkar, Senior Lecturer in Nutrition, Citi, University of London
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
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