Leafy greens including kale, spinach are the undeniable superstars of the food world. Low in calories, yet high in fiber, vitamins, and phytonutrients, greens are incredible for your health in more ways than you would even suspect.
Whether in whole food form, smoothies, greens have the power to make you look and feel younger, and can even support healthy aging! If you still need convincing, read on to learn about all the amazing benefits of getting more greens in your diet.
It supports memory and reasoning as you enter your golden years? Eat your greens! The greens-eaters had the memory equivalent of someone 11 years younger! This was even true after adjusting for other factors including lifestyle, education, and overall health.
If you struggle with bloating, whether caused by diet, hormones, or other digestive issues, there’s a secret ingredient in leafy greens that could help. Potassium, a mineral and electrolyte found in abundance in greens, is essential to keep an optimal fluid balance in your body. A diet high in sodium (often due to an overreliance on processed foods) can trigger or worsen bloating. A single cup of cooked spinach contains a whopping 840 mg of potassium to get you well on your way to meeting your daily requirements.
Beta-carotene, the plant pigment that we normally associate with carrots and other yellow-orange veggies, is also hiding in leafy greens. Think of leaves changing color in the fall. It’s these vibrant colors that are also responsible for the amazing health benefits of leafy greens.
Beta-carotene can give your skin a youthful glow and even works from the inside-out, protecting your skin from harmful UV rays. Kale is one of the top sources of beta-carotene, and research shows that cooking, juicing, or dehydrating greens helps your body better absorb this carotenoid.
For a natural way to let go of your stress, start every day with a green smoothies! Leafy greens are an excellent source of folate, which helps your body produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.
You can get plenty of calcium for supporting optimal bone health from dark, leafy greens. Green veggies such as broccoli and kale also contain tons of all-important vitamin K.
In order to protect yourself from a battery of chronic illnesses. Leafy greens contain antioxidants and polyphenols, the disease-fighting compounds found in plant foods.
Eating a serving of leafy greens with every meal can support appropriate blood glucose levels. Even just including a little over one extra serving of greens daily can make a big difference!
Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli or brussels sprouts instructs precursor cells in your intestinal lining to protect your body against gut infections and inflammation, control food allergies and intolerances, support a healthy immune response, and seal the leaks in your gut. They also protect your body from bad bacteria, while the fiber in greens feeds your good bacteria making leafy greens an all-around great choice for anyone dealing with gastrointestinal distress of any kind.
Greens such as spirulina, chlorella, parsley, and alfalfa bind to heavy metals and toxins in your blood and carry them out of your body. It helps cleanse your liver support your body’s natural ability to detox, and supports immune function to keep toxins from collecting in your body in the first place.
Raw, leafy greens are one of the best foods you can eat to support your body’s natural ability to produce digestive enzymes.
One of the most promising benefits of greens may be their ability to support your immune system. Greens such as moringa leaf can support support a healthy response to oxidative damage. Studies specifically tout the benefits of cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, arugula, and kale.
While it’s ideal to get these incredible benefits from real, whole foods, not all of these foods are commonly available, in season, or grown in optimal soil, and it can be difficult to get enough of them from diet alone. Try to get them when in season and check out what are the season of greens that will make you in great health and shape.