We hear a lot about green leafy vegetables and our need for them, but I wonder if we actually know just which greens we should be eating. Written by Cari Nierenberg and reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, WebMD ranks green leafy vegetables below.
“Leafy vegetables are brimming with fiber along with vitamins, minerals, and plant-based substances that may help protect you from heart disease, diabetes, and perhaps even cancer.”
Before cooking or juicing any green, I wash with a homemade veggie wash. If I cook greens, I toss with olive oil and fresh garlic and stir fry for 5-7 minutes.
1. Kale: “offers everything you want in a leafy green,” says Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, a culinary educator in Northern California and the author of The Veggie Queen. It’s an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, folate, and potassium.
2. Collards: “Collards are an under-appreciated vegetable and most people don’t know about them,” suggests Nussinow. Obviously, southerners have been eating collard greens for centuries, often with ham hock; however, most of us forget about them for months at a time.
3. Turnip greens: “If you buy turnips with the tops on, you get two vegetables in one,” Nussinow tells WebMD. Turnip greens are very tender and loaded with vitamins A, C, and K as well as calcium.
4. Swiss chard: has a taste similar to beet greens and is a good source of vitamins A and C.
5. Spinach: contains vitamins A and C as well as folate.
6. Mustard greens: are similar in nutrition to turnip leaves and collards.
7. Broccoli: is rich in vitamin C, A, potassium, and folate.
8. Red and Green Leaf and Romaine Lettuce: these lettuces are high in vitamin A and offer some folate. According to Nussinow “the darker the lettuce leaf, the more nutrition it has.”
9. Cabbage: Nussinow considers cabbage the “workhorse of the kitchen.” It also contains cancer-fighting compounds and vitamin C.