A well-balanced diet is important to keep you active all through the day, as it gives you enough nutrients for growth and repair. It helps you stay healthy and strong and prevent diet-related illnesses.
If the body is getting all the nutrients and minerals its ability to fight illness is at its peak. It is because the immunity of the body is working well.
Now when we talk about a well-balanced diet, it’s not necessary that we need to add animal diet or dairy products to meet up the daily nutrient requirement.
All the vitamins and minerals are also available to us from the green vegetable grown in our farms. But still when thinking about eating a balanced diet most of us run towards the fortified food and animal-based diet as we find most of the vitamins and proteins are available in good quantities in them.
Vegetables are a must for a healthy diet. Along with providing nutrients, they are also low in calories. From avocados, brussels sprouts to green tea, green foods protect our body against the disease. Amongst the numerous health benefits offered by leafy green a few are(1)
- Reducing obesity risk
- Controlling blood pressure
- Preventing mental decline
- Reducing the risk of heart disease
Green Vegetable Which Reduces Health Risk
There are various green veggies which are a powerhouse of nutrient and many of which we are not aware of.
- It is one of nutrient dense vegetable as it contains nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants.
- One cup of raw kale contains 684% of the daily value for vitamin K, 206% of the daily value for vitamin A, and 134% of the daily value of vitamin C (2).
- The antioxidants present in it reduce the risk of disease by oxidative stress. It is best consumed raw as cooking reduces its nutrient value (3, 4).
- With a rich nutrient profile, it protects the body against cancer, boosts bone health and increases the immunity.
- Arugula is another leafy green which is also known with various other names such as colewort, roquette, rucola, and rucoli.
- This nutrient-packed green vegetable bears a lot of cosmetic and medicinal benefits. It is packed with pro-vitamin A, vitamin B9 and vitamin K (5, 6).
- It is also a rich source of dietary nitrated which help widen the blood vessel and increase blood flow and reduces blood pressure (7).
- Cabbage belongs to the brassica family along with Brussel sprouts, kale, and broccoli (8).
- Vegetables of this family contain glucosinolates which give them a bitter flavor. A study also shows that these plants have cancer-protective properties and protect against cancer especially of lung and esophagus (9, 10).
- Cabbage can also be fermented into sauerkraut, which is of numerous health benefits. It improves digestion, aids weight loss, and improves the immune system (11).
- Beet is a popular food with an impressive nutrient profile. Even its leaves, which are often ignored, are rich in nutrients.
- The leaves are edible and rich in potassium, riboflavin, vitamin A and K. One cup of cooked beet greens gives 220% of the daily value of vitamin A, 37% of the daily value of potassium and 17 % of fiber (12). They also contain lutein, beta- carotene which is known to reduce the risk of eye disorders such as macular degeneration and cataracts (13, 14).
- They can be added to salad, soups and eaten as a side dish.
- Spinach is a popular green vegetable which can be made in a variety of dishes. It has an impressive nutrient profile.
- Packed with folate it plays a role in the production of red blood cells and also helps prevent neural tube defect in pregnancy (15).
- Folate can be taken along with the prenatal vitamins during pregnancy.
- Turnip greens are the leave of turnip plant. It is packed with nutrients including calcium, manganese, folate, vitamin A, C, and K (16).
- It is a cruciferous vegetable and is useful in decreasing various health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and inflammation (17, 18).
- It contains antioxidants which are helpful in reducing stress. Turnip greens can be used in place of kale and spinach if they are not available.
- A cup of green tea every day can be really beneficial as it has been linked with lowering the risk of heart diseases, certain cancers, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease (19).
- Basil leaves are well-known for their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. They can be put into salads, pasta, or any Italian dish.
- Basil leaves are a good source of vitamin K and iron and are a rich antioxidant source. It is known to protect the organs and tissues from industrial pollutants, physical stress, and prolonged exertion. It counters metabolic stress through normalization of blood glucose, blood pressure, and lipid levels. It also has positive effects on memory and cognitive function (20)
- Looking over the numerous benefits of green vegetables, eating green can actually be very beneficial for a healthy living. Most of them are available all throughout the year and can be easily incorporated into your meals.
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