Vitamins in Leafy Greens - Nutritional Value Breakdown
by Healthy Homestead Team
5 months ago
We all know leafy greens are some of the healthiest and most nutritious vegetables in the world. But exactly how healthy are they? What are the vitamins you consume when you eat leafy greens? We break down the nutritional value of some of the most popular leafy greens. Now you will know exactly what you are getting in your green juice.
There is a good reason why kale is considered a superfood. It is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables in the world. Even more important, kale is the best source of vitamin K, an underrated vitamin and one that is hard to source.
Vitamin K helps your heart health, and just 100g of kale packs more than 500% of the daily value for vitamin K. In addition, one cup or 100g of kale contain 200% of the daily value of vitamin C and 200% of the daily value of vitamin A. Kale also packs some small amounts of iron, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin B-6.
Cooking kale can reduce its nutritional value. Eating raw kale, on the other hand, in juices or smoothies, is considered the healthiest way to consume the vegetable.
Spinach is another leafy green that is rich in vitamin K, albeit, not as much as kale. One cup of spinach gives you close to 200% of the daily value of vitamin K.
The best part about spinach is its versatility. You can easily incorporate this leafy green into a variety of dishes, including salads, soups, sauces, juices, smoothies, and more.
In terms of other vitamins, spinach contains good amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, and folate. Spinach is one of the recommended foods during a pregnancy diet, as it helps women to increase the folate levels in their body.
In terms of minerals, you can source calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and manganese from spinach.
With their thick leaves and bitter taste, collard greens might not be a popular option for flavor. But no matter the taste, they are rich in vitamins. Same as other leafy greens, they pack a huge amount of vitamin K, essential vitamin for blood clotting. They are also a great source of calcium, vitamin A, folate, and vitamin C.
The best part about collard greens is that they are extremely low in calories and carbs. One cup of collard greens contains just 5g of carbs, which is 1% of your daily need of carbs.
Unlike other leafy greens, cabbage does not contain high amounts of vitamin K. Instead, the benefits of cabbage are wrapped in vitamin C. This leafy green is one of the best sources of vitamin C in the world of vegetables. Some studies show that cabbage has protective properties against cancer.
When fermented, cabbage can have even more benefits, including improving your digestion and supporting immune system.
In addition to vitamin C, cabbage is a decent source of iron, magnesium, and calcium. If you slice cabbage and let it sit for five minutes before cooking, you will enhance its health-promoting benefits.
Lettuce is an annual plant, and it is most often used in salads. Lettuce is also a great addition to any sandwich or wrap, and it can be grilled.
With its crunchy texture, lettuce is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin K, but also some vitamins like iron, magnesium, and calcium.
Studies have shown it reduce the risk of heart diseases.
When it comes to leafy greens you can easily add to juices, watercress is among the top of the list. Easy to incorporate in any juice, watercress is a popular aquatic plant. It is similar to arugula and mustard greens.
People have used watercress in herbal medicine for centuries, and you can reap the benefits by adding it to your juices.
One cup of watercress gives you almost the entire daily value of vitamin A and vitamin C. You also get minerals like calcium and magnesium.