We all know that vegetables are not only good for us, they actually help us maintain our health and well-being, and in some cases, certain types of vegetable have even been proved to have disease fighting properties that help us avoid and prevent the onset of certain illnesses. But, while this is true in most cases, not all vegetables are created equally, and there are certain leafy greens that we can never get enough of.Leafy greens are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which makes them the most nutritious food you will ever consume. Vitamins such as A, B and K, together with iron, zinc, calcium and potassium, keep your essential functions running appropriately, while their antioxidants will help protect every cell in your body from the damage caused by an incomplete diet, exposure to the elements and much more.As if that weren’t enough, leafy greens also contain certain chemical elements that can help prevent heart disease and hardened arteries. They also promote a healthy blood pressure and an improved sexual performance. The combination of all these elements is so effective, in some cases they can actually help prevent the formation of cancer cells. It is because of this that vegetables, especially leafy greens should be consumed daily and in good quantities. Even so, some leafy green vegetables have healthier qualities than others, which is why they should be constantly incorporated into a healthy diet. Some of them are:
1. Swiss Chard – This leafy green is one of the most important sources of two very important antioxidants known for inhibiting certain enzymes that make carbohydrates convert into sugar, which means it helps the body regulate its blood sugar levels in a natural manner. On the other hand, Swiss chard is known for the protection it lends to the body’s cells against certain toxins that can cause cancer, together with reducing a person’s propensity to heart disease, and diabetes.
2. Arugula – Arugula is special in its own right because it helps to increase the body’s blood flow, which in turn will enhance a person’s performance. It is also known to prevent and fight heart disease and new research has shown it has the potential to prevent certain types of cancers and prevent stomach ulcers too. Because arugula is somewhat bitter, it is best used as a salad green with a low calorie dressing.
3. Collard greens – Collard greens are the champion of healthy stomachs because they are known for their very efficient binding of bile acids, an action that helps maintain cholesterol at adequate levels as well as prevent different forms of cancer. As if that weren’t enough, collard greens also maintain our natural detox system in a healthy balance, making us feel more active and energetic.
4. Bok choy – For many years it was believed that the body’s most important source of potassium were bananas, but now it is known that their place has been occupied by bok choy. As one of the most important sources of this mineral, bok choy helps the body to build muscle tissue while helping maintain your blood pressure at healthy levels. It is also a wonderful source of Vitamin A which helps maintain good eye sight and keeps your immune system strong by improving the way your body responds to different toxins.
5. Kale – Thanks to its cancer fighting agents, kale should be the number one vegetable to be included in anybody’s diet. It contains a number of compounds known as glucosinolates, which not only prevent cancer cells from forming; they also stop them from multiplying. But kale is not only good for fighting cancer and research has shown it helps protect your heart and reduce inflammation, together with making your bones stronger and lowering your blood sugar, something diabetics and middle aged women can take advantage of. Finally, kale also aids in preventing the loss of vision that comes naturally as we age and can even prevent certain forms of eye disease, making it one of the healthiest foods you can ever ingest.
6. Watercress – When you are affected by blood clotting issues, the best way to boost your body’s natural intake of Vitamin K is by eating watercress. This leafy green also cleans out your arteries and helps stop the buildup of plaque that may cause arthrosclerosis. Together with this, watercress can help bring relief to the inflammation caused by arthritis, as well as reducing your chances of developing certain forms of cancer.
If you already eat these leafy greens you are well on your way to a healthier body, but if you don’t, the time to incorporate them into your daily diet is here. Get a head start on the future by preventing disease well before it happens. If you have doubts, a good talk with your nutritionist or health care provider will serve to give you all the answers you may require.