Benefits Of Collard Greens
About Collard Greens
Collard greens are green leafy vegetables of various cultivars belonging to the Brassica oleracea species, the cruciferous vegetables to which cabbage, kale, spinach etc belong but it belongs to the Acephala group which is a variety whose leaves do not form a closed head at the top but instead the leaves grow around a central stem in an upright fashion.
The leaves are dark green, large and smooth and taste slightly bitter, They are available round the year but the colder weather around the months of November to April make for more nutritious and slightly sweeter taste leaves. Leaves are best picked before they are fully mature.
Collard is supposed to have originated in Asia Minor and grown in ancient Greece and Rome. It is a staple vegetable in Southern United States.
Collard greens keep well for about 3 days in a refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts Collard Greens
- Collard greens are extremely low in calories (about 30 calories/100 grams) and devoid of cholesterol.
- They are high in soluble and insoluble dietary fiber.
- Rich in phytonutrients like sulforaphane and di indolyl methane (DIM). Both these fight many types of cancers. DIM additionally, enhances immunity and is anti bacterial and anti viral in action.
- The leaves are extremely high in Vitamin K (about 426% of the daily requirement per 100 grams) and Vitamin A ( about 220% of the daily requirement per 100 gms).
- Flavonoids like lutein, carotenes zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin act as antioxidants.
- Rich in Vitamin C, folates and members of the Bcomplex group like, Vit B2, B3, B5 and B6.
Nutrition Facts Collard Greens
Collard greens (Brassica oleracea L. Acephala group)
fresh, raw, Nutrition value per 100 g
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Percentage of RDA
Different Types Of Collard Leaves
The 3 Health Benefits Of Collard Greens
The 3 main benefits of collard greens are, the detox benefits, the antioxidant benefits and the anti inflammatory benefits. A little more detail is provided below.
- Detox Benefits
The detox benefits are provided by the phytonutrients - the 4 major glucosinolates present in collard greens.
- Antioxidant Benefits
The high levels of Vitamin C, E, beta carotene and manganese and the phytonutrients, quercetin, caffeic acid, ferulic acid and kaempferol provide the excellent antioxidant benefits.
- Anti inflammatory Benefits
The super high levels of Vitamin K, good levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, and the phytonutrient glucobrassicin provide excellent anti inflammatory benefits.
Specific Health Benefits Of Collard Greens
Toxin related damage has been found to be instrumental in our body cells turning cancerous.It is imperative, therefore, that we eat foods that boost the body's detox mechanism. The glucosinolates in collard greens do just that by activating and regulating the body's detoxifying enzymes.
- Reduces Cancer Risk
The 4 main glucosinolates present in good amounts in collard greens, provide maximum protection against a wide variety of cancers, that of the, bladder, colon, prostrate, breast, lung and ovary.
- Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Among all the cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, mustard greens collard greens provide the maximum cholesterol lowering benefits. Also, steamed collard greens were found to have a greater capacity to reduce cholesterol than raw collard greens due to an increase in the bile binding capacity, in the digestive tract, when steamed cooked.
- Enhances The Body Systems
Collard greens support the capacity and balance of the body's 3 systems, namely; the detox system, the antioxidant system and the anti inflammatory system. An imbalance in these body systems increases risk to cancer.
- Benefits The Cardiovascular system
The sulforaphane in collard greens provide anti inflammatory benefits by not only preventing blood vessel damage but even reversing it.
The folate content prevents build up of homocysteine which has been found to increase plaque deposition in arteries.
- Benefits Digestion
The rich dietary fiber content not only helps in keeping the digestion in good shape but the sulforaphane protects the stomach lining by curtailing the growth of H.pylori and also preventing the bacterium from attaching itself to the stomach cell wall.
- Eases Menopause
It reduces stress and promotes natural sleep, maintains bone health, decreases hot flushes due its magnesium, calcium, Vitamin E and K content.
Cooking Collard Greens
To derive the full nutrient and health benefits, after rinsing the collard greens under water, cut the leaves and stems into 1/2 inch pieces and let them sit for about 5 minutes. This releases all the nutrients and goodness in them. To get the maximum benefits collard green should be steamed for 5 minutes before consuming.
Sprinkling lemon juice before allowing them to sit increases the formation of, cancer risk reducing isothiocyanates, in them.
Kale & Collard Greens
Collard Green Calories
1 cup of fresh collard greens contain :
- 50 calories according to Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
- 56 calories according to University of Illinois Extension.
- 62 calories in frozen collards according to USDA.
- 50 calories in 1 cup cooked collards according to WHFoods.
Inspite of the marginal variation in calories as per different agencies, collards are still low in calories which together with good dietary fiber make it an excellent food for reducing weight.
Collard greens have appreciable quantities of oxalates. Hence those with kidney and gall bladder problems or stones should avoid consuming them as excess oxalates can crystallise.
Oxalates tend to lower calcium absorption from the food. However a healthy digestive tract, proper chewing and eating meals unhurriedly and in a stress free state, ensures absorption of calcium from foods having both calcium and oxalates.
Because of its high Vitamin K content, those using anticoagulants should consume collard greens cautiously.
Make Collard Green Juice Or Juice Any Other Vegetable Without A Juicer
Collard Greens Juice
Collard green juice has various health benefits.
- The juice is full of healthy Vitamin A. 1 cup of collard green juice supplies almost 50% of the daily Vitamin A needed by the body. For healthier eyes and better eyesight drink collard green juice.
- The juice has loads of Vitamin C. This vitamin scavenges free radicals which are especially concentrated in cigarette smoke and polluted air as well as being produced by sunlight. Vitamin C also raises the immunity levels as well as heals wounds.
- 1 cup of collard green juice provides 5% of the daily calcium requirement. Not only is calcium needed to keep and make bones strong, nerves and muscles also need calcium to do their job effectively.
- There are various phytonutrients in collard juice. They keep the body healthy, lower risk towards cancer and heart disease.
- Collard juice is extremely high in Vitamin K making for better bone health.
- It is excellent for detoxifying the body. The presence of 4 main glucosinolates in significant amounts - namely, glucobrassicin, glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian and glucotropaeolin, not only activate the detoxifying enzymes but also control their action. Detoxifying support is present for carrying out both the phase 1 and phase 2 activities.
The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.
Some of my other hubs on Healthy Foods
- 6 Benefits Of Fish Liver Oil
Cod liver oil, has been traditionally used for its many benefits to health. To know more about the health benefits of cod liver oil, which has been rightly called a superfood, read on...
- The Health Benefits Of Green Kale - The Leafy Vegetable
Kale is a primitive leafy vegetable with numerous phytonutrients beneficial to health. To find out the health benefits of kale - the healthy vegetable that is among the top10 healthy vegetables' list, read on...
- The Amazing Health Benefits Of Broccoli - An Exceptional Anticancer Superfood And More
Broccoli is a nutrient rich miracle vegetable and a healthy food. To know more about the health benefits of this superfood, read on...
- The Health Benefits Of Yogurt
Yogurt or dahi as it is called in India is a very healthy form of fermented and set milk which can safely be consumed even by those whom milk does not agree. Apart from its various health benefits it can be used in a variety of ways to enliven food.
Green Smoothie Cleanse - Collard Greens
Vegan Collard Greens Recipe
Raw Vegetable Wraps With Collard Greens And Tahini Sauce
Collard Green Quesadillas(Vegan)
© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly
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