ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Collard Greens Health Benefits - King of Superfoods!

Updated on October 24, 2016

Collard Greens (Collards) Health Benefits and Nutrient Value

Collard greens (or collards) have been cultivated since ancient times and originate from the Mediterranean region. They were domesticated and cultivated by the ancient Greeks. The Romans also cultivated Collard greens and it is thought they were brought to France and Britain as the Romans conquered lands further north. It wasn’t until much later, possible as late as the 1600’s that they were first introduced to the Americas.

Collard greens belong to the cruciferous family of green leafy vegetables, along with their close relative Kale and also such vegetables as spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. This group of vegetables are known for their powerful health bringing benefits which include anti-cancer properties, the ability to lower ‘bad’ ldl cholesterol, helping blood circulation and helping brain function including improved mood amongst other benefits.

Of all the vegetables of the cruciferous family, Collard greens are the most densely packed with vitamins and minerals that can bring immense benefits as part of a balanced and sensible diet plan.

Collard Green Nutrients
% of RDA
Vitamin K
858%
Vitamin A
80%
Manganese
49%
Vitamin C
46%
Fiber
30%
Calcium
27%
Choline
17%
Vitamin B2
15%
Vitamin B6
14%
Iron
12%
Copper
11%
Vitamin E
11%
Magnesium
10%
Protein
10%
Phosphurous
9%
Omega-3 Fats
8%
Folate
8%
Pantothenic Acid
8%
Vitamin B3
7%
Vitamin B1
7%
Potassium
6%

Vitamin K

Looking at the table above, we can see that collard greens are an immense storehouse of a range of vitamins and minerals. Most striking of all is the amount of vitamin K that you can get from just a cup full. One cup of collard greens contains 858% of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin K, so including them in your diet once or twice a week will mean you will never go short of this nutrient.

Vitamin K is essential for bone health and also to help blood coagulation (clotting.) It was first discovered by Danish scientist Henrik Dam by accident when he tried to find out what would happen when he fed a diet free of cholesterol. After a few weeks the chickens began hemorrhaging and bleeding uncontrollably. Dam tried to rectify the situation by feeding the chickens purified cholesterol but they did not recover at which point he realised he had been removing another compound as well as the cholesterol. That compound became known as vitamin K.

Vitamin K also plays a role in helping to reduce neuronal damage to the brain which can have a beneficial effect for sufferers of Alzheimer's disease.

Vitamin K was first identified by a Danish scientist when an experiment he was conducting on chickens went wrong!
Vitamin K was first identified by a Danish scientist when an experiment he was conducting on chickens went wrong!

Collard Greens and Heart Health

It is thought that of all the cruciferous vegetables, collard greens have the greatest ability to reduce ldl cholesterol and hence should be introduced into your diet on a regular basis if you are at risk of developing heart disease known as atherosclerosis. Collard greens help to lower ldl cholesterol due to their ability to bind bile acids in the digestive tract. Bile acids are made from cholesterol and this binding process makes it easier for the body to excrete bile acids, hence the cholesterol lowering properties. Collards are also thought to help in the process of reversing damage to blood vessels.

Anti-Cancer Properties

Collard green have a huge role to play in both the prevention and fighting of many cancers. The main cancers so far identified as being responsive to a diet which regularly includes collard greens are bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer.

Collard green are packed full of anti-oxidants, including kaempferol, which is thought to play a role in reducing our reaction to allergenic substances (Hay fever sufferers take note) and also healthy amounts of vitamins A, C and E, manganese, quercetin, caffeic acid and ferulic acid. Collard greens help fight against cancer by reducing the amount of oxidative stress to body cells.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Collard greens have a range of anti-inflammatory properties. Collards are a fantastic source of vitamin K, as we have already mentioned, and also omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds help reduce chronic inflammation, which can play a role in preventing cancers, heart disease and a whole range of other diseases.

Digestive support

Collard greens are dense in fibre and hence have a role to play in assisting healthy digestive functioning. Collards help prevent the growth of too harmful bacteria in our guts and also help prevent harmful bacterial material clinging too much to our stomach. The fibre content in collard greens is also thought to be helpful in the prevention of colon cancer and offer protection against haemorrhoids and constipation.

Collard Greens and Can Help Slow Memory Loss and Alzheimer's disease

Recent research shows that eating a diet rich in green leafy veg, otherwise known as the cruciferous family of vegetables, can have a significant effect in preventing memory loss into old age and can also have a large role to play in preventing the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

In a major study, scientists followed a group of 950 volunteers over an average of five years and came up with some startling results that everybody should be aware of. They found that mental functioning seriously declines in individuals who are deficient in vitamin K, lutein, folate and beta-carotene. The study was actually the first of its kind to track levels of vitamin k over a specified time period and link it to cognitive decline, or the deterioration of mental function in adults as they age.

The study participants had an average age of eighty one years old and the researchers concluded that those participants who ate green leafy veg on a daily basis - one to two portions on a daily basis - had the cognitive ability of a person eleven years younger than those who ate none. Yes, you read that correctly, the results suggest that if you eat green leafy veg every day, by the time you are eighty one you could have the equivalent mental function of the average seventy year old.

This has to be the cheapest and tastiest way of reducing our chances of suffering with memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease as we age. As collard greens are packed full of more vitamins than any other cruciferous veg, they have to be the ideal food to help us keep a healthy body and a healthy mind.

The researchers also found that a diet rich in green leafy veg is most effective in keeping us healthy if we combine it with brightly colored fresh fruit and veg. The ideal fruit to combine your green leafy veg for maximum health benefit is most probably tomatoes, which also have properties for fighting cancer and heart disease, reduce the damage caused by smoking, keep the skin looking younger, improve bone health and much more. You can read about the health benefits of tomatoes here.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Really well done. Collard greens it is for me and my home. Thanks. You are ahead of the curve on this. I reckon my southern friends would say I told you so. My wife is a pho' cook, we will get this into our diet. Thanks again. Oh and by the way, really well written.

    • train-4-life profile image

      Train for Life 

      22 months ago from Marshfield, MA

      Great read! Thank you

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)