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Go Green by Eating the Top Four Leafy Green Vegetables in Your Meals

Updated on October 19, 2016

You Are What You Eat

Everybody have heard that expression before, especially when we have food stains on our clothes, when it comes to eating and not to cooking. If you add a leafy green vegetable or two to your meals, it can provide fiber for your body, and just like with water, they're both good for you, and helps with bladder control. It's also the number one way to eat regularly to improve health.

Each leafy green vegetable will be great to any meals (or some smoothies) with plenty of nutrients for you and your body. Feel free to mix it up and add one or two to your dishes everyday. Keep this list handy the next time you create your menus and head to the grocery store.

Kale is the number one healthy and leafy green veggie to eat in your diet from salads to eaten raw

Give Me Some Kale

Kale is the widely-used leafy green vegetable to use in any meal as a nutritional powerhouse. It's an excellent source of Vitamin A, C and K and sulphur-containing phytonutritents, a good amount of calcium, and supplies foliate and potassium. You can buy them in salad kits, or buy them fresh to cook them raw for a side dish. You can also added them for a healthy smoothie, too.

Depending on the variety, they come in a range of color from cream to black. Before you cook with kale and other greens, swish them in a water-filled sink, drain it, and then repeat the rinsing, until it's dirt-free. Try rubbing the leaves with tahini or olive oil, and cook them with olive oil, broth or garlic for five minutes.

A bowl of mixed greens is good for you from mustard to collards greens as a perfect side dish to any meal

Swiss Chard is packed of nutrients and fiber from the colored stems down to the green leaves

Meet the Greens: Collards and Turnips

The second and third most widely-used leafy green vegetables are collard and turnip greens. Collards have the similar nutritional value as kale that contain Vitamin K and other minerals, but they have a stronger cabbage-like taste, and a heartier and chewier texture. It's also popular with the raw food movement, when its leaves are used as a wrapper instead of tortillas and bread. Down south, they're slow-cooked with ham hock or a smoked turkey leg. Collard greens are also cooked the same way as kale for southern-cooking.

As for turnip greens, it's the most tender green vegetable and needed less cooking. It's a Southern favorite that's traditionally made with pork. It's loaded with Vitamins A, C, and K and calcium, present with iron, provides magnesium, and contains potassium. If you buy it with the tops on, you have two vegetables for the price of one.The leafy green tops are popular in growing them across the USA, thanks to their hearty nutritional profile and assertive flavor. When you buy turnip greens, choose one with a consistent color, slender steams and crispy leaves.

Bonus tip: You can purchase a can of mixed greens at your grocery market for a side dish!


Want some Swiss Chard with your meal?

Swiss chard is the fourth most-used leafy green and fibrous vegetable. It has red stems, stalks and veins in its leaves. It has a beet-like taste and a soft texture that's perfect for sauteeing food. You can buy it raw and cook it with the same directions as the greens and kale up above. The oxalates are reduced by cooking and can bind to calcium, which is a concern for people who are prone to kidney stones. If you want a sweet-and-sour Swiss chard, add some vinegar and raisins to your greens.

Swiss chard has a good source of Vitamins A, C and K, along with antioxidants and contains oxalates. It also contains the recommended daily amount of potassium, present with magnesium, and also produces collagen.


Top leafy green veggies

Which one of these top leafy green vegetables you would like to try?

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The Many Health Benefits from Eating Leafy Greens

Kale
Collard Greens
Turnip Greens
Swiss Chard
 
Carotenoids and flavoids are anti-cancer antioxidants
Laden with fiber which minimized the severity of "LDL" in blood cholesterol, buillds up excellent resistance power to onset of colon cancer, acute bowel disorder problems and hemorroid problems, helps people steer clear of free radicals and other infections
Acts as antioxidant in body, promotes healthy eyesight and prevents age-related eye disorders
Supports healthy bones and prevents osteoporosis and excessive action from cells breaking down bones
 
Rich in promoting eye-health with lutein and Zeaxanthin compounds
Purifies the body as it performs as anti-oxidant, ensures better bone development
Helps your body target and get rids of toxins and free radicals that contribute to cancer
Prevents and treats coronary artery disease and various other diseases, prevents inflammation and helps maintains potassium in blood sugar levels, and reduces blood cholesterol
 
Binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol and reduces risk of heart disease
Healthy cell formation and reduces severity of Alzheimer's and miminizes destructive impact on brain
Responsible for healthy red blood cell formation and development, good for bone and teeth health that prevents bone softening, bone fractures and osteoporosis
Maintains proper health heath and normal blood clotting, helps deals with cardiovarscular diseases and hypertension
 
One cup is 70 calories with no fat, 4g of proten, 5g of fiber and 10g of carbs.
Increases physical stamina and energy
 
Collagen production for healthy skin maintaince and health to provide healthy glow and acne prevention, stimulate and improve immune system, protects eyes from macular degeneration and useful for anemia sufferers, helps cure tiredness and depression, prevents Alzheimer's and cancers, and control Diabetes
 
 
One cup is 25 calories, no fat, 2 g of protein, 3g of fiber and 5g of carbs.
One cup is 20 calories, .1g of fat, 1.2g of protein, 3.5g of fiber, 4.4g of carbs
One cup is 7 calories with 0.07g of fat, 0.6 of fiber, 0.7g of protein, and 1.4g of carbs
 

Give it a go!

Take a look at my healthy green benefit table for the top four leafy green fibrous vegetables on the bottom. You might find a leafy green vegetable you'll like and give it a try. Add it to your salads or side dishes today and get those vitamins and other health benefits from your head to your toe, today! Next time, we'll do the next round of the top leafy green vegeables, including various lettuces, cabbage and lettuce!

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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Of the four greens you highlighted, Swiss chard is my favorite. I have also grown it in our garden. Should think of doing it again!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Peggy for stopping by. I never had Swiss chard before. I'll give it a go. I'll do the next group in a week or two.

    • Emese Fromm profile image

      EmeseRéka 2 years ago from The Desert

      This is a great informative article on greens. I have to admit, I eat generally healthy, but somehow most of these greens don't make it to my table every day, except kale. I will have to incorporate them more often. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      You're welcome Emese. I'll be doing another one next week on #5-8. Try salads or a side dish. That's what I did. Nice to meet you.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      There's some great information here that I could use. I'm not a fan of greens and leafy vegetables, but I'm willing to try some of these. Great hub.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Chris for stopping by. It doesn't hurt to try new foods. I'll post part two next week.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We have lots of bok choy, mustard greens, morning glory and other greens I don't know the names of where we are now which is Phnom Penh, Cambodia so we find it easy to include them in our meals. My only concern are the pesticides used in planting these.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      how about mustard greens, here it is very popular because it is cheap and easy to cook

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Mustard greens is another healthy green. That would be featured in part two's healthy green hub with lettuce and and spinach. Thanks for stopping by Peach.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Wow, some of those greens I don't know about. But bok choy is a super food. It'll be mention on my spring superfood hub real soon. Mustard greens will be in part two next week. Thanks for stopping by Aesta1.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Kristen. We love Kale and Swiss Chard. Two more of my favorites are escarole and arugula. Great job, it's good to know we are trying to eat healthy.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Bill. I never had Swiss chard before or escarole and arugula. Good for you! Part two is coming next week.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      As a child we had these served often and honestly they were not high on my hit parade. No veggies were really...I was a terribly picky eater.

      But now, I love these veggies. YUM...

      Angels are on the way to you this afternoon ps

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Patricia for stopping by. I'm the same way too with my veggies. I'll be doing part two next week. Kale, and mixed greens aren't too bad. You have to get used to the flavor.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 2 years ago from USA

      So many great benefits in those greens. When I was a child, my grandma would pick up so many greens that used to grow wild in our area. She knew them by name. I still remember her boiling them in the cold winter in our country home and all the windows were covered in vapor. She always said that bitter tasting greens were the best for our health.

    • Sharlee01 profile image

      Sharon Stajda 2 years ago from Shelby Township Michigan

      Just love this hub... So much great healthful information

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Sharlee. I'm happy to share. Part two is coming up later this week.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      I used to know someone who eschewed green food. He would run screaming from this!

      I have never had swiss chard but I am willing to try it.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Give it a try, Poetryman and thanks for stopping by. Part two will be posted next week.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I love greens! I should grow more of them. Maybe when I get more settled. Sometimes I crave them! I've been known to eat spinach right out of a can!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Hey Victoria! Go for it. I'm not a big spinach fan though. I'll be posting part two next week.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Awesome greens. All these are very good for health. You have described them in very details with nutrient facts. I have simply instructed how to prepare the dishes in my hub titled Spicy chutneys using fibre rich green vegetables.

      Voted up and awesome.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Part 3 will be in a few weeks.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      I learned many years ago in a class that isn't even taught anymore called home economics that people should eat at least 1 green, yellow, or leafy vegetable every day. Not to say one should limit oneself to that alone, but at least one of those vegetables should be included in one's menu every day. It prevents scurvy which used to be a major problem.

      Very good advice here. I love vegetables and salads and would eat them all the time if available. My favorite things.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      That's a great idea, C.E. Thanks so much for stopping by and eating salads, too. I've been eating salads for about a year now.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 24 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      The only vegetable I dis-like is kale. Being a vegetarian I've really tried ways to disguise kale like adding it to my smoothies. If I could find a good recipe I'd most likely eat it more often. Love your hubs and sharing this one.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 24 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Audrey, thanks for sharing and visiting my hub. Really? Hmm. That's okay. I don't like cauliflower, even if it's not green. Part 3 is coming this month.

    • BWD316 profile image

      Brian Dooling 24 months ago from Connecticut

      Great suggestions! I actually growing kale, Swiss chard and turnip in my spring garden right now! Can't wait to harvest and enjoy some healthy leafy greens!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 24 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks for stopping by BWD316. Good for you for growing them in your own garden. Enjoy!

    • Alphadogg16 profile image

      Kevin W 24 months ago from Texas

      Very interesting and informative article on these 4 greens Kristen Howe. I eat all of them on a regular basis with the exception of the Swiss Chard. I have never actually tried them, but think I will give them a shot to try something different. Thumbs up on your hub.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 24 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      you're very welcome Alphadogg. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Check out part 2 of the leafy greens, while part 3 is coming soon this month. I never had Swiss chard either.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 23 months ago

      interesting read. thanks for the hub.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 23 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Torrilyn for reading and commenting. You're welcome.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 22 months ago from Essex, UK

      Thanks Kristen. I must admit I'm not a healthy eater, but do recognise the value of these leafy greens, and hence the value of this page. There's no getting away from it - I shall have to try to incorporate them more often into meals in future! Alun

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 22 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Alun, you're very welcome. Add some green veggies if you can. Give it a try. Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for the last installment real soon.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I keep discovering new greens here in Cambodia that I have not eaten before. It's quite an adventure. We often put a lot in soups.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 5 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Hey Mary, thanks for the visit. That's a good idea to add them to soups.

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