The Benefits of Eating More Greens
Cultural traditions vary from place to place but some tend to have similarities.
Cooked greens are a New Year’s tradition in different countries. It is suggested that green leaves have the appearance of folded money and are a sign of economic fortune in the year to come. The Danish eat kale, the Germans eat sauerkraut and here in the southern United States, we eat collard greens.
While eating greens once a year may not bring you wealth, consuming them regularly will bring you good health! Not many foods can compare to the high nutritional value of leafy greens. Greens contain an array of antioxidants and other phytonutrients with disease fighting compounds. The health promoting benefits include heart health, detoxification, anti-inflammatory and digestive health.
Do you have high cholesterol?
A recent study showed that steamed greens, especially collard greens, have the ability to bind to bile acids in the digestive tract. When this binding takes place, more bile acids are excreted from the body. What are bile acids made up of? Cholesterol! The increased consumption of steamed leafy greens will help your body rid itself of extra cholesterol.
Nutritional Facts for Collard Greens
- Excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K
- Contains Carotenoids such as Lutein and Zeaxanthin (GREAT for eye health)
- Calcium – One cup has more calcium than 6 ounces of milk
- Good source of Folate, Manganese and Magnesium
- Includes 4 glucosinolates that are cancer preventative
How to Prepare for Cooking
Make sure you wash all leaves thoroughly before cooking. Buying local is best as the leaves will be fresher and have the highest nutritional content. Removing the stems and chopping the leaves before cooking is demonstrated in this quick video. You can save the stems to use for making broths and creamy soups.