As the environment is getting more and more polluted every day, the importance of consuming green vegetables also increases. Most, if not all green vegetables have all the daily needed amount of water-soluble or fat-soluble vitamins and minerals. Some green vegetables even contain protein, calcium, and other substance more than milk, meat, or other types of food. The great thing is, all vegetables have fiber, low to no fat, cholesterol-free, and a magnificent amount of antioxidants.
Eating green vegetables is beneficial for our health. It supplies us with the nutrients we need for our body to function well and optimally. It lowers the risk of several chronic diseases that are due to bad diet and environmental factors. Its fibers help our digestive system to process food properly. It also contains antioxidants that fight free radicals and improve our immune system. A better immune system means you won’t get sick easily and you will not be prone to acquiring several infectious diseases.
Some vegetables are more available than the others, depending on region availability. We have provided a Data Visualization so you can see how widely available green vegetables all over the world, wherever you are. The supply of green vegetables has exponentially grown as time goes by, so there is no reason for you not to have access to it and include it in your diet.
You should try all green vegetables to vary the taste as well as cycle all the nutrition through your body. The following are our recommendations of 12 nutritious green vegetables that you can find at any local market or your backyard.
This is one of the vegetables that appear more in other places and not on your plates. Because of its high level of antioxidant and water content, cucumber is often used in skin care products to help with anti-aging and hydration. Cucumber can also help reduce risks of cancer, support your brain, relieve pain, and aids in weight loss. It is better to eat them raw, but you can also have them stir-fried, roasted, pickled, or used as water infusion or garnish.
Spinach is well-known for having the most foliage compared to any greens, spinach also has a lot of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial phytonutrient. To name a few spinach benefits it improves eyesight, heightens cognition and concentration, treat macular degeneration, keeps liver functioning, maintains blood pressure, boosts metabolism, and aids in weight loss. The best part is, spinach just tastes so delicious without hesitation. Spinach can be consumed raw, in salad, juice, smoothie, or cook in the soup, pan-fried, pasta, and lasagna to name a few.
Kale is a low-calorie vegetable that has more iron than beef, more omega 3 than oil, and more calcium than milk, kale is the top 1 trend on any super green foods list. Just like any other green leafy vegetables, kale has a load of fiber, antioxidants, anti-inflammation, and vitamins of all sorts. The only downside is the bitter flavor of raw kale, which scares off most people, even adults. Lightly steam or sauté kale leaf to decrease the bitter flavor; dry or roast to make crispy kale chips and reserve all the goodness.
One of the top vegetables for fighting free radicals with antioxidants, decreasing breast cancer, defying aging, and detoxifying human the body and systems. Artichoke is also a good source of iron, fiber, and lots of vitamins. Artichoke is widely available at most grocery stores as fresh vegetables or in a pickle jar. You might also see their dehydrated form, which often used for tea infusion. Artichoke’s heart can be steamed, baked, boiled, or stir-fried. Either way, they taste good and healthy for your body too.
Rather than a leaf, broccoli looks more like a flower in its raw form or a tree stalk when cutting out. Broccoli has lots of folates, fiber, and similar, broccoli helps lower the risk of many health issues like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other chronic diseases. Unlike many leafy green vegetables, broccoli does not have that bitter flavor and it can be cooked in a variety of dishes, from soup, raw appetizer, salad to food substitution like plant-based sushi. Even the broth from blanched broccoli tastes quite delicious too. If your child is not a fan of vegetables, just use broccoli as stuffing ingredients to get in those extra green calories.
Like many other green vegetables, arugula can help to prevent diabetes, improve eyes and heart health while aiding in digestion and weight loss. Because of its strong peppery flavor, arugula is often found in salad or pasta topping. You can crush or dry arugula and just use them as herb & spices as toppings to many other dishes.
Edamame is a great source of protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin C, this young version of soybean can be a complete steal for your plant-based diet or vegetarian meal. Edamame is delicious, and you can eat them alone as a snack, or with soup, salad, etc. In fact, edamame is one of the well-loved appetizer bowls in Japanese cuisine.
One of the best all-around green leafy vegetables, watercress is known for containing more iron than spinach, more folate than a banana, more vitamin C than an orange, and actually has more calcium than milk. Other than that, watercress also has cancer preventive phytonutrients, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, magnesium, phosphorus, and of course a lot of fiber. Consuming watercress will help your body with cancer prevention, bone support, healthy pregnancy, reduce stress, and preventing cold and flu.
Aside from being packed with fiber and vitamins like A, B, C, E, K, okra stands out as one of the sugar level controllers for diabetes in many countries. As a matter of fact, in Turkey okra has been used as a cure for diabetes by simply roasting its seeds. In addition, okra deems its value in anti-fatigue anti-stress and boosting immunity. The best part is, okra tastes good when boiled, roasted, steamed, and can be used in soup, barbecue, salad, rolls, and baking.
10. Green bean
There is no other dish that has both the extreme of love it or hates it like a green bean casserole, the star of Thanksgiving dinner next to turkey. With proper preparation techniques like cutting, slicing, and blanching, the green beans can add natural sweetness to any baked, stir-fried, or steamed dish. Additionally, the green bean is very nutritious and packed with vitamins like A, C, B, K, and protein, folic acid, and minerals. Just a caution, like any bean, the green bean has small quantities of lectin and phytates, which might cause mineral deficiency if taken in large quantities. To prevent this, cook the green bean at a high temperature or prolong their soaking and washing time.
11. Brussels sprouts
This tiny baby-like cabbage is just as cute as its beneficial value. Brussel sprouts have vitamin C and K, along with folate, manganese, omega 3, vitamin B6, and other dietary minerals. Brussel sprouts are good for the heart, diabetes, colon cancer, and boost immunity. Similar to any of its cabbage family, Brussel sprouts works wonder with aiding to weight loss, and you can prepare them easily. Brussel sprouts can be roasted, baked, steamed, or boil them whole, half or shred.
The delicious asparagus is just as versatile as any other spring vegetables out there. Asparagus sticks can be roasted, baked, chunk in soup, salad, casserole, etc. Asparagus is packed with nutritious value, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K along with fiber, folate, and chromium, which help to keep blood sugar at a normal level. Additionally, eating asparagus help with urination, sort of detoxifying your body.
Green vegetables are packed with essential and powerful nutrients that are vital for good health. Fortunately, many green vegetables can be found all year round, and they can easily be integrated into your meals in surprising and different ways. There are many ways to cook or serve your green vegetables and make them taste delicious, but using a healthy cooking procedure or method is of most importance to keep all the valuable nutrients the green vegetables have. For one, most of the leafy greens and herbs should be consumed raw, in a salad with some healthy dressing. If it is too boring for you, getting them fermented by pickling, making kimchi, or canning to vary the taste. Prolonged cooking will definitely lose some of the vital vitamins within the green vegetables. That was why, for any vegetables that required cooking, steaming is the preferred choice. Roasting and stir-frying green vegetables work as well, but be cautious and use only good high heat oil. To reap the many amazing health benefits of green vegetables, make sure to include a variety of these vegetables in your diet. We hope that this article helped you in choosing and deciding to include green vegetables in your daily meals so you can have a longer and healthier life.