The health world likes to focus on superfoods that are more nutritionally dense than other foods. This is especially true when it comes to leafy greens. While some may contain more nutrients than others, rotating all of them into your diet is the best way to reap their benefits. Below you will find an overview of the six most common leafy greens.
Helping to improve red blood cell function and regulate heart rate, spinach is low in calories and rich in vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K. It contains more calcium, potassium, magnesium, and folate than kale and it has a mild flavor, making it easy to blend into smoothies.
This peppery green is commonly used in salads and pestos because of its strong flavor. Even though it only has six calories per cup, arugula is loaded with folate, choline, fiber, and antioxidants, which work to improve immune defenses.
The stems of Swiss chard range in color, although they are most commonly a vibrant red. Swiss chard almost mirrors the nutritional benefits of spinach, although it does contain a little more sodium (77mg per cup). Swiss chard can help to maintain connective tissues and the iron content is beneficial for those with anemia.
Kale tends to steal the show when it comes to leafy greens, but we suggest that you also eat the others on this list for maximum nutrient intake. Loaded with manganese, phosphorus, riboflavin, copper, iron, and vitamin K, kale helps to strengthen bones, promote healthy retinal function, and improve blood clotting.
Romaine lettuce is a much healthier option than Iceberg lettuce. Remember that! The mild taste and crunch entices a lot of people to use it. While it isn’t the most nutritionally dense leafy green, romaine is rich in vitamin A and folate and can be easily combined with other greens like spinach or red leaf lettuce.
While they aren’t healthy if they are cooked in bacon grease, collard greens deserve attention because they have twice as much calcium as spinach. They are also high in magnesium and potassium, which helps to lower bad cholesterol. Collards also help to boost the immune system and fight osteoporosis.