Renew & Restore Detox Kit
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Do you wrinkle your nose at the thought of eating more leafy green vegetables each day? While leafy greens may be an acquired taste, they are one of the most important foods that you can consume to benefit your health. You have plenty of options to choose from—such as spinach, kale, swiss chard, romaine lettuce, arugula, and collard greens.
If you need extra motivation to stock your fridge with these nutritional powerhouses, here are four top nutrient groups available in leafy greens that can provide a plethora of health benefits.
Leafy greens are extremely high in a variety of vitamins and minerals, including the following.
Leafy greens are not only high in important vitamins and minerals: They can also help you reach your recommended daily intake of fiber, which is approximately 38 grams per day for men and approximately 25 grams per day for women. For reference, one cup of spinach provides 0.7 grams of fiber, and one cup of romaine lettuce provides one gram of fiber.
It’s important to consume the recommended daily amount, or more, of fiber, for a variety of benefits. Fiber may help:
Fiber is also critical to feeding your gut microbes. If you don’t get enough fiber, some microbes can die and others can eat the mucus lining in your stomach, as indicated through a study that was presented at a Keystone Symposia conference on the gut microbiome in 2015.
When the bacteria in your digestive tract metabolize fiber, they produce short chain fatty acids, which may help:
Phytonutrients are compounds found in leafy greens (along with other vegetables and fruits) and include carotenoids, flavonoids, and lignans. Phytonutrients are thought to provide a variety of health benefits, including:
Chlorophyll is the term for several green pigments that are found in plants. Chlorophyll plays a vital role in plant photosynthesis (during which plants absorb energy from light), and it also may provide the following benefits to health:
Because the type and amount of nutrients vary within each leafy green, it’s important to consistently rotate through a variety of them to make sure you’re exposing yourself to the wide spectrum of their health benefits.
*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center's Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.