We know that salads and leafy greens are beneficial for us, but which ones are the best? Not all leafy greens are equal when it comes to nutritional content, and I'm going to break down a few and dive deeper into which ones pack the biggest punch. Here are the top leafy greens to incorporate into your diet and how to prepare them.
Why are leafy greens beneficial?
Leafy green vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals. Generally, the darker green they are, the more nutrients they have. Leafy greens are high in antioxidants that fight off free radicals in the body and help prevent cellular damage. Generally, they are rich in folate, vitamin K, and vitamin A. They also contain fiber, which aids in digestion.
Spinach is an excellent plant-based source of iron, making it a valuable vegetable for those who don't eat meat. However, this leafy green is beneficial for everyone. Spinach is rich in folate, potassium, vitamin A, and other B vitamins. Sauté your spinach in a pan with some garlic, eat it raw in your salads, or add it to your breakfast smoothies. Adding spinach to smoothies will give you extra nutrients without changing the flavor.
Swiss chard is high in vitamins K, A, and C and minerals such as magnesium, iron, and potassium. Swiss chard makes a delicious side dish that pairs well with just about anything. You can eat it raw in your salads, but it has a bitter taste when left uncooked. Cooking it will soften the leaves and give a beautiful flavor.