Every Day we are bombarded with TONS of buzz about eating clean, what’s healthy, what isn’t, what has better benefits, what color is it and how much should you eat
Keep in mind there is NO ONE answer that trumps another, but there are some metrics you can use to determine what is best for you, your lifestyle, eating habits, physical habits and what’s in season etc…
I will come back to that last point often, because it is so important to eat based on what’s in season. Reason being, is you have a better chance of eating locally grown foods when you eat what is in season. This has a trickle affect because eating as local as possible lessens the risk of getting produce that is harvested too soon (meaning less nutrients) and eating locally gives you a bit more control over knowing where your produce comes from and how it is grown.
Now back to the Greens…
So which greens are better? We will focus mainly on leafy greens and not all Green vegetables (ie. broccoli, cucumbers, celery) this time.
Why are greens important? The most basic reason is they boost weight loss and are full of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
If you ask around, most people think of Kale or Spinach as top contenders with the highest nutritional value and that may be because that is what we see most often in our local grocers. But are those really the most nutritional greens you can eat???
As you can probably guess there have been a plethora of different studies performed by different organizations with all the statistics shared so I did a lot of reading and searching and pulled some great nutrition metrics from http://www.eatthis.com/10-superfoods-healthier-than-kale.
….and I am sure you would not guess which leafy green ranked 100 out of 100 on the nutritional value scale….
That’s right, it is Watercress. Watercress is indigenous to Europe and Asia, but is also grown in the states now.
Watercress is a leafy green with a mild peppery flavor and goes great on sandwiches, salads including fruit salads or by itself as a snack.
It is know to be an anti-aging food and contains more than 4X the beta carotene as apples and is high in magneseum, folic acid, iron & calcium. Now that is news you can use!!!
What about Chinese Cabbage (Napa Cabbage or Bok Choy)) with a score of 91.99. Chinese cabbage is known to be high in Calcium & Iron and know to decrease the inflammation know to promote heart disease.
Chard comes in at #3 on the list! There are different kinds of Chard and ALL are wonderful. If you get a chance try the multi colored chard. I think you will enjoy it. Chard scored a 89.27 on the nutritional chart, not too far behind Chinese Cabbage. Chard is great raw in salads or sauteed. Chard has 13 polyphenol antioxidants and contains an anti- inflammatory and has been classified as a possible defense against diabetes.
Further done on the list are Spinach at #5 with a nutritional content of 86.43, Romaine Lettuce pulls in at #9 with a score of 63.99 and collard greens comes in at #10 with a score of 62.49. Now Collard, Mustard and Turnip greens are known for the southern cooking flair, so be careful with preparation.
Did you know most Any vegetable that is cooked over 5-10 mins looses it’s nutritional value. Best way to eat these greens and maintain the nutritional conent is to steam them.
I did not forget our Kale lovers, as I am one myself! Kale came in at #47 with a score of 49.07. This does not mean Kale is not a great choice, it merely shows there are a number of other choices you can explore to expand your palate, and possibly get the same, if not more nutritional punch from.
Why not give them all a try.
Try to eat what is in season in your region, Eat as Local as possible, Eat rich colors and remember veggies should cover the largest portion of your plate when eating.
#Be Animately Existent