Why you should add leafy greens to your diet
All vegetables are good for your health, even potatoes. However, when it comes to eating your vegetables raw, some are definitely better than others. Of all the veggies you can eat uncooked, leafy greens are amongst the best. There are lots of popular and lesser-known varieties to choose from, including:
- Collard greens
- Beet greens
- Romaine lettuce
- Swiss chard
- Bok choy
- Turnip greens
Each one tastes different, is delicious, and can be eaten raw. Just wash and eat; easy.
So, why should you add more leafy greens to your diet? Here are 10 reasons.
- Leafy greens are high in antioxidants
Leafy greens contain an abundance of antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize harmful molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for many illnesses, as well as the aging process. Antioxidants protect you from free radical damage and help repair the damage caused by these marauding molecules.
- They are full of crucial minerals
Eating a raw food diet makes a lot of people think that they won’t get enough iron, calcium, and other vital minerals. This does not have to be the case. Leafy greens are high in minerals, including potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
- Leafy greens are a great source of fiber
Fiber is essential for good gut health. Leafy greens are very fibrous and make getting the recommended 30+ grams of fiber per day very easy. Eating plenty of fiber will help ward off things like bloating, sluggish digestion, and constipation, as well as protecting you from colorectal cancer.
- They make you feel fuller for longer
The high fiber and water content in leafy greens mean they are very bulky but do not contain many calories. One cup of spinach provides a measly 23 calories. That means you can a) eat a lot of leafy vegetables and stay full for longer, and b) do so without ingesting many calories. This is the perfect recipe for easy weight loss.
- Leafy greens are good for your eyes
Leafy greens contain two specific plant pigments, lutein and zeaxanthin, which are good for your eyes. Eating more leafy greens can help protect you from macular degeneration, a progressive eye condition that can lead to blindness. Macular degeneration is not currently treatable; prevention is your best tactic.
- Eating leafy greens can protect you from sun damage
High in vitamin A, beta carotene, and folic acid, leafy greens can help protect your skin from the ravages of ultraviolet light. Eating leafy greens doesn’t mean you can ditch your sunscreen. But, a diet high in these amazing vegetables may help lower your risk of premature wrinkles and even skin cancer.
- They can help contribute to hydration
Leafy greens contain a lot of water. Water is vital for your health, and as much as 70% of your body weight is made up of water. Drinking enough water is essential, but it’s also good to know the food you eat can help contribute to hydration too. Getting enough water will keep your skin, hair, nails, and eyes healthy, and is also good for your digestive system.
- Leafy greens can lift your mood
Eating plenty of leafy greens can boost your mood. They are high in folate, which is vital for the synthesis of mood-lifting serotonin. Serotonin can also help reduce stress and anxiety, and also contributes to deeper sleep.
- Boost your brain health with leafy greens
Leafy greens contain nutrients that are associated with improved cognitive function. They can also protect you from age-related mental decline. Free radicals affect brain health, and too few vitamins are also linked to cognitive decline. Leafy greens fix both of these problems, leading to improved brainpower.
- Leafy greens make your bones stronger
Leafy greens are high in calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin K, all of which are crucial for bone strength and density. A lot of people think that dairy is the best food for healthier bones, but that simply isn’t true. For bone health, leafy greens are hard to beat.
Leafy greens deserve to be part of your diet. They offer so many health benefits that eating them every day should be compulsory. Not sure how to include more leafy greens in your diet? Check out the raw vegan recipes at Raw Vegan Traveler for convenient, delicious, and easy ways to eat more of these amazing superfoods.