There’s a good reason behind the relentless nagging we endured as children to “eat your greens”. Not only are leafy greens full of fibre and important nutrients but they also possess chlorophyll. Rich in vitamin C, folic acid, iron, calcium and protein, chlorophyll assists in increasing red blood cell production and enhances our energy levels, so it’s kinda important. Nutritionist, Emma Sutherland, put together her list of the best greens to get in your gob for better health.

SPINACH

Who can deny Popeye’s favourite vegetable from making it to the top of the list?

I know that people tend to get caught up in the newest super food, but spinach is actually one of the most nutritious, readily available vegetables out there. It is incredibly nutrient dense while being low in calories and high in vitamins.

As well as being packed with vitamins A and C as well as folate, Spinach also contains flavonoid compounds that work together as a cancer fighting antioxidant. They help you neutralize free radicals in the body while also promoting cardiovascular health.

KALE

While kale made waves in the health world back in 2014, it is showing no signs of showing down in popularity.

Kale is a nutritional powerhouse that is packed with Vitamins A, C and K. It also has a good amount of calcium, folate and potassium too. Plus, it adds a nice crunch to a salad or omelet.

SWISS CHARD

The popular cousin of kale, Swiss Chard is very low in calories and packs a nutritional punch, providing over 700% of your daily needs for vitamin K and 200% of your daily needs of vitamin A in just one cup.

Swiss Chard contains high levels of nitrates, which have been shown to lower blood pressure and it also contains chlorophyll, which has been shown to assist in blocking cancer- causing heterocyclic amines.

BROCCOLI

Rich is vitamins C, A potassium and folate, broccoli helps maintain a healthy nervous system and optimal brain function while promoting regular muscle growth and bone health.

Broccoli contains high amounts of magnesium and calcium, both of which help to regulate blood pressure. It also contains trace minerals such as zinc and selenium, which further act to strengthen the immune systems too.

The best thing about broc is it’s the vegetable version of a sponge, it soaks in sauces and marinades so throw it into your curry, stir fry or salad and it’ll absorb the yummy flavours.

ROMAINE LETTUCE

Possibly one of the greatest salad fillers that ever existed, Romaine Lettuce is a great source of dietary fibre, manganese, potassium, biotin, B1, copper, iron and vitamin C.

It also contains B2 and 6, omega 3 fatty acids, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium to name a few

BOK CHOY

A favourite in Chinese and Thai cuisine, Bok Choy is packed with Vitamins A and C. It is also low fat, low carb and extremely rich in antioxidants including beta- carotene which contributes to warding off cancer.

Carotenoids are also thought to benefit eye health and help reduce the chances of macular degeneration

MUSTARD GREENS

For those who like their greens to have a peppery taste, this one is for you.

Mustard reens have a high amount of fiber, folate and antioxidants, which help to remove free radicals from the body. They also help to boost detoxification activities and flush out toxins and reduce the chance of developing certain cancers.

Furthermore, mustard greens have been shown to help lower cholesterol and therefore promote a healthy health. They also are a great anti inflammatory.

 

Emma Sutherland is a successful mum, author, clinical naturopath and TV presenter. She is also a spokesperson for O Superfood one of the most impressive smoothie bars Sydney has to offer.