Total Pageviews

Jaiho- Dubai. Powered by Blogger.

Greens in Diet

Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Friday, March 4, 2011

‘Eat your vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables’ has been sound advice for generations. These green leafy vegetables (GLVs) deliver a bonanza of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that are essential for the human body for its healthy maintenance. Yet, only a few consume the minimum recommendation of GLVs.

Dark GLVs are rich sources of minerals (iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins (vitamins K, C, E and many of the B vitamins). They also provide a variety of phytonutrients that are multifunctional. Many natural-health advocates report that greens are energy-giving foods, increasing mental clarity and sustaining energy.

Green leafy vegetables are ideal for weight management as they are low in calories and rich in fiber. They also help in reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease since they are low in fat, high in dietary fiber and rich in folic acid, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, as well as containing a host of phytochemicals, such as lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene. Studies have shown that an increased intake of GLVs can lower the risk of Cardiovascular diseases and also are associated with a lower risk of mortality.

The fiber in GLVs keeps our digestive tract moving and improvesConstipation which is seen during pregnancy and among the elderly. Fibers also help in delaying the absorption of fats and cholesterol from the diet into the body.

Because of their high magnesium content and low glycemic index, GLVs are also valuable for persons with type 2 Diabetes. An increase of 1 serving/day of GLVs was associated with a 9% lower risk of Diabetes.

Adequate consumption of GLVs can also reduce the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Green vegetables are also a major source of iron and calcium for any diet. Swiss chard and spinach are not considered good sources of calcium, due to their high content of oxalic acid. As GLVs contain high levels of vitamin K, it makes them important for the production of osteocalcin, a protein essential for bone health. 

GLVs in India
Drumstick leaves
Colocasia leaves
Sorrel leaves
Cabbage Lettuce

Green leafy vegetables are rich in beta-carotene, which can also be converted into vitamin A, and also improve immune function.

The beta-carotene pigment in yellow-orange vegetables was already known for its beneficial properties against eye diseases. Recent studies have shown that the phytonutrients (carotenoids: lutein and zeaxanthin) in dark GLVs are concentrated in the eye lens and macular region of theRetina and play a protective role in the eye. They protect against both cataract and age-related macular degeneration, the major cause of blindness in the elderly. Studies have suggested that lutein and zeaxanthin may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, such as breast and lung cancer, and may contribute to the prevention of heart disease and stroke.

Fiber and the presence of various phytonutrients like carotenoids and flavanoids and other powerful antioxidants make GLVS cancer-protective properties. Studies have reported that eating 3 or more servings a week of GLVs significantly reduced the risk of stomach cancer. Cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli are rich in indoles and isothiocyanates, which protect us against colon and other cancers. A higher consumption of GLVs has been shown to significantly decrease the risk of breast cancer and skin cancer. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid found in GLVs and has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity and displays unique anticancer properties.

Brain functioning should be another good reason one should consider eating more green vegetables. New studies show that adequate consumption of GLVs can help prevent you from developing sicknesses like Alzheimer's and a variety of other illnesses.

Cooking GLVs The ideal way of using GLVs is by eating them raw (salads). If cooking is essential, quick cooking is ideal with minimum water. Never cook GLVs more than 5 min. Cooking greens quickly will help preserve their color as well as their nutrients. As a significant percentage of the nutrient content of greens is released into the liquid as they cook, use the cooking liquid from greens in a sauce or add it to a soup.


Post a Comment

About Me

My photo
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Warm welcome to my health blog! This was introduced with an objective to educate and spread awareness among people, encouraging them to live healthier lives with longevity. Let me emphasize that our contemporary situation in individual’s life are so fast moving that we tend to neglect and spare some moments for our own health. My inspiration has turned into passion in a health care that turned into a blog. The ample of support and response was tremendously changed into positive results. I dedicated this blog for all those people who are very conscious for their health and life style. Hope so, I can bring differences for healthy living the fore my viewer comments are always valuable and your continued patronage is important for me. Wish you a happy and healthy life ahead!

BMI Calculator

live traffic feed

Blog Archive