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Green Leafy Vegetables: The Best 11 of All Time

Medically reviewed by Janie-Vi Villamor Ismael-Gorospe, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Apr 20, 2022

    Green Leafy Vegetables: The Best 11 of All Time

    Green leafy vegetables are a must for healthy living, they say. At least one of your 3-5 meal plates (depending on how many meals you have per day) should have one green leafy vegetable, as they are a rich source of minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Moreover, green leafy vegetables contain high levels of magnesium, calcium, and potassium. At the same time, they have very low levels of carbohydrates, cholesterol, and sodium.

    Have it in the form of soups, salads or cook it in your own style, these leafy greens will provide all the essential vitamins and nutrients.

    From Kale to Spinach, from Cabbage to Broccoli – there exists a variety of healthy leafy greens which can be enjoyed in various forms.

    11 Leafy Green Vegetables for Your Diet

    1. Kale

    Did you know that just one cup of cooked kale is as good as fulfilling 19% of your daily vitamin A requirement? Vitamin A is essential in maintaining a healthy vision, a strong immune system, improved reproductive system, and proper functioning of the kidney, heart, and lungs.

    2. Spinach

    Spinach contains more folate than most leafy greens. This helps in the conversion of eaten food into energy and generates healthy white and red blood cells. When you pair this healthy leafy green vegetable with strawberries, balsamic, and some feta cheese, it makes for a scrumptious and nutritious green salad.

    3. Collard Green

    This green leafy vegetable is highly nutritious and packed with vitamins A, C, and K. You can relish this as a salad or a side with some dinner recipes, especially with delectable barbeque. Vitamin K is essential in preventing inflammatory diseases and offers protection to bones from osteoporosis.

    4. Lettuce Leaves

    No matter which type of lettuce leaves you are to pick, they’re all packed with vitamin A and folate, which keeps you healthy. If you are bored with one type, switch to the other next time you make yourself a healthy green leafy salad. It doesn’t just add a different taste, but also makes it look visually alluring.

    5. Dandelion Greens

    These cute-looking dandelion greens don’t just make up for 20% of your daily Vitamin C requirement, Vitamin B6, calcium, and iron, but these healthy leafy greens are also exorbitantly rich in prebiotic fiber, nourishing the good bacteria in the body.

    Vitamin B6 is the one that helps convert food into fuel, enhance protein and fat metabolism, maintains proper nerve functioning, and produces red blood cells.

    6. Watercress

    This healthy leafy green is nutritiously richer than romaine and lettuce leaves. Probably just 1 cup of watercress is enough to provide you with 3 quarters of your daily Vitamin K requirement. It is also a very good source of Vitamin C. If you love its peppery flavor, watercress can serve as a delicious ingredient to a salad or can be pureed into a soup for an additional dose of tang and nourishment.

    7. Arugula

    These peppery and tasty healthy green leaves are a tastier choice over the other green ones. With its rich content of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, and calcium, arugula makes for a great choice when you want to add some tasty flavor and antioxidants to your salad.

    8. Endive Leaves

    These leaves are yet another rich source of folate, 1 cup of which is enough to take care of 18%of your daily folate requirement. Endive leaves can be chopped and served as a salad or individual leaves can be served (owing to its firm texture) with your favorite dip.

    9. Romaine Lettuce

    Romaine lettuce’s long leaves, crispy texture, and dark green shade make it one of the most preferred salad bases. Two cups of Romain make for almost one-half of your Vitamin A and almost all of your Vitamin K daily. If you wish to make your green bowl healthier, mix romaine leaves with spinach or kale for more antioxidants.

    10. Beet Greens

    Beets have innumerable health benefits so do beet greens. These ignored leafy greens are extremely healthy and filled with potassium, calcium, fiber, and Vitamin A and K.

    One medium cup (approximately 150 grams) of cooked beet greens comprises 220% of Vitamin A and 17% of fiber. These nutritious leafy greens are also a great source of lutein and beta-carotene which help in curbing eye disorders. Add it to your salad or soup, or consume it in any form, it’s beneficial in every way.

    11. Turnip Greens

    Turnip is a root vegetable just like beetroot and turnip greens are its leaves. Not many would know but the leaves carry more nutrients than the turnip vegetable itself. It is rich in manganese, calcium, folate, and Vitamin A, K and C. This healthy leafy green is known to reduce health disorders like cancer, inflammation, and heart diseases.

    Ways To Use These Green Leafy Vegetables

    Eating green leafy vegetables is crucial for a healthy body and mind. There are various ways in which you can incorporate these healthy leafy greens in your daily meals:

    1. Add these healthy leafy greens in your soup

    Green leafy vegetables with large and tough leaves compared to the other ones like – kale, mustard, collard greens can be added in soup and made the most of their taste and nutritional value.

    2. Make an omelette

    Steam your favorite ones from the above list, especially spinach, and mix it with egg-white to indulge in a nutrition-rich omelette.

    3. It’s a wrap

    Add some of these healthy greens to your chicken or tuna wrap and enhance its flavor and nutritious value.

    These healthy leafy greens will help manage your weight. All the properties found in these leafy greens are extremely beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.

    Owing to their antioxidant properties, these green leafy vegetables may be one of the greatest cancer-preventive foods. Doctors suggest consuming 2-3 portions per week, which might help you stay away from stomach, skin, and breast cancer. Eating green leafy vegetables excessively will not only help with increased dietary fiber, but also normalizes the digestive system. This helps to regulate bowel movement.

    In case you want to know which green leafy vegetables suit your body type or requirement, consult a dietician. Also, if you are allergic to any green leafy vegetable, avoid using them. You can always contact a doctor or a dietician to get all your doubts cleared.

    Check out other Healthy Recipes here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Janie-Vi Villamor Ismael-Gorospe, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Apr 20, 2022

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