You’ve heard them called many things – nature’s best medicine, power foods, superfoods, and the like – and the truth is that they’re called all those things for a reason. Leafy greens do a lot more for our bodies than we realize or give them credit for and this is why we tend to rely on other substances for the needs of our body. Case in point? Tons of people across the globe pop all kinds of vitamins and supplements in an effort to improve their health and steer clear of diseases, when in reality everything their body really needs is probably sitting at the local farmer’s market. The best part is that you save tons of money buying produce versus buying those crazy supplements that aren’t as effective as the real thing. If you’re ready to start using natural, whole foods to heal your body and help you lose weight, here are some good leafy greens that you ought to start with.
We love our spinach. Can’t you tell? We pretty much urge people to eat it all the time and now we’re going to back up our love for it with some science. Spinach is packed with tons of vitamin A. You may be thinking that carrots are too, but trust us when we tell you that carrots have nothing on spinach when it comes to helping improve eye health. Spinach has received tons of accolades from optometrists for containing lutein, which has been attributed with helping lower the risk of macular degeneration by up to 43 percent. Not to mention that fact that spinach is packed with protein and is a great food to eat to help you stay full and satiated throughout the day. Throw it in your omelets for a protein loaded start to the day or make it a base for an Asian inspired salmon salad at lunch time. You can even throw it into a food processor for an alternative to basil pesto. Mmmm, delicious!
Not a lot of people jump for joy when they hear the words “mustard greens” but we couldn’t be more stoked about them. There are so many great things about mustard greens, the chief of which is that it’s super high in fiber and absolutely filled with phytonutrients. Apart from that, however, mustard greens have leaps and bounds of antioxidants and have also been shown to detoxify both the liver and blood. This is especially crucial for weight loss as it helps our bodies get rid of the toxins from all of our past poor food decisions and start anew through a healthier diet. Additional benefits include its ability to lower bad cholesterol levels and its high levels of vitamin K and C. Did we mention that it’s great for your skin and eye health as well? Seriously, someone should name a super hero after mustard greens.
People tend to forget all about romaine lettuce, relegating it as a simple salad green that doesn’t have much versatility. How wrong some people are! Romaine lettuce ought to be treasured for its many health benefits like it’s incredibly high level of beta-carotene. Just one cup of romaine lettuce carries 712 micrograms of beta-carotene, making it a top source amongst all the leafy greens. Truly, this leaf is a dieters dream with just 8 calories and 1 to 2 grams of carbohydrates in each cup. Despite being relatively low in fiber, it has tons of calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorous. It’s also quite low in sodium and is a great source of folate, vitamin K and vitamin C. Honestly, any time we see a bowl filled to the brim with Romaine lettuce, it kind of just makes us sigh with delight.
With a peppery bite and tons of nutty flavor, arugula is one of our favorites leafy greens to throw into a salad alongside some romaine lettuce and spinach. It brings a unique flavor to every salad and will help fill you up until your next meal. Aside from being a spectacular addition to meals in terms of satiation and flavor, arugula’s also got some awesome health benefits that will make your weight loss journey a lot easier. For example, eating arugula is a fantastic way to add calcium to your diet without having to deal with saturated fats. Just one cup of this beautiful green delivers 125 milligrams of calcium, making it a much healthier source of the bone building compound than milk. It’s also better to each arugula instead of drinking calcium supplements since each bite of this delicious and beautiful green will give you a nice dose of magnesium as well. Try pairing your arugula with other calcium powerhouses like sunflower seeds, olive oil and chicken for a fantastic bone-building meal.
Want to get a good percentage of your daily dose of vitamins in with just a few mouthfuls? Then it’s time to hit the farmer’s market up and grab some bok choy. It’s a great leafy green to purchase if you want to start ditching your multivitamins since one serving delivers 23 percent of your daily vitamin A needs plus a third of your daily vitamin C requirements. Not only that, it comes with phytochemicals that are known to fight cancer and carry antiaging properties such as dithiolethione and isothiocyanates. What’s awesome about this hearty green is that it’s also quite versatile. You can throw it into a quick stir fry for a nutrient dense dinner or add it to your favorite noodle dish to give it a dose of goodness. Bok choy is a fantastic flavor carrier as well so you don’t have to do much to make it absolutely delicious.
We’ll be the first to admit that watercress is an acquired taste. Having a strong flavor, not a lot of people can tolerate watercress, but if you can manage to get over the peppery flavor of this leafy green, then we definitely recommend adding it to your regular diet for weight loss. What’s amazing about water cress is that, as a cruciferous vegetable, it helps our bodies excrete the carcinogens that is in our systems. Amazingly, this includes carcinogens that people get from smoking tobacco. Fighting lung cancer one mouthful at a time? We’re down for that.