Article By Wayne Large

4 health benefits for eating leafy greens

Staying young. Something almost everyone wants to do!

As well as playing a key role in helping blood to clot, vitamin K is critical in preventing certain age-related conditions. A one-cup (250-mL) raw serving of any of the leafy greens here has at least your daily requirement of K, with kale providing more than six times your needs, dandelion greens five times and Swiss chard about three and a half times.

Lowering your cholesterol. Mustard greens and kale help lower cholesterol. The liver uses cholesterol to make bile acids, which aid in fat digestion. When bile acid binds with the fibre of these greens, it gets excreted from the body—which means the liver has to use up more cholesterol to make new bile acid, cholesterol levels are reduced.

Preserving your vision. Leafy greens in particular kale, dandelion, mustard greens are good sources of carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which help filter high-energy light that may cause eye damage. Lutein and zeaxanthin reduce discomfort caused by glare, decrease the risk of cataracts and increase how far you can see.

Fuel for the body. A one-cup serving of raw escarole provides 1/10 of your daily needs for vitamin B5. The B vitamins help convert the carbs in food to glucose that the body can use as a fuel to produce energy. B vitamins are water soluble, which means the body doesn’t store them, so you need to get enough each day.

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