20+ Leafy Green Vegetables And Their Health Benefits
Green leafy vegetables are a must if you want to live a healthy life. At least one of your 3-5 meal plates should have one green leafy vegetable, as they are filled with minerals, vitamins, and an abundance of fiber. These leafy vegetables also contain a high level of magnesium, calcium, and potassium.
At the same time, they are low in carbohydrates, cholesterol, and sodium. You can have these leafy vegetables in the form of healthy and delicious soups, and salads or cook them in your own style. Here is the list of green leafy vegetables we have prepared for you which are versatile and can be enjoyed in various forms.
Kale is a leafy green vegetable that is rich in nutrients and known for having a strong, mildly bitter flavor. This leafy vegetable also contains ample amounts of minerals like iron and calcium, it is also a good source of vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
This leafy green can be eaten fresh in salads, cooked as a side dish, or can also be used for green smoothies, and a variety of tasty soups. It is also a preferred ingredient for kale chips and as a spinach alternative in dishes due to its robust texture.
- Contains powerful antioxidants
- Aids In Detoxification
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Contains anti-cancer compounds
- High in Beta-Carotene Compounds
Spinach is the most popular green leafy vegetable in the world. The leaves of spinach are tender and provide a rich earthy taste that is most loved among Americans. This leafy vegetable is the powerhouse of iron, and folate and contains other vitamin-rich nutrients.
These popular green leaves can be enjoyed in healthy chicken salads, vegetable salads, side dishes in Chinese cuisine, protein smoothies, pastas, and soups. Spinach is popular in almost every corner of the world due to its versatility, nutrient density, and gentle flavor.
- Provide better hydration
- Helps prevent osteoporosis
- Prevent the risk of iron deficiency anemia
- Strengthens the immune system
- Assists the development of baby
- Supports cardiovascular health
Another versatile list of vegetables with a crisp texture, cabbage consists of a mildly sweet taste. Cabbages come in a range of colors, shapes, and sizes, including Napa, red, and green cabbage. They contain a rich amount of fiber and vitamin C and are low in calorie content.
Cabbage can be used raw or cooked in stir-fries, soups, coleslaws, and salads. You can also find it fermented in gut-healthy foods like sauerkraut and kimchi and to their flexibility, this vegetable is stable in various Indian and Chinese dishes.
- Helps fighting inflammation
- Improves digestion
- Protect heart health
- Maintains bone health and healthy blood clotting
- High in vitamin C
- Fight with cancer-generating cells
4. Collard Greens
Collard greens are powerful and sturdy green leafy vegetables that contain large, deep green leaves. They are comparably bitter to other leafy green vegetables but are an amazing source of fiber and loaded with varieties of minerals and vitamins.
These green leafy vegetables are frequently utilized and cooked, sauteed, or included in varieties of cuisines. Consider adding collard greens to add flavour and texture to your balanced diet as it contain several health benefits.
- Lower blood cholesterol
- Strengthen bone density
- Liver friendly food
- Maintain healthy hair and skin
- Improve the quality of sleep
- Boosts vision health
Watercress is a leafy green vegetable with tiny and crisp leaves that have a spicy and acidic flavor. This vegetable contains plenty of antioxidants that include, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. It also adds distinct and zingy elements to any type of salad that people like to consume raw.
Additionally, watercress may be frequently used in pestos, a popular type of Italian dish. Similarly, it has given a tasty and nutritive touch to varieties of culinary because of its vivid flavor and high nutritional content.
- Reduces Post-workout inflammation
- Maintains a strong immune system
- Promotes healthy pregnancy
- Improve thyroid function
- Slower premature aging
6. Romaine lettuce
If you're looking for beta-carotene-rich food to support your vision health, then you should know that carrots aren't the only option. This vegetable has long leaves, a crispy texture, and dark green which make it one of the most preferred salad bases.
Almost all leafy vegetables are good sources of nutrients, and romaine lettuce is no exception. This salad's favorite ingredient also contains folate and fiber. Two cups of romaine lettuce fulfill almost one-half of your vitamin A and almost all of the vitamin K required daily intake.
- Maintain strong muscles
- Lower blood pressure
- Provides hydration
- Maintain a healthy digestive tract
- Support in healthy weight loss
Arugula also referred to as rocket or rucola is a leafy green vegetable that originated from the Brassicaceae family. It is an excellent source of dietary nitrates and other nutrients such as calcium, potassium, folate, vitamins C, K, and A.
This leafy green has a slightly peppery taste when consumed raw and becomes more mellow after cooking. In America, this vegetable is popular in salads due to its small leaves, or it can also be an add-on topping for variants of sandwich recipes, toast, and breakfast dishes.
- Protect against cell damage
- Fight with inflammation
- Prevent bone diseases like osteoporosis
- Good for pregnant women
- Improves fertility
8. Bok Choy
Bok Choy also known as Pak Choi or Chinese cabbage are crisp, light green stems along with glossy dark leaves that are staple to most Chinese dishes. They have a distinct taste profile that combines a light sweetness with a hint of bitterness.
This leafy vegetable supplies a huge amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Bok Choy can be a beautiful addition to varieties of warm soups, salads, and stir-fries and can also be consumed fresh and cooked with chicken or meat.
- Reduce the risk of cognitive impairment
- Promotes cardiac functioning
- Skin-friendly food
- Combats oxidative stress
- Manages high blood pressure
- Support thyroid function
9. Beet greens
Beet greens are edible green leafy vegetables found on the tip of beets. The leaves of beetroot contain unique properties that provide your meal a beautiful look as they have vivid, deep green color along with different patterns as compared to others.
The flavor of beet greens contains a lovely blend of mild bitterness and earthiness that resembles much like spinach but is sweet and soft. The leafy part of beet greens is delicate so it can mushy on cooking, make sure to just cook for a few minutes.
- Enhance athletic performance
- Improves cognitive function
- Supports a healthy immune system
- Prevent from anemia
- Promote healthy teeth and prevent cavities
Chard has green leaves with thick stems that usually come in rainbow shades. This nutrient-rich leafy green contains a unique flavonoid called syringic acid, along with fiber, calcium, copper, magnesium, iron, and vitamins.
The leaves have an earthy and sight bitter taste when eaten raw but when they are cooked they have a mild and sweet taste similar to beet greens or spinach. Many people like to consume the leafy part of this vegetable but the stems are actually highly nutritious.
- Boost brain health and prevent dementia
- Manages diabetes
- Destroy cancer-causing cells
- Improves blood circulation
- Maintain healthy liver function
11. Broccoli Rabe
Broccoli rabe popularly known as rapini is a leafy green that belongs to the same group as a cruciferous vegetable. Despite being broccoli in its name it is closely related to turnips and not broccoli.
This leafy greens is a source of all the essential nutrients and can be included in your diet as raw or cooked, like any other green vegetables. A quick blanch removed the bittery flavor and provided a soft and mild flavor. Broccoli rabe is mostly used in Italian and Asian cuisine though it can go well with any type of dish.
- Help with the weight loss
- Contains a great amount of calcium
- Promotes proper digestion
- Improves heart health
12. Fenugreek Leaves
Fenugreek is widely used in popular Indian dishes and has a distinct flavor that is between earthy, bitter, and sweet. Fenugreek leaves are rich in iron, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. It is used the same way as coriander leaf, however, the flavor is more dominant.
Their grassy and smoky flavor enhances the taste of the food by adding depth and complexity. You can use these leaves fresh or dried and is suggested to add them towards the end as overcooked fenugreek does not contain much flavor.
- Contains strong antioxidant properties
- Cures mouth ulcers
- Stimulates breast milk production
- Prevents anemia
- Improve bowel movement
Microgreens are small versions of vegetables and herbs that are not yet fully grown. This leafy vegetable is easily available as they can grow all year round. They are popularly used to garnish or decorating the dishes.
These leafy vegetable varies in taste and can range from spicy to neutral, sometimes bitter and sour depending on their varieties. The most popular varieties of microgreens are watercress, wheatgrass, fennel, and celery.
- Manages type 2 diabetes
- Improve cognitive health
- Heart healthy food
- Protect Vision
- Reduce the risk of cancer
14. Kohlrabi Greens
Kohlrabi greens also known as German turnips are the leafy tops of the kohlrabi plant and have unique properties and taste. This greeny vegetable gives a sweet taste with a hint of spice flavor. They are extremely good sources of potassium, calcium, and vitamins.
The texture of these leaves is similar to those of broccoli stems and cabbage but in a sweeter form. Kohlrabi greens are versatile in nature and can be eaten raw by adding to salads cooked in soups or used to flavor various pesto recipes.
- Promotes a healthy gut
- Lower the risk of heart disease
- Supports a healthy immune system
- Protect against cell damage
- Reduce inflammation
Popularly known as Italian chicory, Radicchio is a type of leafy chicory that is high in antioxidants called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins present in radicchio benefit the heart and digestive systems. It also contains nutrients like zinc, copper, iron, phosphorus, and vitamin B6.
Since radicchio has a bitter taste, it is good to use radicchio with acidic or sweet ingredients that can complement the dish. You can try chopping it and adding it to soups, salads, or grilling.
- Aids in blood clotting
- Increases iron absorption
- Reduce chronic diseases
- Improve brain functioning
- Strengthen bone health
- Boost immune system
16. Mustard Green
With their strong and smoky flavor, mustard greens bring a bold and distinct taste to a variety of dishes. Mustard greens also have a slightly bitter along tangy taste with a hint of spiciness. They are loaded with nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K, as well as antioxidants.
Mustard Green is popularly consumed by cooking in Asian culture as a side dish. However, these leafy vegetables are also used in salads, soups, and stir-fried in western countries which add more depth and texture.
- Supports liver function
- Lower risk of chronic diseases
- Manages cholesterol level
- Improve blood clot
- Treat osteoporosis and bone disorder
- Prevent age-related vision loss
17. Butterhead Lettuce
Butterhead lettuce also known as cabbage lettuce is another type of green leafy vegetable that is round in shape. Some popular varieties of butterhead are Boston and Bibb lettuce. They are good sources of beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein.
As compared to other lettuces, butterhead is high in iron properties and contains several other important nutrients. This lettuce helps to grace the salad plates so, if you want some new taste then try including butterhead lettuce for unique flavor and texture.
- Promote healthy reproduction
- Support bone health
- Maintain good skin health
- Retain muscles and teeth
18. Amaranth Leaves
These nutrient-dense amaranth leaves are a special and versatile green leafy vegetable that is known for its unique taste and characteristics. They have wide, heart-shaped leaves that give perfect looks to any type of dish.
The flavor of amaranth is mildly sweet, nutty, and earthy similar to spinach or Chinese spinach. They are crispy when consumed raw but after cooking, they transform into a soft texture, which makes them the perfect addition for soups, stews, salads, or a side dish.
- Good for anemic patients
- Rich in protein content
- Helps eases inflammation
- Boost energy in the body
- Excellent gluten-free diet
- Stop hair loss and graying
19. Celery Greens
The top leafy part of the celery, celery greens have a unique blend of flavor and characteristics. These greeny leaves provide a refreshing element to almost any recipe with their crunch, crisp, and a hint of bitter taste.
Celey has long, pale green, and firm stalks filled with several health benefits. Just like any other green leafy vegetables, celery greens are popularly used in soups, salads, chicken, and vegetable stock. They are also used to season or garnish the cuisine which adds a wonderful touch to many dishes.
- Benefits intimate life
- Improve sperm count
- Promotes cognitive health
- Helps to reduce weight
- Lower blood pressure level
20. Dandelion Greens
Dandelion green leaves are highly nutritious edible vegetables that can be easily grown in your garden. This particular type of flower is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals from root to flower and provides you with several health benefits.
The green leaves as well as etals are great to add to your salad recipe. You can also cook them and incorporate them into your savory breakfast or pasta to get extra nutrition and flavor. As they taste bitter, it is recommended to add a bit of citrus before cooking.
- Regulates blood sugar level
- Support thyroid health
- Treat urinary tract infections
- Promotes healthy bones
- Treat skin-related issues
21. Sorrel Leaves
Also referred to as spinach dock, sorrel leaves are preferred by many because of their tart and zingy taste. They are also rich in nutritional profile with powerful health benefits. These leafy vegetables are cultivated in Europe, Asia, and certain parts of North America.
This vibrant leafy green is used to add a sharp, citrusy flavor to soups, salads, sauces, and a variety of other cuisine. Sorrel leaves is also used for medicinal purpose and cures several chronic diseases.
- Treat mouth ulcers
- Help Maintain Renal Health
- Treat Insomnia And Hypertension
- Good for reproductive health
- Detoxify you body
- Reduce Cold Sores And Fever Blisters
- Prevent Scurvy
Other Leafy Green Vegetables
23. Coriander Leaves
27. Radish Leaves
28. Turnip Greens
30. Carrot Greens
32. Water Spinach
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