Most of the kids hate eating green leafy vegetables, but it’s very easy to tempt them in eating as kids love to act as superman, spider man, or batman, hence do make the kids understand that to become a super figure they need to eat good healthy food that would give them super energy. You could also show them the famous cartoon Popeye the sailor and his can of spinach that gives him instant energy to conquer anything.
This would be an excellent and brilliant idea to make get them in eating a variety of dark green vegetables that is extremely important for good health. While we were kids, our parents have also forced us in eating dark green veggies but now we realize its importance and benefits to our body. Even today, dark greens are vital to your health and well-being.
The key point for eating these dark green leafy vegetables is that they contain numerous vitamins, minerals, fibre, folate and carotenoids and act as antioxidants in the body. These vegetables also contain vitamins C and K and the minerals iron and calcium. The substances in dark green leafy vegetables remove free radicals from the body before they become harmful.
Our body needs a little dietary fat to absorb the carotenoids and vitamin K (fat soluble vitamins) present in green leafy vegetables. Add one or two teaspoons of olive or canola oil when cooking dark green leafy vegetables increases the absorption of these nutrients.
Green foods are very crucial to our health for various reasons and their role in strengthening the immune system, improve blood circulation, blood purification, lowering cholesterol, increase energy, detoxification through improved liver, kidney function, cancer prevention and promotion of healthy intestinal flora etc. It is very essential that we inculcate good eating habits right from the toddler’s age so that we will have the habit of eating good, nutritious food when they finally enter adulthood.
Good reasons for eating more dark green leafy vegetables:
Various studies have shown that it is important to make certain lifestyle choices like eating healthy green vegetable that can help prevent you from developing sickness like Alzheimer’s and other health problems. Dark green leafy vegetables are a rich source of magnesium that works positively toward your health.
Having a magnesium deficit has been linked to allergies, asthma, attention deficit disorder, anxiety, heart disease, muscle cramps, etc. Some of the good reasons for eating green vegetables are: They release energy stored in muscles, Regulates body temperature, Helps in building strong bones, Makes proteins etc. Healthy green vegetables also contain phytochemicals such as lutein and indoles which have antioxidants, health promoting benefits.
Lutein, which is present in green vegetables like spinach, broccoli and greens, play a major role in preventing damage to the eye. It protects the eye from blue and ultraviolet light which result in age-related macular degeneration while indoles have anti-cancer properties. You can also find phytochemicals in broccoli and brussel sprouts.
Healthy Dark Green Leafy Vegetables:
Some of the very popular, healthiest dark green vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and usually have large amounts of phytochemicals like vitamin C are Broccoli, Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard and Lettuce etc. Generally many foods tend to lose nutrients when cooked but the amazing thing about these dark green vegetables is that they are easily available, taste great with little or no cooking, leaving much of their nutrients intact.
Important benefits of these healthy veggies:
Broccoli is a wonderful vegetable, green in colour and looks like a miniature tree. It is popularly known to be a hearty and tasty vegetable which is rich in a dozens of nutrients. A cup of these little buds or tiny florets contains as much Vitamin C equivalent to one small orange. Broccoli is a great source of fibre, both soluble and insoluble.
Broccoli comes with amazing health benefits as it is packed with soluble fibre that draws cholesterol out of your body, it contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis. Broccoli is a good carb and high in fibre hence aids digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar and curbs overeating and many more.
Kale is another amazing green leafy vegetable that is slightly bitter to taste but has huge amounts of folic acid and potassium. Folic acid found in this green leafy vegetable is a great addition to your diet if you are suffering from skin, nails and poor hair. The potassium helps promote the breakdown of lactic acid in muscles after a workout and is a great food to help prevent muscle soreness in the recovery process.
Spinach is a lean green antioxidant, power packed leafy vegetable, rich in flavour and rich source of vitamins A and C and iron. It is also loaded with other essential vitamins and minerals to promote healthy brain function as well as strong bones and muscles.
It is a very popular green leafy vegetable extensively used in Indian cuisine that is added in making a variety of starters, main course and side dishes. Spinach is also added in making of salad instead of lettuce for a little variety and explosion of taste. There are three different types of spinach generally available.
Savoy has crisp, creased curly leaves that have a springy texture. Smooth-leaf has flat, unwrinkled, spade-shaped leaves, while semi-savoy is similar in texture to savoy but is not as crinkled in appearance. Baby spinach is great for use in salads owing to its taste and delicate texture.
A daily spinach recipe in your diet is a vital part of your ongoing health and vitality. A variety of dishes can be prepared with this amazing green like the palak dal (spinach with lentils), Palak paneer (spinach with cottage cheese), Khatti palak chutney chukka koora and palak curry and many more.
Swiss Chard is a bit similar to spinach but with a little more of an earthy undertone taste. It is a rich source in vitamins C and K as well as calcium. Swiss chard makes a great addition in salads. Vitamin K helps promote healthy eye and brain function. Lettuce is a wonderful leafy vegetable that is great for diets since it’s very low in calories.
Romaine lettuce is a rich source of magnesium and does wonders in revitalizing muscular tissues, brain and the nerves. Darker the lettuce leaves, the more chlorophyll packed and is helpful in maintaining normal hair colour. Lettuce is high in iron that helps in the formation of RBCs.
Fenugreek is commonly known as Methi saag and is used as both an herb (the leaves) and as spice (the seed). These greens are cultivated worldwide as a semi arid crop and frequently used in many curries. The fenugreek are called by different name in India like Menthya (in Kannada), Vendayam, and Venthiyam (in Tamil language), Menthulu (in Telugu language) and Ventayan and Uluva (in Malayalam).
Fresh fenugreek leaves are widely used in meat preparations and with other vegetables, stir fries, curries and salads. The dried leaves are used in teas, baked into breads, or sprinkled as a garnish on nearly any savory dish. It is commonly called as the kasturi methi and enhances the taste of the dish. Fresh green have a high content of minerals and necessary supplements for a low amount of calories.
The fresh fenugreek leaves are bitter in taste and are recognized as a powerful herb. To boost the flavor of the dish, you can add fenugreek leaves to any kind of cooking which includes dal, vegetable, rice, or atta (chapathi flour).The methi paratha and methi dal are popular dishes of the north Indian cuisine. It is rich in calcium, phosphorus and iron and a good herbal remedy for lowering sugar in diabetics and as a lactating agent. It is commonly cooked as a stir fry with potatoes.
Commonly known as Sarson ka saag in north India, these leaves have a slightly tangy taste and are cooked as a pureed vegetable eaten with corn Indian flat bread (Makki ki roti). Mustard greens are indeed one of the most nutritious green leafy vegetable. The lovely top greens have actually more vitamin A, carotenes, vitamin K, and flavonoid anti-oxidants than some of commonly consumed fruits and vegetables.
Green vegetables in your daily diet are very vital in your health as they keep your body fit and cool. Also remember that green leafy vegetables are the best part of an healthy diet. Nutritionist advise that each week, an adult should eat at least 1 ½ to 2 cups of dark green leafy vegetables while children aged 4 to 8 years should eat 1 cup and kids aged between 2 to 3 should eat up to ½ cup.
Why green vegetables are are a good part of a healthy diet:
Because they are low in calories, promote weight loss, low in fat, lowers your chance at getting heart disease or cancers. They are low in sodium hence helps combat high blood pressure. To sum this up, remember that green leafy vegetables is great to get your children on the band wagon of eating healthy green leafy vegetable to have a healthy and fit life.
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