Green Leafy veggies come with an extremely impressive nutrient profile that confers a host of healing health incentives. There’s a broad spectrum of greens locally available in the market such as spinach, moringa, mustard greens, fenugreek leaves, kale, cabbage, collard to mention a few. Packed with a treasure trove of phytonutrients greens help to improve the digestion process, bolster the immune system, shed surplus kilos, and lower the risk of chronic diseases. Read this article to explore the health benefits, nutritional value, and ways to add collard greens to your meal plan.
Collard greens or collards belongs to the member of the cabbage (Brassica) or the cruciferous family of vegetables. They have large leaves that are dark green in colour owing to the abundance of plant pigment and are widely cultivated in countries like Brazil, Tanzania, Italy, and India. Collard greens are grown in the Kashmir valley in India and are known as Haak saag. These greens are available all around the year but are known to be heaped in nutrients when harvested in the winter months. Collard greens are an important part of a wholesome diet and can be used as any leafy greens, like kale or spinach.
Collard green is a low-calorie vegetable laden with many essential nutrients that support to optimise overall health. A serving of greens (1 cup) provides 12 calories, 2 grams carbohydrates,1.4 grams dietary fibre, and 1 gram protein. It is bestowed with immense amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and vitamins K, C and folate. Furthermore, these greens are a storehouse of beneficial plant compounds known as antioxidants such as phenols, polyphenols, and alpha-lipoic acid that reduce oxidative stress by fighting free radicals in the system, reducing inflammation, and lowering the risk of developing chronic ailments.
Incredible Health Benefits
Cruciferous vegetables including collard greens are attributed to have potent anti-cancer effects. Several pieces of evidence have disclosed that a high intake of cruciferous vegetables has a lowered risk of developing certain types of cancers, including prostate, breast, ovarian, lung, bladder, and colon cancer. The richness of phytonutrient compounds glucosinolates in cruciferous vegetables have a positive impact in combatting cancer. In the body, glucosinolates are converted to isothiocyanate that shield the healthy cells from damage and prevents the formation of tumour cells. Collard greens should not be overcooked, but it is best to consume them steamed to reap its benefits.
Fortifies Bone Density
Collard green being an amazing source of calcium and vitamin K strengthens bones in growing children. While loaded with vitamin K it activates the proteins that enhance bone health and bone metabolism in adults and alleviate osteoporosis symptoms. Adding this green vegetable also helps postmenopausal women, as it reduces bone loss which is a normal process of ageing.
Improves Eye Health
Collard greens comprise a vast array of vital nutrients that are good for uplifting vision and eye health. Laden with vitamin A, antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin play a key role in vision and prevent eye disorders like age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.
Augments Heart Health
Being rich in dietary fibre and potassium collard greens helps to enhance good HDL levels and diminish bad LDL cholesterols. This averts plaque and fatty deposits in heart vessels, improving cardiac muscle function and heart health. While it also helps to maintain blood pressure under control and enhance the blood flow to the vital organs.
Boosts Gut Health
Regular addition of collard greens is known to increase your fibre intake. Dietary fibre supports digestive health by regularising bowel movements and nurtures the gut with good bacteria. Aside from this, collard greens contain a plant compound called dietary sulforaphane that may avert the growth of Helicobacter pylori and ease symptoms like bloating, nausea, and abdominal pain.
Ways To Add Collard Greens
Collard green is best relished raw, they have a mild flavour that’s less bitter than that of kale. They are used to make salads, smoothies, sandwiches, and added to soups, or stews to boost the nutrient value of the dishes. They can also be sauteed and consumed as a side dish.