We admit that leafy green vegetables aren’t the favorite when it comes to summer produce. Sweet corn usually takes the crown as the most popular, with common favorites like avocados and cucumbers following not far behind. However, we think it’s time to change that. As a group, leafy green vegetables, or greens, are some of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. They are great sources of Vitamin A and C, among other nutrients. In fact, one type of green has more calcium than a glass of milk and another has more potassium per serving than a banana.
Greens are readily available during the summer, especially at farmer’s markets, and it can be fun to look through the many different types. We’ve come up with a list of our fifteen favorite leafy greens and their nutritional benefits. Maybe you can find a new favorite!
Higher in nutrients and antioxidants than some other lettuce varieties, arugula is a great source of vitamins A and C.
Just 1/2 cup of bok choy offers 144 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin A and 74 percent of vitamin C. Both the leaves and stalks of the vegetable are edible and a good source of calcium.
Red, Green, Napa, Savoy – Cancer-fighting compounds can be found in many varieties of cabbage. Cabbage is also high in vitamin C and fiber.
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A single head of endive will provide 60 percent of the amount of potassium found in a banana. Endive is also high in complex fibers and a good source of vitamin A.
Resembling “mini cabbages,” Brussels sprouts pack quite the nutritional punch. They are rich in vitamin C, fiber and protein. Brussels sprouts also provide vitamin A, potassium and calcium.
Similar in nutrition to kale, Collard greens are a Southern cooking staple. They are a great source of calcium, containing more in one serving than milk.
Though considered weeds by most, dandelion greens are fairly nutritious. They contain considerably more calcium, vitamin A and vitamin K than broccoli, and also have twice the amount of iron and three times the amount of riboflavin as spinach.
Already known as a superfood, kale is a good source of vitamins A and K, calcium, folate, and potassium. When it comes to vitamin C, a serving of kale will provide more than an orange.
Low in fat and high in fiber, Swiss chard is a popular member of the greens family. A one cup serving will provide 22 percent of your daily recommended dose of iron.
Red, Green, Butter, Boston, Romaine, Iceberg – Iceberg lettuce is the most popular green in the United States, even though it’s close to devoid of all nutrition. However, other varieties are high in vitamin A.
Mustard greens may not be the most common green, but that doesn’t make them any less nutritious. They are a great way to add more vitamin A, vitamin K, fiber and antioxidants to your diet.
It may be red, but radicchio is still considered a leafy green. When it’s fresh, radicchio is a good source of vitamin K and also has higher antioxidant content than spinach or blueberries.
This green is different from the rest in that it provides more nutrition cooked than raw. A serving of spinach will give you more calcium than milk and more potassium than a banana. Spinach is also full of vitamins A, C, E, K and folate.
Turnip greens may just be the best deal on the list since both the greens and the turnips they’re attached to are edible and nutritious. The greens are full of vitamins A, C and K and calcium.
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The unique looking watercress is high in antioxidants and vitamins C and A. Watercress has also been shown to boost the immune system and may help vision by reducing the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.