Beyond Kale: Which Greens Should You Buy?
Carly Zinderman | My Body
These days it seems like the world has gone kale crazy. The superfood has made its way into everything from Caesar salads to soups to smoothies and even as an alternative snack to chips. However, there are many greens to explore that deliver huge nutritional benefits. So, while kale gets all the attention, go beyond kale to discover even more healthy choices.
Punch It Up With Spinach
It’s no surprise that Popeye packed such a powerful punch in his spinach-fueled arms. Spinach reportedly has the potential to help control diabetes, lower the risk of cancer, lower blood pressure, and improve bone health. Spinach has fewer calories per serving than kale and is high in protein, calcium, iron and magnesium, all of which play essential roles in the body’s functions.
Get Into the Weeds
Containing twice as much iron as spinach and cancer-fighting nutrients, dandelions are more than just pesky weeds growing in your yard. Some nutritionists recommend dandelion greens as an excellent green food to include in your diet, because, compared to broccoli, they provide four times as much calcium and more vitamin A and K, too.
Call Upon Collards
Although collard greens generally find their way into dishes with unhealthy ingredients like smoked ham, they are actually quite nutritional when steamed. Collards are high in antioxidants like vitamins A and C, which help protect against cell damage. In addition, studies have found that collard greens may actually be more effective than kale at lowering cholesterol levels.
Add Color To Your Greens
While the leaves are a pretty dark green, not all Swiss chard stalks are the same color, making it a colorful and healthy option to kale. Some health experts call swiss chard a nutritional wonder, chock full of vitamins including A, C and K as well as minerals like magnesium, potassium and iron. This leafy green is also low in calories, contains fiber, and helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties are also included in every serving of swiss chard.
Look To Watercress
It turns out that the British are on to something when it comes to eating watercress. Watercress may prevent cancer and also benefits cardiovascular and eye health, according to some studies. Watercress contains vitamins like A, C, and K and cancer-fighting compounds along with lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Another consideration: kale is so popular that farmers are pushing to keep up with demand, which can sometimes affect prices. Think about going beyond kale, not just to add variety, but perhaps to save a little money, too.