6 Health Benefits of Salad Greens

6 Health Benefits of Salad Greens

Low in calories, sugar, fat and carbohydrates, salad greens — from lettuce and kale, spinach and arugula, to escarole, radicchio, mustard greens and more — are also packed with vitamins and nutrients.

Here are six ways your bowl of salad greens benefits your health:

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is important for bone metabolism and protection against fracture risks associated with osteoporosis. It’s found in most salad greens, with cabbage (particularly red varieties, though green is also good), spinach, mustard greens and radicchio being rich sources. Kale delivers a megadose of Vitamin K: 684% of the FDA’s recommended daily value in one cup of raw leaves.

Fiber

Many salad greens – including escarole, radicchio, lettuce and cabbage – are good sources of insoluble fiber, which helps keep your digestive system running smoothly. Cabbage also contains soluble fiber, which promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut and has been shown to help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Vitamin A

Spinach and kale are packed with beta-carotene that converts to Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that helps slow macular degeneration of the eyes caused by aging. It’s also been shown to reduce cataract risk and support immune function. You’ll find ample amounts of Vitamin A in mustard greens, lettuce and purslane.

Vitamin C

This immunity-supporting antioxidant is essential for the absorption of iron, which aids in the function of your red blood cells. Vitamin C may also help manage high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Spinach and cabbage are rich in C, while kale is one of the top sources — one cup of raw kale contains more than an orange!

Potassium

Important for heart and nerve function, this electrolyte also helps control muscle contraction and reduce the negative effects of sodium. You’ll find a good supply of it in arugula, kale and cabbage — in particular, red varieties.

Folate

This B vitamin helps with metabolism and is vital for the creation of red and white blood cells. Because it aids in the production of DNA, it’s essential for women who are pregnant, reducing risk for birth defects. Spinach and escarole boast excellent levels of folate, while Asian greens, cabbage and lettuce are prime sources, too.

Grow your own custom blend of salad greens to fill your bowl with health benefits!

January 17, 2022
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