Have you noticed kale has made a splash in our media lately? From kale chips to kale pesto, this leafy green vegetable is the poster board child for superfoods.
But, is kale all that it’s hyped up to be? According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control of powerhouse fruits and vegetables, kale only ranked 15th.
It’s true that people don’t eat as many vegetables, particularly green vegetables, as they should. People know how nutritious leafy greens are; yet they fail to eat them regularly in their diets.
Here at 3macros, we want to help you make better eating choices. So, we’ve assembled the top 5 leafy greens that are packed with vitamins and minerals.
You might be surprised by which green vegetable is the most nutritious!
5. Collard Greens
Collard greens are a staple in the southern U.S. and they are packed with cholesterol-lowering benefits. To get the most out of your collard greens, it’s best to steam them, making sure not to overcook them.
These greens are also loaded with vitamin K and A, and make a great addition to your salad.
With a few Kalamata olives, a handful of sunflower seeds and a Mediterranean-style dressing, you’ll easily have this on your dinner menu this week. Take a look at how to make this easy salad recipe.
4. Romaine Lettuce
Yes, can you believe it, boring old romaine lettuce actually outranked Kale. Romaine lettuce packs more folic acid than Kale and this can help increase fertility in men. According to a study, folic acid contributed to an increase in sperm count.
Women can benefit from folic acid as well; there’s evidence to suggest it can help with depression in women.
You may not know it, but sautéing your greens bring out their color and flavor. With a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some spices, you can quickly whip up this side dish for dinner tonight. Martha Stewart has a fabulous recipe for sautéed romaine lettuce. Be sure to check it out.
Broccoli is full of good nutrition and has a great taste to boot. Loaded with vitamin C and vitamin A, broccoli is also a good source of folate and potassium. It’s also full of cancer-fighting properties as it’s high in sulforaphane.
To include more of this green vegetable in your diet, toss it in your rice, pasta or even mashed potatoes.
Broccoli is so versatile you can include it in almost any dish. Why not try a casserole with brown rice, broccoli and cheddar?
It’s easy to dismiss parsley as only a garnish, but the nutrition alone should make you think otherwise. One sprig of this superfood has enough vitamin K to satisfy your daily needs.
Also, the rich-aroma this herb gives off can help you lose weight. So, next time add a bit more parsley to your chicken and indulge in its “green” flavor.
Parsley and lemon go well with fish. Together, they enhance the overall flavor and lemon always compliments fish beautifully. With the warm weather approaching, try grilling your fish; it’ll sure be a crowd-pleaser in your home.
In case you don’t have a favorite recipe for fish, be sure to try this mouth-watering lemon tilapia recipe.
The best leafy green vegetable, pound for pound, is watercress. It contains four times more beta-carotene than an apple and when eaten regularly, can act as an anti-aging regimen.
Also, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that 2 cups a day of watercress can reduce DMA damage – which is linked to cancer. Make sure, however, to eat watercress raw, as heating it could damage its cancer-fighting properties.
Avocado is another healthy food to include in any diet. With its rich source of potassium and monounsaturated fatty acids, you can pair it with any leafy green to make a fabulous salad. For a super nutritious salad, make an avocado and watercress salad.
Leafy Greens Are the Way to Go
So, there you have it. Here are five leafy greens that are healthier than kale. While kale is still highly nutritious and better than most other vegetables, why not give collard greens a chance or sprinkle more parsley in your spaghetti sauce?
The varied dishes you can make with all these greens are enough to fill your week up with healthy meal options. And don’t forget we’ve included broccoli along with other nutritious vegetables in our Meal Prep menu.
Tell us, what is you favorite leafy green and how do you like to prepare it?