Leafy vegetables are ideal for weight management as they are typically low in calories. They are useful in reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease since they are low in fat; high in dietary fiber; and rich in folic acid; vitamin C; potassium and magnesium; as well as containing a host of phytochemicals; such as lutein; beta-cryptoxanthin; zeaxanthin; and beta-carotene. One study showed that an increment of one daily serving of green leafy vegetables; lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease by 11 percent. In the Adventist health study; the frequent consumption of green salads by African-Americans was associated with a substantially lower risk of mortality.Green vegetables are also a major source of iron and calcium for any diet. Swiss chard and spinach are not considered good sources of calcium; due to their high content of oxalic acid. Green leafy vegetables are rich in beta-carotene; which can also be converted into vitamin A; and also improve immune function. Millions of children around the world have an increased risk of blindness; and other illnesses because of inadequate dietary vitamin A from green leafy vegetables.Green veggies contain a variety of carotids; flavoring and other powerful antioxidants that have cancer-protective properties.
In a Swedish study; it was reported that eating 3 or more servings a week of green leafy vegetables significantly reduced the risk of stomach cancer; the fourth most frequent cancer in the world. Cabbage; cauliflower; brussels sprouts; and broccoli are rich in indoles and isothiocyanates; which protect us against colon and other cancers. Broccoli sprouts have been reported to contain 10 or more times as much sulforaphane; a cancer-protective substance; than does mature broccoli. A higher consumption of green leafy vegetables has been shown to significantly decrease the risk of breast cancer and skin cancer.Eat at least 5-7 servings of fresh vegetables every day. Federal dietary guidelines now recommends at least nine servings of vegetable nutrition and fruit nutrition’s per day. Seasonal vegetables should be encouraged. Bring variety in the choice of vegetables in your everyday diet. Yellow and orange color vegetables are rich in Vitamin-A; a; ß carotenes; zea-xanthins and crypto-xanthins; whereas dark-green vegetables are a good source of minerals and phenolic; flavonoid as well as anthocyanin anti-oxidants.
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