How This Helps

Green leafy vegetables are  power­packed with fiber,  calcium,  protein, magnesium, iron,  vitamins K  and C, folic acid, potassium, and storehouse of disease­fighting molecules; i.e. photochemical (including lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta­carotene).

Science and Research

If you are looking for the foods that are most nutritious, green leafy vegetables are sure to be the first choice. They are packed with higher amounts of nutrients (per calorie) as compared to any other foods.  

Green leafy vegetables health benefits

If you are looking for the foods that are most nutritious, green leafy vegetables are sure to be the first choice. They are packed with higher amounts of nutrients (per calorie) as compared to any other foods.  Owing to this great feature, some nutritionists are of the opinion that green leafy vegetables must be enrolled in a separate group of foods! If you ask me, I will simply opine that leafy greens must be eaten once a day (minimum) to obtain great health and vitality. To mention the nutrients in green leafy vegetables – what can I say? 

Why should you incorporate green vegetables into your diet? Firstly, the leafy vegetables are filled with natural nitrates. Please do not confuse it with nitrites (which are found in cured meat, especially bacon, hot dogs, etc.) and are known to cause cancer. The natural nitrates in vegetables stand just a  few steps ahead of nitric oxide;  which is an extremely powerful vasodilator; i.e. the ingredient that helps in opening up the blood vessels in the body. When the blood vessels are opened up (i.e. dilated) we are able to get more oxygen for the muscles. 

Eating green veggies also brings several other beneficial results as preventing cardiac disorders and hypertension. Our body can absorb the double amount of calcium from leafy green vegetables when compared to the absorption level of calcium from milk. In addition to this information, it is important to note that a cup of cooked kale stores 1300% vitamin K. So, the more greens we consume, the more we stay healthy.

Now the vital question is about how we maintain this healthy diet with green leafy vegetables?  Let us look and see how we can get leafy vegetables into our diet and think beyond kale and spinach!

Here is my green vegetables list to mull over:

1. Seaweed:
Seaweed is green too and leafy as well! They are available in various sizes of dehydrated packs at the health food stores.  Sarah (my friend)  told me about the great benefits of seaweeds as the alternative for green vegetables and  I  simply loved the idea.  She generally uses to crumble up handful seaweed in a  tortilla that is already filled with hummus.

2. Matcha:
Matcha is popularly known as the green tea powder and actually stores thrice the number of antioxidants  as compared to green tea. This will bring a wonderful  healing effect in your body and will help you to fight the stress (due to oxidation) that hikers face while walking at the high altitudes. Matcha is a nice substitute for the morning coffee as it will not just provide you with the health benefits but at the same time give you the calm and alert buzz of caffeine.  Matcha powder tastes best when mixed with warm water and a  bit of cinnamon and sugar.

3. Foraging:
While on the hike, we are amidst the world of greens. It will be interesting to explore the nutrient storage that nature provides us. It will not be hard to find edible plants like Lamb Quarters, Nettle, Chickweed, Miner’s Lettuce, Dandelion, or Chicory as all of them are filled with healthy nutrients. You can pick some of the available green vegetables on the trail and brighten up your evening meal. But, be sure about your choice and do not try this procedure if you are not too sure about identifying the right plant.  Proper knowledge about plants and a bit of education in this matter is extremely important.

4. Load up on your nutrients:
Buy a  bunch of kale along with lime and avocado.  You can make a  simple but wonderful kale salad by chopping the kale, squeezing the lime juice into it, mashing the avocado and seasoning with salt.  The provision of some salsa and black beans will surely make the dish mouth­watering. 

5. Barlean’s Green:
Besides making flaxseed oil, Barlean’s is the manufacturer of a super formula powder that contains various types of healthy vegetable ingredients  (right from wheatgrass to apple extract!). Having the multi­ingredient Barlean’s Green powder to add antioxidants and micronutrients will surely prove to be beneficial while on the hike. This one comes in various flavors and I am personally in love with the chocolate version.

I would suggest to include leafy green vegetables in your daily diet and feel free to suggest more options!

See: Is green tea good for you

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