5 Best Leafy Vegetables You Should Eat Every Day, Dietitians Say: Eat This Not That

We all know that vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet. Not only are they chock full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but they can also be easily incorporated into almost any meal.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2020-2025 dietary guidelines recommend that Americans vary their vegetable consumption, highlighting dark green vegetables as a key category.

Whether you’re folding them into your omelette, blending them into a smoothie, or sneaking them into a burrito, dark green leafy veggies are the perfect vehicle for adding nutrients to any dish.

To learn more about the best leafy vegetables to eat every day, we consulted with members of our board of medical experts Tammy Lakatos shame, RDN, CDN, CFT and Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT, also known as The Nutrition Twins. He reads on to see what these registered dieters had to say. So, for advice on healthier eating, check out the # 1 best vegetable. 1 to lower blood sugar.

Dandelion greens

This leafy green probably isn’t in your usual veggie spin, but it should be.

“One of the reasons these vegetables are so potent is that they help increase bile flow, break down fat, facilitate digestion and help the liver while protecting it and helping it filter out potentially harmful chemicals from food,” The Nutrition Twins say. .

Rich in antioxidants like beta-carotene, dandelion has been shown to protect against cell damage, which can ultimately help fend off chronic disease. Additionally, their rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin supports eye health, while their vitamin C and K content helps promote bone health. And that’s not all these leafy greens can do.

“One of their true superpower qualities is that they are a rich source of gut-compatible prebiotics, thanks to their inulin,” says The Nutrition Twin. “They improve intestinal production of ‘good’ bifidobacteria, which help boost immune function and may also help prevent cancer.”

Chinese cabbageChinese cabbage

Chinese cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, which means it belongs to the same family as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.

“Cruciferous vegetables reduce the risk of cancer and contain nutrients that fight carcinogens such as vitamin C, E, beta-carotene, folate and selenium, which have been shown to slow tumor growth,” say The Nutrition Twins.

In addition to being rich in vitamins and bone-building minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin K, bok choy is rich in quercetin, a flavonoid that has been linked to reducing inflammation and protecting against chronic disease. .

For a nutrient-rich meal, Nutrition Twins suggest chopping this green leaf and adding it to a stir-fry.

Broccoli sproutsBroccoli sprouts

If you are tired of broccoli, why not try broccoli sprouts?

These leafy greens are 3-5 day broccoli plants with small green leaves that resemble alfalfa sprouts. Although they offer the same number of calories and macronutrients as broccoli per gram, they contain about 100 times more glucoraphanin.

“… when chewed or cut, [glucoraphanin] is converted to the superstar phytochemical sulforaphane, which has potent anticancer effects, including promoting cancer cell death [and] reducing inflammation and susceptibility to cancer-causing toxins, “say the Nutrition Twins.” Sulforaphane increases detoxifying enzymes in the liver and may also help deactivate some genes involved in cancer.

fresh cressfresh cress

This cruciferous vegetable has a slightly spicy and peppery flavor, along with a host of health benefits.

According to a classified list of “potent fruits and vegetables,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has crowned watercress as the most nutrient-rich vegetable. This means that it contains most of the nutrients in the fewest calories. Therefore, this green is particularly useful when it comes to disease prevention and weight loss.

Additionally, The Nutrition Twins highlights that watercress contains high amounts of fiber that promote digestion, vitamin C that supports the immune system, glucosinates that prevent disease, and more.

“One of the standout elements in this powerhouse is its vitamin K, a vital nutrient that is extremely important (and overlooked) for bone health,” say The Nutrition Twins. “Just one cup (34 grams) of watercress provides over 100% of the [recommended daily intake] for vitamin K. “

With this versatile leafy green, the Nutrition Twins recommend adding it to salads, soups, fries, and even pizza.

fresh spinachfresh spinach

Spinach is rich in carotenoids, which help “remove” free radicals known to cause cell damage, explains The Nutrition Twins. They also note that research has shown that these green leafy vegetables protect against cancers of the stomach, colon, mouth, and esophagus.

Being a rich source of potassium, spinach has been linked to lowering blood pressure, while its lutein content has been linked to enhanced cognitive function. And in addition to its nutritional benefits, this vegetable boasts a versatile flavor profile.

“Spinach is so delicate it is like a chameleon and can be mixed with foods like smoothies and be inaudible, making it the perfect vegetable for people who have a hard time enjoying green vegetables,” say The Nutrition Twins.

RELATED: Best Food No. 1 to lower blood pressure, new study results