Leaf vegetables are also known as leafy greens, potherbs or just greens. They are the leaves of vegetable plants, and can be eaten in salads, stir-fries, and smoothies. There are over 1000 species of leaf vegetables, but some of the common ones are lettuce, kale, spinach, collards, swiss chard, mustard greens and beet greens.
Leaf vegetables do not contain any unhealthy fats or cholesterol, and are low in calories. But they are high in vital nutrients such as vitamins A, B vitamins, C, E and K, folate, calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium. They also contain lots of fiber, amino acids, antioxidants and chlorophyll.
How to Buy
When buying your leaf vegetables make sure that they are crisp and not wilted, as they will last longer in your fridge. Also buy organic whenever possible as they will contain more nutrients and less chemicals.
If you have a garden you can grow your own in the summer time. Or, if you have a window that receives a fair amount of sunshine you can even grow them in pots. The vegetables require very little maintenance and will last a while if you only pick the outside leaves so that the inner leaves can continue to grow.
How to Eat
Salads. Leaf vegetables are great for in green or garden salads. Simply wash the leaves and chop them up into bite-sized pieces and enjoy with your favorite dressing.
Smoothies. Smoothies are a great way for you to eat more of these, as you can mix them up with your favorite fruits and other root vegetables for a flavorful and nutrient rich smoothie.
Stir-fries. If you enjoy stir-fries, then leaf vegetables will make a great addition. You can use any leaf vegetable, just remember that they will require less time to cook as your peppers and other vegetables.
Juices. Leaf vegetables also contain a good amount of juice which you can obtain by sending them through a juicer. If you have never juiced leaf vegetables, then you will want to juice them along with your favorite fruits to help take the bitterness out.
Weight Loss. Due to the low amounts of calories and high amount of nutrition, they are the perfect food to add to your diet if you want to lose weight. Not only will they help to fill you up, but they will also help you to avoid other food cravings.
Prevent Diseases. Due to the high amount of antioxidants the vegetables can help to protect you against many age related diseases such as cancer, arthritis, eye diseases, heart disease and diabetes. They do not contain any unnatural sugars, and therefore they will not spike your blood sugar levels.