Children do not like them on their plates and teenagers avoid them like the plague. Yes, I am talking about greens.
Greens provide a bonanza of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Hence they are called as a powerhouses of nutrients. They are rich in minerals like iron,calcium,potassium,magnesium and vitamins like K,E,C and most of the B vitamins.
They provide a variety of phyonutrients including beta-carotene,lutein and zeaxanthin which prevent cell damage and prevent cataracts hence safeguard our eyes from various diseases.
They make an excellant part of a low carbohydrate diet. They are very low in carbs and are packed with layers of fiber which slows down digestion. Hence they do not cause any change in the blood sugar levels.Hence help prevent diabetes and also control it too.
They help to prevent osteoporosis because of their calcium content. They help to protect us from various inflammatory diseases like arthritis and regulate blood clotting.
Vitamin K is the most important vitamin available in them and it needs a fat mode to enter our body. Hence adding some oil dressing or sauteing it in oil can help a lot.
The iron present in it is the type that is not easily available ie, non-haeme iron hence adding lime juice over the greens or cooking with tomatoes(source of vitamin C) helps to bind the iron with the help of vitamin C.
A few greens help us by protecting us from bacteria Eg. broccoli. They also help to remove all the waste from the body hence help us to maintain clean systems.
If eaten excessively, it can provide too much of oxalates which bind with calcium to form calcium oxalates stones commonly known as kidney stones.This can be prevented if you are well hydrated.
Buy them fresh and seasonally. Wash them well as they can carry a lot of dirt and soil and also eggs of certain parasites. The best way is to rinse well in vinegar which helps to retain their crispiness and freshness and also clean them well.
Aim to eat alteast 100-150 grams of greens daily.
BDST: 1328 HRS, June 20, 2012
Edited by: Sharmina Islam, lifestyle Editor
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