Belonging to the cabbage family, collard greens have dark green bitter leaves and white stems that are full of nutrition for optimum health. They boost immunity, promote eye, brain, heart and bone health and contain strong doses of essential vitamins and minerals that have a positive impact on your wellbeing.
You can eat them raw, steamed or sautéed and added to your favorite dishes: here are some of the powerful health benefits that this cruciferous vegetable offers:
1. Improves Immunity
Just 100 grams of collard greens provides 100% of the recommended daily dose of Vitamin A, as well as 58% of the recommended daily dose of Vitamin C. This combination is a powerful immune booster, helping to fight infections and prevent bacteria from thriving.
2. Strengthens Bones and Teeth
Collard greens offer an incredible dose of Vitamins A and K, which are essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth. They also aid in repairing brittle bones and improving the health of your skeletal system. It also contains a good amount of calcium, which further promotes strong teeth and bones.
3. Keeps You Regular
Dietary fiber is essential for good digestive health and helps to alleviate symptoms of a dysfunctional system. Two cups offers 10% of your daily requirement of dietary fiber, which helps to relieve constipation, eliminate toxins and keep you regular.
Collard greens contain a property known as isothiocyanates which have been proven to trigger detoxification in the liver as well as at a cellular level. Modern diets and environments include processed foods, chemicals and toxins which can destroy DNA, something that isothiocyanates helps to prevent.
5. Supports a Healthy Heart
Inflammation, cholesterol, plaque and hypertension all lead to poor heart health, and eating collard greens is the perfect proactive approach to prevent this. The Vitamin K works to reduce inflammation, the fiber works to lower cholesterol and rid arteries of plaque buildup and the calcium helps to improve elasticity. A healthy heart needs a healthy diet: collard greens are an excellent start.
6. No Fat and Very Few Calories
One cup of collard greens contains as little as 11 calories, zero fat and plenty of fiber, making it a great addition to a weight-conscious eating plan. The fiber fills you up and cleans you out, ridding your body of excess fat and giving your cells the nutrients that they need to be healthy.
7. Fights Free Radical Damage
Free radical damage is caused by the harmful UV rays of the sun, pollution, processed foods and chemicals, and powerful antioxidants are the only way to combat this. Collard greens contain multiple powerful antioxidants and flavonoids, such as manganese, Vitamin C, quercetin and kaempferol, which reduce free radical damage and promote healthy cell growth, skin and tissue.
8. High in Vitamin K
One cup of collard greens offers over one thousand percent of the daily requirements for Vitamin K, making this an exceptional source for this essential vitamin. Vitamin K is responsible for maintaining healthy blood, a healthy heart and healthy bones, as well as assisting in efficient healing of wounds and injuries.
The powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in collard greens have been proven to reduce the risk of developing cancer, as well as creating an alkaline environment in which diseased cells cannot thrive. It also contains sulfur-containing compounds known as glucosinolates, which have shown to prevent the growth of cancer cells in the breasts, bladder, colon, prostate, liver and lungs.
10. Keeps Red Blood Cells Healthy
Collard greens contain a decent dose of iron, which helps to promote blood heath and keep red blood cells active. This prevents anemia, fatigue, hypertension and low levels of oxygen in the blood, giving your vital organs better blood and more vitality.