When it comes to healthy living, it’s all about the green stuff. No, we’re not talking about dollar bills! We’re talking about dark, leafy greens.
There’s overwhelming evidence that the more green you get in your diet, the lower your chances of developing conditions like heart disease and Alzheimer’s. On top of that, green veggies are a fantastic way to burn fat and keep your skin radiant.
Let’s go over just a few of the most substantial benefits you’ll experience once you start eating green veggies every day. In this post, we’ll also share pro tips on how to sneak a little green into your daily routine.
The Glorious Benefits Of Eating Leafy Greens
Here are some fantastic benefits of eating your greens (like Mom told you!).
Benefit #1 – Enjoy A Long-Term Memory Boost
Forget about spending hours playing those brain-training apps. If you add one serving of leafy green veggies to your day, then you’re bound to experience a memory boost.
A recent study out of Rush University tracked the diet and cognitive health of about 950 senior citizens in Chicago. Over roughly five years, researchers screened study participants for mental issues and asked what they ate on a typical day.
Amazingly, there was a strong correlation between how many greens a person ate and their risk of memory problems. People who ate just one serving of green veggies per day versus those who ate none had a substantially slower rate of cognitive impairment.
Benefit #2 – Naturally Lower Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is one of the most common chronic conditions in the USA. In fact, the CDC now estimates that about 108 million Americans have some degree of hypertension. Thankfully, it appears dark green veggies could help millions of patients keep their blood pressure levels in check.
Scientists at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital recently published a long-term study analyzing the correlation between diet and hypertension. Researchers tracked the health of over 28,000 middle-aged females for a little over 12 years. According to the data, women who ate more dark green veggies had a lower incidence of blood pressure issues.
It’s important to note, however, that leafy green veggies are only a part of managing high blood pressure. Indeed, professors involved in the above study found an even higher correlation between fruit intake and lower blood pressure.
• Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.
• Add a mindfulness meditation session into your daily routine.
• Get at least seven hours of sleep per night.
• Quit harmful habits like smoking and drinking.
• Take a warm bath or visit a sauna a few times per week.
Benefit #3 – Show Your Teeth Some Serious Love
One of the annoying things about eating leafy green veggies is they can often get stuck in your teeth. Well, look at the bright side: at least these foods will keep your pearly whites free from cavities!
Interestingly, all leafy green veggies have incredibly high levels of bioavailable calcium. So, if you’re lactose intolerant, you could get all the calcium your bones and teeth need from a daily helping of greens.
In addition to calcium, leafy green veggies often contain high traces of folic acid (aka vitamin B9). Many studies suggest people who eat more folic acid have a lower risk of gum bleeding and gingivitis.
Benefit #4 – Detox Your Liver With Dandelion
There’s great hope in the scientific community that green veggies could combat one of the world’s leading liver diseases: fatty liver. Recent rodent studies out of Sweden show that leafy greens contain high traces of nitrate. According to the latest research, the body can use this substance to reduce liver inflammation.
Although trials are ongoing, dark green veggies could likely play a big role in the future treatment and prevention of fatty liver disease. In particular, dandelion appears to have the highest potential to protect patients from liver disease. This green has a ton of beneficial polysaccharides that assist liver detoxification.
Since this green is somewhat bitter, most people don’t enjoy eating it raw. If you find dandelion’s taste a bit too abrasive, consider sautéing them or drinking them in an herbal tea.
If you just can’t stand this green’s taste but still want to enjoy its benefits, you could always look into dietary supplements. Just be sure to let your doctor know beforehand. Sometimes herbal pills could counteract prescription medications, so it’s best to get a physician’s approval.
Benefit #5 – See Clearly With Lutein & Zeaxanthin
When we think of healthy foods for the eyes, we usually think of carrots. Although this orange root veggie is pretty sweet, it just can’t compete with leafy green veggies.
The reason green veggies are so beneficial for eye health has to do with compounds called lutein and zeaxanthin. Research has shown both of these chemicals play a critical role in reducing the pressure in the eyes, which could decrease the risk of conditions like age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.
Although lutein and zeaxanthin are present in a few other foods, they are nowhere near as concentrated as in leafy green veggies. No doubt: a bowl of greens every day will undoubtedly keep the ophthalmologist away!
Benefit #6 – Promote Gut Health With Prebiotic Powerhouses
One of the most significant medical discoveries in recent years is the “gut-brain axis.” Although it may seem strange, there seems to be a direct connection between our digestive and our cognitive health.
To be more specific, the types of bacteria that thrive in our gut play a significant role in our overall well-being. You’ve probably already heard about the many benefits of “probiotics,” which refers to the healthy bacteria in your gut that help to regulate digestive well-being.
Although leafy green vegetables don’t contain probiotics, they are considered one of nature’s most outstanding “prebiotics.” In other words, the fiber in these veggies acts as “food” for the healthy bacteria in your gut. Interesting research also suggests dark green veggies have an enzyme that helps increase probiotic populations.