Green vegetables are some of the most nutrient-dense foods that are out there. With the increase in plant-based eating and veganism, green vegetables are now more popular than ever. When it comes to enjoying your healthy greens, you don’t have to always make a salad. You can blend them and add them into soups or even bake them into crisps. They work amazingly well as green smoothies for breakfast and you are sure to get your health fix by adding these green vegetables to your diet.
Green vegetables are a great way to intake some of the most essential nutrients that your body needs. It is simple and easy and doesn’t carry too many calories. Hence, when you are thinking about your health, green vegetables surely are something to consider. They are loaded with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds and phytonutrients all of which support your health.
When picking green vegetables, you want to choose those greens that you know to carry the most nutrient value and are considered the healthiest. Here is our list of the 23 best greens for your health.
Okra is also referred to as lady’s finger is botanically a fruit, however, is used as a vegetable. Though many vegetables do not contain protein, okra contains a trace amount of protein; about 2 grams of protein in a 100 gram serving.
Okra is rich in essential nutrients such as magnesium and delivers 15 per cent of the daily recommendation in a 100 gram portion. It is great for your heart and is high in polyphenol. The thick gel-like substance that is found in the vegetable is great for heart health. This gel-like substance binds to cholesterol and removes it from your system. This works to reduce cholesterol levels, thereby protecting your heart.
100 gram serving of okra contains about 33 calories. As you would expect from any vegetables, it isn’t high in calories. The nutrient concentration of okra makes it one of the healthiest choices when it comes to green vegetables. You simply cannot go wrong by including them in your diet.
2. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard, also known as silverbeet, is an amazing source of vitamins and minerals. For instance, when it comes to vitamin K, a 175 gram serving of Swiss chard contains 716 per cent of your daily recommendation.
Getting enough vitamin K from your diet is very important. It can halt slow cognitive decline and can protect you against diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. A 175 gram serving of Swiss chard also contains 214 per cent of your vitamin A requirement and wholesome amounts of vitamin C, E, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc and phosphorus.
The amount of antioxidants in Swiss chard is also impressive. They contain antioxidants like beta-carotene, lutein and alpha-carotene all of which fight disease-causing free radicals in your body. They even contain trace amounts of omega-4 fatty acids.
The nutrient profile of Swiss chard is actually very impressive, which is why it is considered one of the healthiest green vegetables to choose from. One cup of chopped Swiss chard contains 35 calories.
Fennel is crunchy and great for you. It is rich in minerals and antioxidants and can be a great addition to your healthy diet.
It contains copper, iron, phosphorus and potassium all of which help boost the functions of your cardiovascular system and immune system. They contain beneficial polyphenol antioxidants such as quercetin, apigenin and chlorogenic acid, all of which fight disease causing free radicals in your body.
Fennel has proven anti-inflammatory properties. It also has estrogenic properties. This means, they act similar to oestrogen and can be an effective way to manage postmenopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and sleeplessness.
A 100 gram serving of fennel contains about 31 calories. It is a highly nutrient-dense green vegetable that is considered extremely healthy for you.
4. Green Beans
This common vegetable is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They especially contain iron and folate.
Green beans are a great source of fibre, particularly soluble fibre. This type of fibre works to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol (LDL) in your body, thereby improving your cholesterol levels.
The fibre content is especially valuable for those who suffer from chronic digestive issues for they contain certain types of carbohydrates that help prevent symptoms such as gas, bloating, stomach pain, constipation and diarrhoea. However, they do cause gas and bloating in some people.
A 100 gram serving of green beans contains about 31 calories. Green beans can be a simple yet effective addition to your diet, one that will keep you healthy for a long time.
Though small in size, watercress is actually one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. It is considered a powerhouse vegetable that is loaded with essential nutrients.
Watercress is a reliable source of phytochemicals called isothiocyanates. These phytochemicals work to prevent cancers in the colon, lung, prostate and skin.
It is the anti-cancer properties of watercress that makes them a healthy and valuable addition to a diet. They work to protect healthy cells from damage and neutralises carcinogenic chemicals thereby blocking the growth and spread of tumours.
Watercress has only about 11 calories in a 100 gram serving. It is a great addition to the diet to fight cancer and keep the risk of cancer at bay.
6. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a reliable source of vitamin K which is an important element in blood clotting. Thus, eating Brussel sprouts means you are more likely to notice your wounds healing faster. On top of this, vitamin K is important for the health of your bones.
It is easy to acquire your daily recommended value of vitamin K from Brussels sprouts, with about eight cooked sprouts providing the daily recommended amount.
Further to vitamin K, Brussels sprouts are also a rich source of vitamin C, which is important for the health of your skin and immune system. They also contain valuable antioxidants that decrease the damage caused to cells by oxidative stress.
A 100 gram serving of Brussels sprouts contains about 43 calories. It is an all-round vegetable that brings with it more than one health benefit, hence should most certainly be included in a healthy diet.
This common vegetable comes from the same family as onions and garlic, however, don’t have underground grown bulbs. They are an excellent source of prebiotic inulin which is responsible for maintaining good bacteria in your gut.
Inulin works to support digestive health by relieving constipation and boosts bile production which increases the effectiveness of fat breakdown in your gut.
Leeks are extremely good for your heart. Leeks reduce the risk of death from atherosclerosis, which is caused when there is a build-up of plaque in the arteries.
A 100 gram serving of leeks contains about 61 calories and can be a great addition to the diet for cardiovascular and digestive health.
8. Green Peppers
Green peppers are harvested earlier than yellow, orange and red peppers which is why they have a slightly more bitter flavour in comparison. They contain high levels of the antioxidant lutein which you don’t find in ripe peppers such as the yellow or red ones.
They are delicious and can be eaten raw and is a valuable source of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps boost your immune system thereby helping you keep diseases at bay. They contain twice as much vitamin C as oranges.
A 100 gram serving of green peppers contains about 20 calories. It is a vegetable that you should add to your diet to boost your immune system and fight diseases.
Asparagus is a valuable green vegetable that contains a wholesome amount of plant-based folate. Folate is important for it is responsible for the formation of red blood cells in the body. This leads to better cardiovascular and respiratory health.
It is loaded with vitamin E and C and is a reliable source of antioxidants such as glutathione. They also contains flavonoids such as quercetin and keampferol.
Asparagus has been praised for its ability to fight cancer-causing cells and especially helps protect you from bowel cancer.
A 100 gram serving of asparagus contains about 20 calories. The fact that it helps and supports so many systems in your body is why it is considered such a valuable green vegetable.
10. Bok Choy
Also known as Chinese cabbage, bok choy is a delicious vegetable that is both nutrient-dense and contains low amounts of oxalate. The low amount of oxalate makes it easier for your body to absorb calcium in the gut.
Bok choy contains 158 mg of calcium in a 70 gram serving. Further to providing your body with a good amount of calcium, bok choy contains nutrients that support the function of immune cells in the gut.
Bok choy is a valuable green vegetable that brings with it many health benefits. With only 13 calories in a 100 gram serving, bok choy can be a great addition to your diet to keep you healthier.
Celery is a low-calorie vegetable with high fibre content. It is great for when you are on a diet and trying to lose weight.
They contain large amounts of antioxidants which help fight the actions of free radicals in your body. They also contain a phytochemical called phthalides which relaxes artery walls and helps support blood flow and works to reduce blood pressure.
It helps fight inflammatory responses in the brain through a plant flavonoid called luteolin. Inflammation can lead to diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Hence celery can provide an excellent line of defence against these diseases.
A 100 gram serving of celery contains about 14 calories.
Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamins B6 and folate. These nutrients help you better maintain energy levels and brain function.
About 60% of the fibre in cabbage is insoluble which means it cannot be broken down in the gut. This adds bulk to your stool and keep the digestive tract healthy.
It contains an impressive amount of antioxidants and can help prevent conditions such as type 2 diabetes.
It is a rich source of fibre and can be beneficial when trying to lose weight. A 100 gram serving of cabbage contains about 25 calories.
Made of almost entirely water, this crunchy green vegetable is an amazing source of potassium. Potassium is actually a heart-healthy mineral and works to aid your heart rate and blood pressure.
They contain high levels of cucurbitacins which are plant compounds that help stop the reproduction of cancer cells.
They are a good source of pectin which is a type of fibre that works to feed the good bacteria in your gut. This works to improve digestion and digestive health. They contain wholesome amounts of vitamin C and A and contains valuable antioxidants such as beta-carotene and lutein.
Most of the health benefits you find in cucumbers are in the skin, so be sure to include the skin in your diet. A 100 gram serving of cucumber contains about 10 calories.
You’ve heard those parents say, ‘eat your broccoli!’ This is for good reason. Broccoli contains some amazing vitamins including vitamin C, A and folate.
They contain a potent antioxidant called sulforaphane which is a powerful anti-cancer phytonutrient. Though broccoli is the best source of sulforaphane, heating may destroy the enzymes that activate sulforaphane. Hence, be sure to chop the broccoli into pieces and allow it to sit for about 40 minutes before cooking. This will help you maintain the levels of sulforaphane.
A 100 gram serving of broccoli contains about 30 calories.
Broccoli is a valuable nutrient-dense green vegetable that is extremely healthy for you. We hope you do listen to those parents who always ask you to eat your broccoli and include this amazing green vegetable in your diet.
Spinach is a superfood that is loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They contain wholesome amounts of vitamin A, C and K; a 30 gram serving can provide your body with 181% of your daily recommended value of vitamin K.
Spinach is great for your joints. In fact, a diet lacking in vitamin K can lead to developing conditions such as arthritic knees.
Spinach also contains quercetin which is a flavonoid antioxidant that is responsible for fighting oxidative damage caused by free radicals. It works to prevent various chronic diseases and help reduce inflammation in the body.
A 100 gram serving of spinach contains about 23 calories.
For a better idea of the various health benefits of spinach, we recommend that you read this article on, ‘Is Spinach a Superfood? (20 Health Benefits of Spinach in your Diet).’
Kale is called the queen of greens for good reason. It is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables available. It contains amazing amounts of vitamin K, A and C, with a 67 gram serving providing 684% of the daily recommended value of vitamin K, 206% of vitamin A and 134% of vitamin C.
It is loaded with lutein which is a phytonutrient that is responsible for supporting cardiovascular health. Lutein is also responsible for better eye health. It decreased the risk of age-related macular degeneration in the eyes. One serving of kale contains about 22 mg of lutein.
A 100 gram serving of kale contains 49 calories. Kale can be a great addition to a healthy diet and will reward you with better cardiovascular health and eyesight.
17. Dandelion Greens
Dandelion greens are a not so common green vegetable that can really work to transform your salad into a nutrient goldmine. They contain vitamin C and B6 which helps convert food into fuel.
Great for your immune system, dandelion greens helps metabolise fats and proteins and helps maintain the proper functioning of nerves. They also help increase the production of red blood cells which is great for your cardiovascular health.
They contain calcium and iron and is high in prebiotic fibre which helps nourish the good bacteria in your gut.
The fact that dandelion green support the functions of so many systems in your body is why it is considered so healthy for you. One cup of raw dandelion greens contains about 25 calories.
Lettuce leaves come in both green and red and is a beautiful way to brighten up your plate. They contain a mild taste and is loaded with vitamin A.
They also contain good amounts of folate that is important for the formation of red blood cells. They are a crucial nutrient in early pregnancy and helps reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine.
With 95% of lettuce being water, it’s great for hydration. It also works to improve vision thanks to the abundantly present vitamin A. It is also great for sleep and can lead to better quality of sleep.
A 100 gram serving of lettuce contains about 15 calories. It can be a great addition to the diet of those who are trying to lose weight.
19. Collard Greens
Collard greens are related to kale and spring greens and are thick leaves that taste slightly bitter.
They are a good source of plant-based calcium. They also contain wholesome amounts of vitamins A, B9 and C. They are also one of the best sources of vitamin K. In fact, one cup (190 gram serving) contains about 1,045% of the daily recommended value of vitamin K.
Vitamin K plays an important role in blood clotting and is also known for its ability to improve bone health.
A 100 gram serving of collard greens contains about 32 calories.
20. Turnip Greens
These are the leaves of the turnip plant and is loaded with more nutrients than turnip itself. It contains calcium, manganese, folate and vitamins A, C and K.
They have a strong flavour and can be enjoyed cooked or raw. The nutrients in turnip greens help reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease and cancer. They also contain anti-inflammatory properties which help fight inflammation.
Turnip greens also contain a number of useful antioxidants such as quercetin, beta-carotene and myricetin which help reduce oxidative stress in your body.
A 100 gram serving of turnip greens contains about 32 calories.
This less popular leafy green is rather difficult to grow. However, it contains large amounts of vitamins K, A and folate.
You can eat endive raw or in cooked form. It is a reliable source of kaempferol which is an antioxidant that is responsible for reducing inflammation. It also works to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
It has a slightly nutty and bitter flavour, however is considered extremely healthy for you. If you can get your hands on endive, you would benefit greatly from including it in your diet.
A 100 gram serving of endive contains about 17 calories.
22. Beet Greens
Beet greens have long been praised for the health benefits they bring to the table. They have an impressive nutrient profile and is a rather underestimated green.
They are incredibly rich in potassium, calcium, riboflavin, fibre and vitamins K and A. They contain antioxidants such as beta-carotene and lutein which help reduce the risk of eye disorders such as cataracts.
You can add beet greens to a salad or soup. It can even be sauteed and eaten as an excellent side dish. A 100 gram serving of beet greens contains about 22 calories.
Arugula has a peppery taste and can easily be used in salads or simply as a garnish to your dishes. It is used in various cosmetics and is also known to have various medicinal properties.
It is loaded with pro-vitamin A carotenoids and vitamins B9 and K. They are known as one of the best sources of dietary nitrates that help increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure. They do this by widening the blood vessels.
Arugula can be a valuable addition to the diet. Though not as common as some of the other green vegetables on this list, if you can source it, you should most certainly include it in your diet.
A 100 gram serving of arugula contains about 25 calories.
Green vegetables are extremely healthy for you and now you are aware of 23 green vegetables that you should most certainly seek to include in your diet.
These green vegetables are considered the healthiest and are those that carry the most value in terms of health benefits.
Including any green vegetable in your diet can be a great way to reap the various benefits and absorb the nutrients that your body needs.
We aimed to provide you with an informative list that is sure to help you better source green vegetables. We hope you found this article useful and that reading this word to word has helped you pick out the best green vegetables for your meals.