Why you Should Eat Collard Greens at Least Two-Three times A Week!
A close relative of kale, collard greens are a dark green coloured vegetable that has been widely cultivated in Europe and North America, since pre-historic times. Collard greens belong to the cabbage family and have remarkable nutritive qualities. The taste is slightly stronger than spinach. Also, the leaves are large with the presence of prominent veins on it. The best ways to cook collard greens (to retain its nutrients) Is steaming, boiling, braising and sauteing.
Health Benefits Of Collard Greens
Helps In Weight Loss
Hundred grams of raw collard greens contain 30 to 35 calories. Also, besides being a low-calorie and a low fat vegetable, collard greens have a good amount of dietary fibre too. Hundred grams of collard greens contain tour grams of dietary fibre. Thus, such a composition makes this vegetable beneficial for those who want to lose weight, because It increases bulk of the diet and makes one feel full.
When collard greens are eaten, the fibre present in It enters into the stomach, absorbs water and expands. Thus, it offers satiety and delays hunger pangs thereby limiting overeating and entry of excess calories into the system.
Packed With Nutrients
Collard greens are loaded with plenty of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for overall health. They are an amazing source of dietary fibre which makes It excellent for obese individuals, diabetics, those with high cholesterol levels and heart disease. Due to its low glycemic index (GI), it is diabetic-friendly.
Besides, collard greens are a good source of vitamin K, vitamin A (carotenoids), vitamin C, vitamin E, and B-complex vitamins. Furthermore, it contains minerals that are essential for health, such as magnesium, manganese, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and copper.
Thus, due to its high nutrient profile, collard greens help in the treatment and management of various diseases and disorders.
Bile acid is a fluid synthesized from cholesterol and it is required for the digestion of tat. Collard greens have the ability to bind bile acids and expel them from the body. Such an excretion leads to the utilization of cholesterol present in the blood for the formation of bile acids. Hence, this helps in lowering cholesterol levels which is present in excess amounts in the blood.
Thus, collard greens work in a similar fashion as that of bile acid sequestrants. Furthermore, research has found that steam cooking collard greens improves its ability to bind bile acids.
Loaded With Antioxidants
Collard greens are an amazing source of natural antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin A (carotenoids), vitamin E and manganese. Such an abundance of antioxidants help in protecting the cells against free radical attack. So, eating collard greens further lowers oxidative stress that otherwise increases the risk of various diseases and disorders such as diabetes mellitus, cancer, gout, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart diseases.
Contains Healthy Compounds
Scientific studies have found that collard greens contain health-promoting compounds such as flavonoids, kaempferol, quercetin, acyl-gentiobosides, and feruloylquinic acid. These compounds suppress the formation of inflammatory substances and lower the level of inflammation. These compounds further fight infections and boost the immune system. Thus, collard greens help ward off infections.
Collard greens are a natural source of antioxidants and health-promoting compounds. These compounds suppress the growth of cancer cells and inhibit their spread to other parts of the body. Furthermore, the consumption of collard greens enhances the removal of toxins from the body as the accumulation of these toxins increases the risk of cancer. Antioxidants present in collard greens neutralize free radicals and lower the level of oxidative stress which increases the risk of cancer.
Protects The Heart
Diabetes mellitus and high cholesterol levels are two major risk factors for heart diseases. And studies have revealed that the low glycemic index of collard greens makes this vegetable suitable for consumption by diabetics. Also, the dietary fibre present in it helps in the management of high blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Additionally, the magnesium present in collard greens Is associated with the lower risk of heart disease. Thus, collard greens should be consumed two to three times a week, to enhance overall heart health.
Selecting And Storing Collard Greens
- Select collard greens that are not wilted but have firm leaves
- It should be dark green in colour without being even slightly brown or yellow
- Collard greens can be stored in the refrigerator for four-live days
- Store them in an airtight container or a plastic bag containing no air