From vitamins and minerals to antioxidants and phytonutrients, leafy greens are your ticket to a healthy, well-rounded meal. To get a variety of nutrients in your diet, eat a variety of leafy greens, each of which have their own flavors and health benefits. Here are ten leafy greens to add to your diet.
1. Mustard Greens
Mustard greens are taken from the same plant that’s used to make Dijon mustard. Like kale, they’re a member of the cruciferous vegetable family. Their potent antioxidants make them disease-fighting powerhouses. Mustard greens pack vitamin C, folic acid and calcium.
Try them in Minced Pork with Garlic and Mustard Greens.
2. Beet Greens
Beet greens belong to the same family as chard and spinach, although they have a slightly more bitter taste. Beet greens are more nutrient-dense than beetroots, and are packed with calcium, iron, vitamin C and folic acid.
Try them in a Beet Greens Frittata.
3. Dandelion Greens
Dandelion greens contain nearly double the iron and calcium that broccoli has. They make an excellent addition to a salad or can be tossed with a light vinaigrette and enjoyed on their own.
Try them in a Dandelion Greens and Blood Orange Salad.
Spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense greens around. It’s particularly known for its calcium and iron. Also one the most versatile greens, spinach is tasty steamed, sautéed or raw. If you don’t like the taste, try blending it in a smoothie.
Try it in Baked Eggs with Spinach.
5. Pea Shoots
Like most greens on this list, pea shoots are chock full of carotenes, vitamin C and folic acid. These anti-inflammatory greens are high in antioxidants and phytonutrients, making them a heart-healthy choice. They’re delicious mixed with other greens in a salad.
6. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard’s combination of carotenes, chlorophyll, essential minerals and fiber make it a disease-fighting powerhouse. Enjoy it raw or cooked.
7. Collard Greens
Collard greens are high in vitamin K, vitamin C and calcium. Collards also contain antioxidants that help protect your body’s cells.
Try them in a Collard Green Coleslaw.
Arugula adds a woodsy, slightly peppery taste to any dish, and helps you get minerals like calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and potassium.
Try it in this Arugula Pesto.
Great in salads, soups or steamed, watercress is a versatile, nutrient-dense leafy green with calcium and vitamin K.
Try it in a Watercress, Avocado and Orange Salad.
Kale is one of the best sources of vitamin C around. You’ll also find vitamins A and K and in kale. Eat kale with a touch of fat to help your body better absorb vitamins A and K.
Try it in this Hearty Kale Salad.
What’s your favorite leafy green? Any that we left off the list? Let us know in the comments below.