Green leafy vegetables, the role in nutrition

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Louise Hay

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We often hear about the so-called "green leafy vegetables"But are we sure we know them?

We should do that, seeing as too the WHO stressed their importance declaring that they should represent a large portion of food that we serve at the table, more or less what on average today is represented by carbohydrates such as bread and pasta.

The name speaks for itself: it is about all the low plants of which we can eat the leaves and stems, sometimes called ribs. Some of them are large grown, others are wild and spontaneous, while others are simply little known or underestimated or cultivated for other reasons (for fruits for example).

They belong to an endless number of different families, we can find excellent leaves among the crucieferae, among the chenopodiaceae, among the asteraceae, among the plantaginaceae etc.

Almost all terrestrial mammals eat green leafy vegetables, in different proportions, even animals considered purely carnivorous, and humans are no exception.

In fact, we find in every ancient peasant culture the habit of "going for herbs" and eating "field herbs".

What are green leafy vegetables?

We all know the most famous: chard, turnips, chicory, spinach; we find them easily in our markets and we know how to cook them.

To these must be added the cabbage black, considered by right in many countries a superfood, especially for its intake of vitamins and potassium. Others cabbage leafy are the cabbage, the red cappuccino, the green cappuccino and the Chinese cabbage, all also ideal a raw in salads.

Speaking of salad, it is impossible not to mention the lettuce, not bad to use as cooked vegetables as well. To it are added the very tasty rocket salad andendive.

In terms of nutritional value, the crescione among the best green leafy vegetables; between wild herbs can be cited the dandelion cicerbita and plantain as the most common and available, excellent because of the high quality chlorophyll and for the numerous secondary metabolites.

Another plant rich in chlorophyll is thenettle, while in the burdock we find incredible amounts of specials mucilages ideal for the health of our intestine.

Always among the wild we have the white farinaccio, at the same time very rich in ascorbic acid and beta-carotene. Many plants grown and sold for the root have edible leaves that are very useful for health: how not to mention the leaves of radish, of carrot, of daikon, those of beet, those of horseradish.


What green leafy vegetables give us

As they mentioned, the WHO recommends that vegetables at the table represent at least two thirds of the meal, and that most of them are made up of green leafy vegetables. Why?

In short, green leafy vegetables are a great tool for maintaining health, for the proper functioning of the whole organism.

There are very rich in dietary fiber, able to clean up the intestinal and coronary ducts from mucoid plaques and cholesterol plaques; this contribution is absolutely important and cannot be replaced if we reflect on the fact that our hospitals are full of people with cardiovascular problems and with pathologies related to malfunctioning of the digestive system. A regular consumption of green leafy vegetables is a great help for the body in this direction.

What else? Let's talk about the chlorophyll, green pigment, vegetable equivalent of hemoglobin, if we can say so, very important for support the work of the liver, to increase the production of red blood cells and to adjust the menstrual flow, brings a lot iron and contributes toabsorption of calcium in the bones. It also has numerous secondary functions, such as improving cellular oxygenation with a anti-aging effect, a reduction of fat mass, an improvement of the condition in case of diabetes, etc.


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To learn more:

> All vegetables and their properties


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