Published: 10/14/2009 - Updated: 06/12/2017
Author: K. Laura Garcés G
Among the pulses, we find a rich variety of colors and flavors. Each vegetable has different qualities and properties, all of them are great sources of minerals and vitamins, and this time we focus on the dark green leafy vegetables, which has many outstanding properties and health benefits: the darker the leaf, the better following properties.
Properties of dark green vegetables:
Vitamin A: They are rich source of beta carotene, which are chemical elements needed to form vitamin A in the body. Most of this vitamin is stored in the liver, the remainder being deposited in the lungs, kidneys and body fat. This vitamin is essential for the health and maintenance of bone repair cells in the mucosal repair and regeneration of epithelia, skin, essential for good vision (especially at night), prevents cataracts, eye infections , conjunctivitis, etc.., keeping nails, hair and teeth strong and healthy. It strengthens the immune system, creating a protective barrier against various microorganisms, infected tissue repair and increase resistance to infections. Vitamin A also contributes to optimal functioning of the reproductive organs, contributing to the production of sperm and helping to regulate the menstrual cycle.
Antioxidants: These vegetables are excellent source of antioxidants, which prevent cell damage and aging and even the onset of cancer. They are excellent elements to prevent the bodily harm caused by pollution and environmental toxins like cigarette smoke.
Vitamin C: They have high amounts of vitamin C, which is essential for growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body, necessary to form collagen (important protein used to make skin and scar tissue, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels). It is essential for good healing, strengthens the immune system and repair and maintain the skeleton and teeth. The body can only get vitamin C from food, so it is necessary to include in the diet foods that contain it as dark green leafy vegetables.
Calcium: These vegetables are good carriers of calcium, an essential mineral for many body functions, among which stands out because it helps regulate the heart rate, essential for the smooth transmission of nerve impulses, not taking calcium causes insomnia, amnesia and involuntary movements; it is a mineral involved in muscle contraction (its lack causes cramps), needed for blood clotting process and the permeability of cell membranes, preventing bleeding and bruises on the skin. It helps on the enzymatic and hormonal process, essential for respiratory function.
Fiber: they are rich sources of quality fiber, helps the intestine to maintain optimal operation to evacuate naturally and stimulate better absorption of nutrients.
Chlorophyll: These vegetables are excellent source of chlorophyll (also called green blood) which is a formidable element that helps to activate the cellular mechanism, detoxifies the body, increases resistance and regenerative capacity of cells, purifies the blood of toxins, helps the body to stimulate natural self-healing capacity, and stimulates production of red blood cells, helps greatly slows the healing process.
Dark green leafy vegetables
Here is a brief list of some dark green leafy vegetables and some of its additional properties.
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Besides the properties mentioned, these dark green vegetables are rich in:
- Chard and endive: vitamin K.
- Kale: folic acid and potassium.
- Spinach: iron (among other things, prevents anemia and helps carry oxygen in the blood).
- Alfalfa: vitamin K, ideal in inflammatory diseases like arthritis, powerful purifying action, rich in vitamin D.
- Alfalfa sprouts: high quality vegetable protein and bioavailability, contains all the essential amino acids and other non-essential), excellent source of carbohydrates, polyunsaturated fats, vitamin K, folic acid, minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, sulfur, cobalt and others.
How to consume?
Remember that the best way to eat them is raw and fresh as possible, these vegetables tend to lose many of its properties in contact with the heat when cooking or contact with air. It is best eaten in salads or vegetable juices, or cook gently steamed.
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