If there is a meal that no one, not your doctor or your nutritionist or even your mother tell
you to eat less, are the vegetable greens. Calorie for calorie, spinach, cabbage, kale and
other leafy greens can be the most nutritious food you can eat. They are full of vitamins A, B,
K and others, but are also rich in essential minerals like calcium, iron, potassium and
magnesium as well as antioxidants, which protect cells. Green leafy vegetables contain
phytochemicals, natural compounds that may help prevent hardening of the arteries and reduce
inflammation associated with heart disease. The combination of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants
and phytochemicals that have vegetables, help cells detoxify and eliminate free radicals that
damage DNA, which can prevent cancer cells from forming and multiplying.
Vegetables are also your best source of natural nitrates, which are then converted in the body
into nitric oxide, a gas that lowers blood pressure, promotes blood flow and may even improve
sexual function in men.
Try eating some of these vegetables daily to prevent disease and improve your overall health
Why you need them: This vegetable is a good source of two important antioxidants: syringic acid
and kaempferol. The former can help stabilize blood sugar by inhibiting the enzymes that
convert carbohydrates into simple sugars, while the latter protects cells against toxins that
cause cancer, reduces inflammation and may also reduce the risk heart disease, diabetes and
other chronic diseases.
Why you need it: The rocket is one of the vegetables with the highest levels of nitrates, which
helps to increase blood flow and therefore improve performance. It is also full of flavonoids,
antioxidants that fight heart disease and even some cancers. New research suggests it may also
Why you need them: Of all the leafy greens, collards are best for binding bile acids in the
stomach, which can help lower your cholesterol levels and even protect you from some cancers.
They also contain a special class of phytochemicals that nourish the naturally detoxifying the
Why you need it: It is a major source of compounds called glucosinolates and kaempferol, the
researchers believe that fight cancer and may also, incredibly, protect the heart, lower blood
sugar, strengthen bones and reduce the inflammation in the body. It is rich in lutein and
zeaxanthin, antioxidants that help prevent eye diseases and vision loss as you age.
Why you need them: One cup of watercress provides more than the daily recommended value of
vitamin K, which can help regulate blood clotting and reduce plaque on artery walls and can
reduce inflammation linked to chronic diseases such as arthritis.