Leafy greens are full of nutrients like vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium, folate, vitamins E and K, and iron. They’re low in calories, and they taste great, says Kathy
McManus, director of nutrition at
Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
YOUR BONES While many greens
contain calcium, some are also high in
oxalates, which prevent your body from
absorbing it. Stick with greens highest in
calcium and lowest in oxalates, such as
kale, mustard greens, and turnip greens.
YOUR EYES Greens contain the
antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein
which may reduce the risk of cataracts
and age-related macular degeneration
by filtering out harmful light waves.
Sautéing greens in olive oil makes lutein
more available and easier for your body
to absorb. Greens also provide lots of
vitamin A which your eyes need to see
YOUR BLOOD The iron in foods like
spinach and Swiss chard helps ward off
anemia, but your body needs vitamin C to
absorb the iron efficiently. Greens contain
some vitamin C, but pairing them with
additional foods high in vitamin C, such as
red peppers, enhances their effectiveness.
YOUR SKIN Greens are a good source
of vitamin C. “Vitamin C can help
keep your complexion young and heal
wounds,” says McManus.
Kale, collards, mustard greens, and their cool-season kin are
unequaled in nutrition, flavor, and versatility
Kale-Goat Cheese Frittata