How green stuff helps in healthy living?

You can crunch your way to better health with a plateful of green salad. Some seasonal salad leaves are healthier than others. Some are higher nutrients than others but overall they are good source of vitamin E & C, calcium & antioxidants. They include phytonutrients such as lutein, which is thought to form a chemical that some studies suggest can lower the risk of developing cataracts in later life.

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Those who consumed salad and raw vegetables had a higher concentration of vitamins in their bloodstream. You need to eat them in much greater quantities, half your plate should be filled with greens. Patients should eat a variety of darker lettuce leaves & greens such as spinach & watercress. The darker the leaves, the more vitamins, minerals & antioxidants they contain.

Here are explained some green leafy vegetables & their healthy properties which will end all end all the msconceptions regarding eating green salads.

1. Watercress : It is a powerhouse of nutrition. Along with spinach, it has the highest amounts of vitamins C & A of all leaves. It contains high levels of folate, which is needed for a healthy nervous system & cell growth. A cereal bowl of watercress will give you half your Vitamin C for the day. Watercress is also high in a group of phytochemicals called glucosimolates, which, when eaten, break down into compounds with strong anti-cancer properties.

2. Romaine lettuce : . This tougher, darker green lettuce, usually found in caesar salad, is high in Vitamin C & lutein, which protect against age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of loss of vision in the ages over 50s. Romaine lettuce is one of the foods that helps to fight cancer. But be aware that carotene can be 50 % higher in outer green leaves than inner white.

3. Lollo rosso : These protect against free radicals, which are harmful molecules that can lead to premature ageing, heart disease & cancer. Red-colored lollo rosso has 100 times more antioxidants than ordinary lettuce. It also contains the antioxidant quercetin, which is believed to help prevent asthma & allergies by acting as a natural antihistamine.

4. Rocket : Like watercress, rocket contains a group of compounds known as glucosinolates. It's these compounds that create the pungent flavors. These compounds could protect the body against cardiovascular disease & cancer. A large portion contains almost as much fiber as a glass of orange juice, so will significantly add to your daily quota.

5. Baby spinach : Spinach contains the highest levels of beta carotene of all the green salad leaves. It's also an excellent source of folate, Vitamin E, lutein & zeaxanthin. Always dress spinach leaves & all salad leaves with a bit of oil. This helps the body absorb the phytochemicals. One cup of fresh spinach leaves gives double the daily requirement of Vitamin K, an essential nutrient needed for blood coagulation.

6. Chinese leaf : Chinese leaves are available in green & red. Their strong color means they are a great source of beta carotene, which converts into Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A helps with keeping healthy skin, eyes & immune system, as well as being a powerful antioxidant.

7. Chicory : The bitter, pungent taste you get from chicory means it's packed with plant compounds called phytonutrients. 'Phytonutrients are responsible for the color, smell & distinctive taste in plants. There is a great deal of research being carried out into how the thousands of phytonutrients help our bodies, including improving their ability to fight cancer.

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