Popeye showed us just how powerful spinach really was and our mammies have been telling us for years to ‘eat our greens’. But why is this so – are green veggies all they’re cracked up to be?
Well the answer is yes! Green veggies are stuffed with the good stuff – like:
Vitamin C: This is good for boosting the immune system which should mean fewer colds and flus. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant; this can help prevent cancer and heart disease. Although the iron in green veggies is difficult for our bodies to absorb, it is helped by the presence of vitamin C. Watch out for cooking vegetables too much as you will lose vitamin C – steaming is better and learn to love the crunch!
Beta-carotene: Also known as vitamin A, an antioxidant that protects your cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. It improves your immune system and is also good for your reproductive system
Folic acid: this is one of the B vitamins that helps prevents neural tube defects in babies - although it is recommended that if you are planning to have a baby you should take a folic acid supplement 12 weeks before and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It has also been linked to lowering heart disease risk and may prevent some forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s.
Fibre: All vegetables contain loads of soluble fibre which not only prevents constipation in the short term but also lowers our risk of bowel cancer. In some people it can reduce the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS ).
Carotenoids: Dark green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and spinach contain carotenoids which could help prevent cataracts and blindness in older people.