Hi friends, I am sure you all liked my article about the Power of colour red on your plate. I am sure you all saw RED….hahaha….I mean, ate a lot of red fruits and vegetables.
So today is the colour Green. Green leafy vegetables have always been hailed for their health benefits. Our moms and grandmoms have always chided us to eat green leafy vegetables. And rightly so! Today let us learn about other green coloured fruits and vegetables as well.
Green apple, kiwi, broccoli, spinach, okra, lettuce, peas, capsicum are a few examples of green coloured fruits and vegetables. The phytochemicals present in these are Lutein, Indoles, Carotenoids, Isoflavones and Sulforaphane. These have the following health benefits in general:
- Reduced risk of some cancers
- Great antioxidant benefits
- Vision health
Green vegetables also offer lot of fibre. They offer a variety of nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, iron, folic acid and potassium. The phytochemicals present in green coloured fruits and vegetables help to reduce carcinogenic compounds from the liver and detoxify the liver.
The moment we say green vegetables we think of spinach, fenugreek leaves and bitter gourd. We know that these are medicinal and healthy. So today, I am going to write about some lesser talked about green vegetables. And of course, fruits too.
Okra (Lady finger)
Okra is a highly underrated vegetable. It is an extremely healthy vegetable but it has not got its due yet. The benefits of Okra are:
- Okra is rich in soluble fibre. The fibre pectin present in Okra, swells up in the intestine and helps in easier bowel evacuation, thus preventing constipation. 100 gm of Okra provides approximately 12% of our daily recommended fibre intake.
- Okra is very rich in antioxidants xanthin, luetin and beta-carotene. These antioxidants help us in being healthy by preventing oxidative damage to our cells.
- Okra is rich in vitamin C. 100 gm of Okra provides around 38% of our daily requirement of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps an infection fighting, immunity boosting and angi ageing vitamin.
- Folate is another important nutrient found in Okra. Folate is extremely important for pregnant women to decrease the risk of neural tube defects in their babies. 100 gm of okra provides 60 mcg of folate.
- Other nutrients are magnesium, potassium, iron and vitamin B6.
- Okra is a very low calorie vegetable.
Cluster beans (Gavar)
This is another underrated vegetable. This vegetable is very rich in folate and other nutrients.
- Very rich in folic acid and hence advisable to pregnant women. Folic acid deficiency leads to neural tube defects in babies.
- Cluster beans are rich in calcium. Calcium is extremely essential for strong bones. 100 gm of cluster beans provide 130 mg of calcium.
- Cluster beans are a rich source of fibre. Fibre helps to keep our digestive tract healthy.
- Due to high fibre, absorption of nutrients is enhanced.
- Cluster beans are heart friendly and help in maintaining our cholesterol levels.
- These are low GI (Glycemic Index) and hence good for diabetics.
- Other nutrients are iron, vitamin K, manganese and potassium.
These little trees are very disliked by many people, especially children. Many kids think that it is a punishment to eat Broccoli. But it is not that bad to taste, really. Try it, if you haven’t yet. Broccoli is now easily available in India and is now reasonably priced. This is an extremely healthy vegetable, literally bursting with nutrients. Broccoli belongs to the family of vegetables known as cruciferous vegetables. Other vegetables in this family are cabbage, cauliflower and brussel sprouts. These cruciferous vegetables have a compound called sulforaphane which is a potent antioxidant.
- Sulforaphane found in Broccoli is anti-inflammatory and may be able to prevent damage to blood vessel linings caused due to inflammation.
- Broccoli is one of the richest sources of vitamin C. 100 gm of Broccoli provides 148% of our daily requirement of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps in building collagen which forms body tissue. Collagen also provides elasticity to our skin and prevents wrinkling. Vitamin C improves our immunity and helps fihght diseases.
- Broccoli is rich in vitamin A which is a powerful antioxidant and necessary for eye health. 100 gm of Broccoli provides 12% of our daily requirement of vitamin A.
- Vitamin K is also abundantly found in Broccoli. Vitamin K is a blood coagulant and 100 gm of Broccoli provide us with more than our daily requirement of vitamin K.
- Broccoli is rich in fibre, thus helping in effective digestion and nutrient absorption.
- Other nutrients are potassium, phosphorus, folate and magnesium.
- Broccoli has the unique combination of anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and detoxification components. This makes Broccoli an anti cancer vegetable.
- It has very few calories and has a very low GI (Glycemic Index).
Many many reasons to eat Broccoli, isn’t it?
Anyone who has eaten a Kiwi, knows that it is an extremely delicious fruit. And those who haven’t, please do have it. Kiwi is a very nutrient dense fruit. Kiwi is a tropical fruit and has a delicious tangy flavour. It is one of the richest sources of vitamin C.
- Kiwi has almost the double amount of vitamin C than orange. 100 gm of Kiwi fruit provides around 154% of our daily requirement of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which protects our body from free radical damage. It is anti ageing and anti wrinkle. So ladies, go grab a Kiwi.
- 100 gm of Kiwi provides us with 312 mg of potassium. Kiwi is very rich in potassium which is a major nutrient. Potassium is a heart friendly nutrient. It helps in maintaining a healthy blood pressure, water balance, electrolyte balance and muscle strength.
- Studies show that Kiwis may have a mild laxative effect.
- Kiwi helps in providing relief from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- Kiwi is also rich in serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone which also functions as a neurotransmitter. Serotonin is involved in may physiological processes, one of them being sleep aid. So if you are having sleeping difficulties, Kiwi fruit can help you with falling asleep easily.
- Kiwi has anti fungal and anti bacterial properties.
- Other nutrients are vitamin A, folate and fibre.
We can see that most of the green coloured fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C, K, A, folate, fibre and potassium. So having green colour on your plate will help you get these nutrients. Now with winter in India, fresh green leafy vegetables are abundantly available. Make the most of it and preserve your health.
Stay healthy, Stay happy 🙂
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