Collard greens are leafy vegetables from the family of cabbage and broccoli. They are similar to kale which is also a leafy green edible vegetable with plenty of health benefits. They belong to the cultivar Acephala, which means without a head in Greek. This refers to the physical structure of this plant as it does not have a head like the cabbage.
Some historians refer to collard greens as the dinosaurs of vegetables, but fortunately, these are very much alive. Records are showing that Greeks and Romans cultivated many different species of collard greens. Many stories connect the transport of collard greens to African slaves. However, collard greens were already being grown in the Americas. The slaves shared only the cooking methods, and the owners, which lead to African inspired dishes.
Collard greens are a staple in the southern diet and were even considered by the legislators from South Carolina as their official state vegetable. There are many festivals held in Atlanta and Savannah that celebrate this vegetable.
These wonderful and nutritious vegetables are cultivated in the cooler months of the year and can resist frost unlike cabbage and other members of its species. This is an excellent plant to be grown in your backyard or front garden.
Collard greens rank in one of the most nutritious foods of the world, much like kale they are also considered a super food packed full of nutrition and multiple health benefits. They are unique because they help and detox the body due to the high amount of sulfur-containing compounds in it. Here is why Collard greens should be a part of your diet.
11 Impressive Health Benefits of Collard Greens
Collard greens are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. One cup of collard greens can provide 836micrograms of vitamin K, 177micrograms of folate, 0.2 milligrams of vitamin B6, 1.7 milligrams of vitamin E, 4 grams of protein, 5 grams dietary fiber, 0.2 milligrams of Riboflavin, 0.1 milligrams of thiamine, and 1.1 milligrams of niacin. It is also an excellent source of vitamins C and A. Collard greens are excellent ways of adding the right nutrition to your diet, as it contains protein and fiber which is essential for cellular regeneration.
Collard greens are excellent detoxifiers due to their sulfur-containing compounds glucosinolates; these are natural liver cleansers. Collard greens can help eliminate toxins from the body on a cellular level. Glucosinolates help regulate and activate detoxifying enzymes in the body and protect DNA from the attack of free radicals and other harmful chemicals. The environmental effect on cells can be very damaging; the detoxifying properties of collard greens are useful in keeping the body healthy.
3. Cancer Prevention
One of the most chronic diseases known to humankind is cancer. Prevention is better than cure and eating the right foods can be the best way to prevent and cell damage and to kill cancerous cells. The vitamin C in collard greens has antioxidant properties that help fight oxidative damage. A cup of collard greens provides up to 35 mg of vitamin C which makes up 58% of the daily recommended value. Adding collard greens to your diet help break down food into biologically active compounds that inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
4. Bone Strength
Vitamin K is one of the most necessary vitamins for the strength and building of bones. Vitamin K is far more useful in strengthening bones than even calcium. Collard greens are so beneficial that it covers up to 100 percent of the daily recommended intake value. Vitamin K has been observed to reduce fracture rates. Regular consumption of collard green can be beneficial in fighting off diseases such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Most medicine practitioners till this day believe that the cause of every disease is bad digestion. Collard greens are an excellent source of dietary fiber. Irritable bowel syndrome can be treated by eating collard greens. IBS causes severe symptoms of diarrhea and can be the cause of ulcers. A low fiber diet can be the cause of IBS, and it affects about 20% of Americans. Collard greens can also help prevent leaky gut syndrome and strengthen overall immunity due to its high vitamin C content.
It is rich in glucoraphanin which protects the stomachs lining and prevents bacterial growth. This is essential to protect the body from infections and prevents the walls of the stomach from accumulating bacteria.
6. Anemia Prevention
Collard greens are a good source of iron, containing .5mg of iron per 100 grams. The folate present in collard greens helps the body absorb iron better and building more red cells in the body. It helps balance the hemoglobin in the body which prevent anemia. Collard greens are an excellent addition to the diet of women who are expecting.
It help protect the body from contracting heart diseases; excessive cholesterol is often the cause of many heart problems. Cholesterol builds in the arteries and causes blood pressure problems. Collard greens are useful in preventing a high level of bad cholesterol in the body. The soluble fiber removes the LDL cholesterol from the body by excretion. It does not reduce the effect the good cholesterol in the body.
8. Hair Growth
It contain vitamin E, protein, and iron which are beneficial for the growth of long thick and shiny hair. The protein in the collard greens helps build the shafts of the hair and reduces damage by strengthening the hair.
Free radicals are the main cause of oxidative damage to the body both internally and physically. It is rich in antioxidants and vitamins that create a barrier between the body and free radicals, thus, preventing the onset of aging earlier. It also reduces the appearance of wrinkles and age-related sunspots. Not only that it keeps the body healthy and young from within to prevent the degeneration of muscles and cells.
The one disease that is affecting people at large and can lead to many other diseases can be treated by consuming it regularity. The dietary fiber helps maintain a balanced level of a glucose level which in turn can help manage and prevent diabetes. The alpha lipoic acid present in collard greens lowers the glucose levels in blood and increases insulin sensitivity.
It help revitalize sore muscles and are known to improve mood. They also help with sleeping difficulties and improve memory. Many types of research promote it as a good diet for depressed individuals.
Eating right can prevent the onset of many diseases, collard greens are packed full of the right elements to promote a healthy body and mind.