9 Health Benefits of Leafy Green Vegetables

leafy green vegetables

We all know we should be eating a diet consisting of colourful, varied fruit and vegetables (working towards that 5 a day!) And our green veggie friends, in particular, include a whole host of benefits for our body and health. Take a look for yourself!

Lutein and Zeaxanthin In Green Vegetables

Dark green leafy vegetables contain plant pigments lutein and zeaxanthin. According to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, lutein and zeaxanthin may help to prevent strokes, heart disease and breast and lung cancer. Vegetables that contain the most amount of lutein and zeaxanthin include kale and spinach.

Lutein and zeaxanthin absorb excess light in plants to reduce sunlight damage. In eyes, lutein and zeaxanthin can be found in the macula. Studies from the American Journal of Epidemiology, Ophthalmology and Archives of Ophthalmology found that those who had more lutein and zeaxanthin in their diet were found to have a lower incidence of AMD.

spinach in bowl

Health Benefits of Green Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables provide a range of health benefits as part of a balanced diet. Green veg is high in antioxidants, minerals, fibre and much more! They keep you hydrated and can even make you feel happier.

1) High in Antioxidants

The first bit of good news is, they’re packed full of antioxidants! Yay! Green vegetables are rich in vitamin A – good for building your body’s natural defences, vitamin C for healthy skin and bones and vitamin K to help your body heal itself quickly when necessary. In addition to these vitamins, beautiful green veg is also rich in potassium and iron.

2) Full of Minerals

Green leafy vegetables, particularly spinach, are known for being high in magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral necessary for maintaining muscle health, as well as bone formation – helping the absorption of calcium.

3) A Natural Source of Fibre

Greens are a brilliant source of natural fibre, aiding digestion and slowing the rate at which your body absorbs sugar. This prevents sharp rises in blood glucose.

4) Improves Your Metabolism

As leafy, crunchy fresh greens are high in iron and fibre, they naturally improve our metabolism and keep the production of our red blood cells at a healthy rate. So pile your plate high!

5) Makes You Feel Fuller for Longer

As high fibre vegetables, greens are the perfect solution for rumbling stomachs. The more you eat, the less likely you are to reach for the junk in the cupboard!

6) Protects Your Eyes

As mentioned previously, Lutein and zeaxanthin, plant pigments found in dark green leafy vegetables are said to have beneficial effects on your eyes’ macular pigment levels when eating at least 10mg a day.

7) Edible Sun Protection

Now don’t go throwing away your sunscreen just yet – we’re not saying your green veg is a substitute! However, it is said to increase your body’s natural defences against sun damage and even repair, thanks to your green vegetables’ vitamin content, folic acid and beta-carotene.

8) Lifts Your Mood

Your green leafy vegetables are a great source of folate, and as this contributes to serotonin production, you may find your mood lifting!

9) Keeps You Hydrated

Finally, green vegetables contain a lot of water, which means adding them to your plate helps to keep you hydrated, maintaining healthy skin and hair.

V8 Original Juice is packed full of delicious green vegetables, including spinach, parsley, cress, lettuce, celery. And with one glass counting towards 1 of your 5 a day, it’s the easy way to get your fruit and veg in!