Your mother always told you to eat your green vegetables. She promised they’d help you grow up big and strong. If she was anything like my mom, she told you that Spider-Man and Luke Skywalker always ate their green vegetables. There’s a very good reason your mother was such a flag-waving fan of green vegetables: because they contain a ton of minerals, vitamins, and other good stuff, such as:
- Iron – Necessary to make hemoglobin, which helps transport oxygen through the bloodstream.
- Calcium – Essential to the growth of strong teeth and bones. Also assists in development nerves and muscle contraction.
- Potassium – Maintains fluid and electrolyte balance in the body.
- Magnesium – Assists in the function of every organ in the body.
- Vitamin K – Needed for protein modification and blood clotting.
- Vitamin C – An antioxidant (a substance that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules). Assists in the development and maintenance of scar tissue, blood vessels, cartilage, ATP (needed for energy), and dopamine.
- Vitamin E – An antioxidant. May inhibit cancer and cardiovascular disease.
- Vitamin B– Promotes healthy eyes, nerves, skin, hair, and liver.
Phytochemicals are chemical compound made by plants and may affect human health. Most phytochemicals are either antioxidants or possess hormone-like qualities.
- Beta-carotene – An antioxidant that may guard against cancer and aging.
- Lutein – Essential to eyesight. Inhibits blindness (macular degeneration) and cataracts.
- Zeaxanthin – Protects and preserves eyesight.
Other Good Stuff
Green vegetables are a good source of fiber, which is needed for proper digestion and helps you feel full. Many green vegetables have high water content. One thing green vegetables don’t have much of is carbohydrates, a good thing for those wanting to maintain a healthy body weight.
So, if you didn’t grow up to be a superhero, then you know you probably should have listened to your mother.