The past few years have witnessed a huge rise in the popularity of veganism. Statistics show a 600% rise in the number of vegans in the past 3 years in the United States alone. The main reason for this huge rise in the number of vegans is the health benefits plant-based food can provide. However, there are also a significant number of vegans who chose this lifestyle for ethical and environmental reasons.
Studies have revealed that a plant-based diet offers much more nutrients than a meat-based diet. Together with reducing the chances of being diagnosed with several chronic disorders, these nutrients also helps with maintaining your health. It is well proven that a plant-based diet effectively shrinks the cholesterol levels. This in turn lowers the blood pressure thereby preventing several cardiovascular diseases.
Health experts usually recommend adding a significant amount of leafy green vegetables to your plant-based diet. This is because they contain several nutrients that can help in improving your immune health and preventing several health disorders. Here are some of the major health benefits you get when you include leafy green vegetables in your plant-based meal plan.
Improve Your Skin Health
Leafy green vegetables are packed with several nutrients that offer a wide range of health benefits. It contains a pigment called beta carotene that gives a youthful glow to your skin and offers protection against the harmful UV rays of the sun by acting as a natural sunscreen. Kale is one of the leafy greens that are high in beta-carotene. Studies show that the body can effectively absorb beta carotene when kale is cooked, juiced, or dehydrated.
Improves Brain Function
Gradually loss of memory is becoming very common among older adults and it is believed that a healthy diet that includes leafy green vegetables could support your memory and improve your brain function. A recent study revealed that cognitive decline occurs at a slower rate in people who eat leafy green vegetables regularly. It will help in improving your memory and thereby helps you perform better in other aspects of your life.
Stress and anxiety are the two most common mental health problems that affect people all around the world. Studies are showing that eating a healthy plant-based diet is the easiest way to alleviate anxiety and stress. Plant-based foods like leafy green vegetables are an excellent source of folate that can produce neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine that can regulate your mood.
Manage Blood Sugar
One of the major reasons why health experts and dieticians promote the consumption of leafy green vegetables is because they can help in managing appropriate blood sugar levels. Spinach, and kale, etc. will keep your blood sugar levels normal, thereby reducing the risk of several health disorders.
Improve Your Immune System
Today, many doctors are recommending leafy green vegetables to their patients because of its ability to improve immune health. The antioxidants present in leafy green vegetables will help in preventing oxidative damage and also reduce the risk of developing several autoimmune diseases. Many studies have revealed that arugula, kale, and broccoli are very effective in improving your immune health. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the healthiest greens.
It is one of the most abundant and popular leafy green vegetables around the world. People consume spinach by adding it into their soups, salads, sauces, and smoothies. It is very rich in several nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin A, and manganese, etc. It is also loaded with folate – the essential vitamin when it comes to the production of red blood cells. Studies have shown that folate can prevent neural tube defects during pregnancy.
This popular leafy green is probably the most nutrient-rich vegetable available. It is packed with several vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. You will get more than the daily requirement of vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C from just one cup of kale. The antioxidants such as beta-carotene and lutein present in kale help in reducing the risk of several diseases caused by oxidative stress. It is recommended to consume kale raw because cooking may reduce its nutrient content.
This leafy green vegetable is related to spring greens and kale. Its thick leaves have a bitter taste. It has a similar texture to cabbage and kale; and is a great source of several vitamins and calcium. Collard green is rich in folate, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K. Collard green is very effective for blood clotting because of the high amount of vitamin K.
Cabbage belongs to the Brassica family. A few other familiar names from the family include brussels sprouts, broccoli, and kale. The vegetables of this family are believed to contain a compound that may have cancer-protective properties – glucosinolates. Sauerkraut, which is made by fermenting cabbage, has numerous health benefits. It helps in improving your immune health and aid in weight loss. It also helps in improving your digestion.