Green leafy vegetables are commonly called as “Greens”, “Keerai”. Each green vegetable has a unique flavour. Some are acidic, some sticky and other bitter. Green leafy vegetables contain all important nutrients required for growth and maintenance of health and prevention of diseases.
Generally, green leafy vegetables have a high water content (85 – 95%) and a low-fat content. Greens also have a very low-calorie content.
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- Green leafy vegetables are valued mainly for their high vitamin and mineral content.
- Greens are rich source of calcium, iron, Beta – carotene, vitamin c, Riboflavin and folic acid.
- The intensity of the green colour is an indirect indicator of the vitamin A value of leaves. The dark green leafy vegetables are a rich source of beta – carotene
- Greens contains complex carbohydrate such as cellulose, hemicellulose (Fibre) which absorb water, increase the surface area of the food mass and thus help digestion and absorption of nutrients.
- It also helps to ensure the smooth movement of food through the digestive tract.
- Fibre present in greens helps to reduce blood cholesterol level.
- It also helpful in preventing a sudden rise in blood sugar level which is particularly beneficial for diabetics.
Mint is a good appetizer. It helps to relieve from gastric discomfort. It is good for liver and helps stones to dissolve in the kidney and bladder.
Fenugreek leaves are highly beneficial in the treatment of indigestion, flatulence, and sluggish liver. It helps in the healing of mouth ulcer. It helps in blood formation. The cooked leaves are extremely useful for adolescent girls to prevent anaemia.
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Spinach cleans digestive tract by removing accumulated waste. It nourishes the intestines and tones up their movement. This is an excellent food remedy for constipation. Spinach is a very valuable food during pregnancy and lactation. Regular use of spinach during pregnancy will help to prevent the deficiency of folic acid and improve the quality of milk during lactation.
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Amaranth is very useful in preventing retarted growth in children. Regular use of amaranth during pregnancy helps the normal growth of the baby, prevent the loss of calcium and iron from the body, relax the uterine ligaments and facilitate easy delivery. It protects against several disorders such as defective vision, respiratory infections and recurrent colds.
Green leafy vegetables are rich source of vitamins and minerals. Greens are inexpensive and it is advisable to include atleast 50g of greens daily in one’s diet. It must be consumed by children, pregnant and nursing women to obtain much needed B – carotene, calcium and iron.
So plan your menu, to include greens and stay healthy the easy way.
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Pic courtesy: theelixirmag