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From Weight Loss To Heart Health, Here Are The Benefits Of Collard Greens

Collard greens belong to the cruciferous vegetable family, Cruciferae, which includes kale, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, turnips, Brussels sprout and rutabaga. The health benefits of collard greens are immense and range from promoting digestive health and heart health to skin and hair health.

Collard greens have large, dark-coloured leaves and an upright stalk that grows up to two feet tall. They grow in northern India, Portugal, Brazil, northern Spain and other parts of the country too.

collard greens benefits

Nutritional Value Of Collard Greens

100 grams of raw collard greens contain 32 calories, 3 g of protein, 0.6 g of fat, 5 g of total carbohydrate, 0.5 g of sugar, 4 g of dietary fibre, 232 mg of calcium, 0.5 mg of iron, 27 mg of magnesium, 61 mg of phosphorous, 213 mg of potassium, 17 mg of sodium, 35.3 mg of vitamin C, 5,019 IU of vitamin A, and 0.2 mg of vitamin B6.

It also has other essential vitamins and minerals like zinc, folate, vitamin E and vitamin K.

Health Benefits Of Collard Greens

1. Prevents cancer
2. Lowers cholesterol and aids in weight loss
3. Detoxifies the body
4. Good for the digestive system
5. Supports heart health
6. Lowers the risk of bone fracture
7. Keeps skin and hair healthy

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1. Prevents cancer

What makes collard greens a natural cancer-fighting vegetable is the fact that they have high levels of antioxidants and reduce inflammation. According to the National Cancer Institute, this cruciferous veggie has glucosinolates, a large group of sulphur-containing compounds which are known to break down while chewing and digesting. This process helps them to turn into biologically active compounds called indoles, isothiocyanates, and thiocyanates that inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

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2. Lowers cholesterol and aids in weight loss

Cholesterol is naturally made by the liver and required by the body for the proper functioning of the cells, hormones and nerves. Excess cholesterol can travel in the bloodstream and can build up in the walls of the arteries.

A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that fibre present in collard greens lowers cholesterol by binding to it in the digestive system, which is then excreted out of the body.

Collard greens also aid in weight loss. It is a fat-burning food which contains only 32 calories which is less if you are planning to maintain your weight by including low-calorie foods in your diet.

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3. Detoxifies the body

One of the benefits of collard greens are that they are natural detoxifiers which eliminate toxins from the body. It is due to compounds called isothiocyanates which is made from glucosinolates. The glucosinolates activate the detoxification enzymes, thereby removing toxins or pollutants from the body.

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4. Good for the digestive system

Eating collard greens as a part of your diet stimulates the digestive system, prevents constipation, promotes regularity and maintains a healthy digestive tract.

This vegetable also contains glucoraphanin that helps protect the health of your stomach lining by preventing bacterial overgrowth.

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5. Supports heart health

The presence of vitamin K in collard greens reduces inflammation and protects cells that line the blood vessels like the veins and arteries. This vitamin is known to prevent the calcification of arteries which is one of the leading causes of heart attack. It works by carrying calcium out of the arteries and not allowing it to form plaque deposits.

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6. Lowers the risk of bone fracture

Another benefit of collard green is it helps in lowering the risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture due to the presence of vitamin K. It improves the calcium absorption in the body, thereby helping in building bones.

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7. Keeps skin and hair healthy

Collard greens are rich in vitamin A which is necessary for controlling sebum production, keeps your hair moisturised, maintains proper eyesight and supports the immune system, to name a few.

The veggie is a good source of vitamin C too, which builds and maintains collagen levels to provide structure to skin and hair.

How To Eat Collard Greens?

  • Steaming the green veggie for 10 minutes or less is the best way to retain the nutrients.
  • Have them raw by adding in salads, sandwiches or wraps.
  • You can also sauté and boil the veggie and add them in soups.
  • Add a handful of collard greens to your smoothie to provide extra nutrients.

Avoid frying collard greens or overcooking them as they create a strong and bitter sulphur taste.

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    Read more about: greens health benefits
    Story first published: Thursday, September 6, 2018, 13:34 [IST]
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