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Health Notes from Dr. Liz
March 11, 2007
This is the time of year to eat “green.” Green leafy veggies, that is. These wondrous leaves are packed with traditional vitamins and minerals, along with a host of phytonutrients known to ward off a variety of ailments from Alzheimer’s to certain types of cancer. Whether you use them as a base for fresh salads, as a cooked side dish or for colorful sandwich fillings, greens are “in” this spring!
Here are some favorites:
- Arugula – One cup contains only five calories but packs an array of phytonutrients called indoles that help lower risk for both stomach and colon cancers. With its peppery taste, arugula is a great addition to salads or served wilted with grilled fish.
- Chards (including Swiss and Rainbow) – In a mere 35 calories per cup, chard supplies a staggering 700 percent of vitamin K needs and a wealth of carotenes that protect your eyes from age-related loss of vision.
- Collard greens – Like other spring braising greens, collards are low in calories but big in fiber, calcium (more than 10 percent of the daily value in one cooked cup) and potassium.
- Dandelion greens – These peppery tasting salad greens are packed with folate, a B vitamin needed for heart health and protection from cancer. One cup has only 15 calories, but supplies 70 percent of vitamin A needs as carotenes, also known for their eyesight protection qualities.
- Endive – Lovely grilled or raw in salads, a ½ cup packs 75 percent of vitamin K needs, a vital nutrient for healthy bones.
- Escarole – Also called chicory, this leafy vegetable supplies more than 100 percent of vitamin K daily value along with a good dose of vitamins A and C in just one cup for a mere 15 calories.
- Frisée – Also known as curly endive, these pleasantly bitter salad greens add carotenes to your salad bowl that may help fend off various cancers and protect eye health.
- Mache – This leafy green is great for salads and adds a rich shot of color, as well as a valuable dose of potassium for a healthy blood pressure and magnesium for bones.
- Mizuna – This tangy green that jazzes up salads comes packed with indoles, known to help inhibit tumor growth.
- Watercress – These spicy greens add a kick of flavor to salads or sandwiches, along with supplying vitamin C, folate, potassium and magnesium – a quartet of nutrients that protect heart health.