Most adults have a horror story from their youth that relates to being “forced” by their parents to eat their vegetables. From brussels sprouts to creamed spinach, some vegetables are villainized in pop culture for being unsavory and depicted as the one thing children leave on their plates and must finish before they can enjoy post-meal freedom. From the time kids enter school, kids are reminded to eat four to five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. This may have seemed arbitrary at the time – a vague, nebulous concept that was reinforced at every turn, but perhaps lacked a proper explanation.
So, we at Willo Farm are ready to break it down with some of our favorite reasons to eat your green vegetables with some benefits that may surprise you.
Adult leafy greens, baby leafy greens and microgreens – they’re all different in size, texture and taste, but did you know they also have marked differences in nutrients?
For example, microgreens and adult leafy greens have more flavor when compared to baby greens. However, microgreens, despite their size, pack a punch when it comes to nutrition and contain even more nutrients than their adult counterparts.
Adult greens contain greater amounts of fiber and water to keep you fuller longer.
In case the above tempted you to swear off adult greens forever, here’s why you should keep them in the rotation. In addition, they’re often more affordable and still contain all the nutrients your body needs to function at its best.
Kale (in all of its forms) is considered one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables on the planet.
Full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, when compared to the daily recommended value, one cup contains:
- 684% of vitamin K
- 206% of vitamin A
- 134% of vitamin C
Coming in at second place are microgreens, collard greens at third and spinach at fourth. If you’re noticing a pattern that most of these greens are darker in color and have a more fibrous texture, you’re spot on.
Cooked greens can actually increase the nutritional value in certain cases, depending on the type of produce.
Lycopene, beta-carotene, calcium, and lutein are just some of the many nutrients that benefit from being heated. A recent scientific study found that one cup of raw spinach contained 30 milligrams of calcium and when cooked, that same cup had 245 milligrams of calcium. Of course, this isn’t the golden rule for all leafy greens. Kale is better off being eaten raw, but if you prefer the taste of cooked greens, the good news is they are still incredibly healthy with the right preparation.
Vegetables are scientifically proven to increase energy and body function through macronutrients.
Feeling sluggish? You may not be getting enough greens. Macronutrients are needed to grow and function normally and they can only be obtained through diet. Carbohydrates, fat and protein are all examples of micronutrients. And, of course, as with anything we ingest, there can be good and bad macro and micronutrients. Luckily, veggies are a great source of the “good” carbs, so grab a bowl and enjoy a heaping portion of guilt-free greens.
- Adult leafy greens, baby leafy greens and microgreens – they’re all different in size, texture and taste, but did you know they also have marked differences in nutrients?
At the root of all of this is a healthy balance. Sure, you can indulge every once in a while. Order the charcuterie, celebrate with a chocolate sundae, but, as it turns out, our parents, their parents, even our great-grandparents were right: Vegetables are an important part of any diet and do wonders for how one feels and how the body functions.