Food Facts: Greens Are Superfoods

You can be strong like Mitch Spinach if you eat your leafy greens! Your immune system will thank you, and you may just become the fastest, smartest kid in your class.  Watch out!

Leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, collards, and other dark greens are some of the most nutrient dense foods on earth.  High in protein and calcium, greens play an important role in maintaining healthy muscles, bones, and tissues.  Protein from greens allows the body to acquire many important antioxidants and phytochemicals not present in animal products: nutrients necessary for healthy blood vessels and protection against all diseases, including cancer and dementia.

Greens are Rich in Protein and Calcium

Per 100 CaloriesProtein (gm)Calcium (mg)
Romaine Lettuce7194
Roast Sirloin62
Whole Milk5189

Although our culture usually associates protein with meat and dairy, green vegetables actually get the majority of their calories from proteins that are also packaged with beneficial phytochemicals.  The protein in green leaves gives us raw material from which we can build muscle when we exercise.  Compounds found in green vegetables have been shown to improve muscular endurance and enhance lung function, leading to improved athletic performance.

Leafy greens are rich in antioxidants called carotenoids, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin, which are the only carotenoids known to be involved in vision.  When we eat leafy greens, lutein and zeaxanthin travel to the retina and filter light, which is important for healthy vision.

Mitch likes to put greens in his soups, sauces, and super smoothies. Of course, he eats them in salad, but he also likes to eat them sautéed with some brown rice or quinoa.