Which Vegetables Leaves Are Good for Your Health…and Which Are Not?

close-up photo of vegetable salad

Leafy greens are an essential component of a balanced diet. They have lots of health benefits and high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber but low in calories.

Leafy green vegetables may help you live a healthy life by lowering your risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and mental decline.

Vegetables Leaves That Are Good for Your Health

1. Kale

cooked food on white ceramic plate

One of the best green leafy vegetables is Kale is high in vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants. Due to its high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, kale is considered one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables on the planet. One cup (67 grams) of raw kale contains 684 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin K, 206 percent of the DV for vitamin A, and 134 percent of the DV for vitamin C.

Kale’s high antioxidant content helps to protect against chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. It also contains antioxidants such as lutein and beta-carotene that can help prevent illnesses caused by oxidative stress. Because cooking may reduce the nutrient profile of kale, it’s best eaten raw since that way you’ll get the most out of it. Eat this always and get the benefits of leafy greens.

2. Microgreens

Microgreens are tiny, immature greens developed from the seeds of plants and herbs. They are commonly 1–3 inches (2.5–7.5 cm) long. They have been used as a garnish or décor since the 1980s, although they have a lot more applications.

3. Collard Greens

Collards, like kale and spring greens, are loose-leaf greens. They have thick leaves that are somewhat bitter in flavor. They have a similar mouth feel to kale and cabbage. Their name is derived from the term “colewort,” which means “cabbage.”

Collard greens have thick leaves and a strong flavor that may be bitter. Vitamin K is abundant in them, and they may help to prevent blood clots and improve bone health.

4. Spinach

Spinach is a popular leafy green vegetable and may be used in a variety of recipes, including soups, sauces, smoothies, and salads. Spinach’s nutritional profile is impressive: one cup (30 grams) of raw spinach provides 181 percent of the DV for vitamin K, 56% of the DV for vitamin A, and 13% of the DV for manganese. Cooked spinach is more nutritious than raw, though.

5. Cabbage

Cabbage is made up of clusters of thick, green, white, and purple leaves. It’s in the Brassica family with Brussels sprouts, kale, and broccoli. Glucosinolates are present in vegetables from this plant family, which give them a sour taste.

6. Beet Greens

Beetroots have been recommended for health since the Middle Ages. They have a decent nutrient profile, but while beets are popular in meals, the leaves are typically overlooked.

Although the flavor and texture are excellent, beets have one disadvantage: they’re poisonous. This is tragic because, as you may see, they’re edible and high in potassium, calcium, riboflavin, fiber, and vitamins A and K. Beet greens offer 220% of the Vitamin A DV in one cup (144 grams), 37% of the potassium content in the same amount of time , 17% of the fiber content in the same amount of time.

Beet greens are edible green leaves that grow on the tips of beets. They’re high in nutrients, including antioxidants that may help preserve your eyesight.

7. Watercress

Watercress is a plant from the Brassicaceae family, which makes it comparable to arugula and mustard greens. It’s supposed to have healing qualities and has been used in herbal medicine for millennia. However, no studies conducted on humans have verified these advantages yet.


Watercress has been utilized in herbal medicine for millennia. A few test-tube studies have indicated that it may be helpful in the treatment of cancer, but no human research has validated these benefits.

8. Romaine Lettuce

Romaine lettuce is a sturdy, dark green salad leaf with a firm center rib. It has a crunchy texture and is frequently used in Caesar salads. It’s high in vitamins A and K, with one cup (47 grams) providing 82% and 60% of the DV for each vitamin.

9. Swiss Chard

Swiss chard has dark-green leaves that are thick and red, white, yellow, or green in color. It’s commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine and belongs to the same family as beets and spinach. It has an earthy taste and is high in minerals and vitamins such as potassium, manganese, and vitamins A, C, and K.

Swiss chard also contains a specific flavonoid called syringic acid, which has been found to be helpful in lowering blood sugar levels.

10. Arugula

Rocket, colewort, roquette, rucola, and rucoli are just a few of the names for arugula. It has a mild peppery flavor and tiny leaves that may be easily incorporated into salads or used as garnish. Cosmetically and therapeutically, it can also be utilized.

11. Endive

Endive (pronounced “N-dive”) is a member of the Cichorium family. It’s less well-known than other leafy greens, perhaps because it’s difficult to cultivate. It has a nutty and slightly bitter flavor and is curly, crisp in texture.

12. Bok Choy

It is a Chinese cabbage that is often confused with its cousin bok choy. It has thick, dark-green leaves that are wonderful in soups and stir-fries. Selenium is found in bok choy, which plays an important role in cognitive function, immunity, and cancer prevention.

13. Turnip Greens

Turnip greens are the delicate leaves of the turnip plant, which is a root vegetable similar to beetroot. These greens contain more minerals than the turnip itself, including calcium, manganese, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K.

Turnip greens are a cruciferous vegetable with a distinctive, pungent flavor that’s often cooked rather than raw. Turnip greens are considered a cruciferous vegetable because they have been shown to lower your chance of illness, such as heart disease, cancer, and inflammation.

Vegetables Leaves That Are Not Good for Your Health

Canned veggies

Canned veggies are frequently devoid of fiber and other nutrients, as well as being high in salt. If canned veggies are your preferred choice, you may notice a decline in nutritional quality or, worse, consume them unknowingly with sugar, additives, sodium, or flavorings that detract from good nutrition and make it harmful.

Starchy Vegetables

Corn, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, squash, and yams have less vitamins and minerals and less fiber than other types of vegetables. Furthermore, they usually contain two to three times as many calories per serving as their non-starchy vegetable counterparts. According to a Harvard University study released in recent years, eating leafy greens and cruciferous veggies resulted in significantly more weight reduction than potatoes, peas, or corn.

Canned Baked Beans

The top brand of baked beans, according to Nicole Rodriguez, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist, has 3 teaspoons of sugar and 50% more salt per serving, unlike regular canned kidney or navy (white) beans. Make your own with less sugar and salt. Drain and rinse a can of navy beans before making a tomato-based sauce with a touch of barbecue sauce.

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