The Good Stuff in Your Green Vegetables


Your mother always told you to eat your green veg­eta­bles. She promised they’d help you grow up big and strong. If she was any­thing like my mom, she told you that Spider-Man and Luke Sky­walker always ate their green veg­eta­bles. There’s a very good rea­son your mother was such a flag-waving fan of green veg­eta­bles: because they con­tain a ton of min­er­als, vit­a­mins, and other good stuff, such as:

Min­er­als

  • Iron – Nec­es­sary to make hemo­glo­bin, which helps trans­port oxy­gen through the bloodstream.
  • Cal­cium – Essen­tial to the growth of strong teeth and bones. Also assists in devel­op­ment nerves and mus­cle contraction.
  • Potas­sium – Main­tains fluid and elec­trolyte bal­ance in the body.
  • Mag­ne­sium – Assists in the func­tion of every organ in the body.

Vit­a­mins

  • Vit­a­min K – Needed for pro­tein mod­i­fi­ca­tion and blood clotting.
  • Vit­a­min C – An antiox­i­dant (a sub­stance that inhibits the oxi­da­tion of other mol­e­cules). Assists in the devel­op­ment and main­te­nance of scar tis­sue, blood ves­sels, car­ti­lage, ATP (needed for energy), and dopamine.
  • Vit­a­min E – An antiox­i­dant. May inhibit can­cer and car­dio­vas­cu­lar disease.
  • Vit­a­min B– Pro­motes healthy eyes, nerves, skin, hair, and liver.

Phy­to­chem­i­cals

Phy­to­chem­i­cals are chem­i­cal com­pound made by plants and may affect human health. Most phy­to­chem­i­cals are either antiox­i­dants or pos­sess hormone-like qualities.

  • Beta-carotene – An antiox­i­dant that may guard against can­cer and aging.
  • Lutein – Essen­tial to eye­sight. Inhibits blind­ness (mac­u­lar degen­er­a­tion) and cataracts.
  • Zeax­an­thin – Pro­tects and pre­serves eyesight.

Other Good Stuff

Green veg­eta­bles are a good source of fiber, which is needed for proper diges­tion and helps you feel full. Many green veg­eta­bles have high water con­tent. One thing green veg­eta­bles don’t have much of is car­bo­hy­drates, a good thing for those want­ing to main­tain a healthy body weight.

So, if you didn’t grow up to be a super­hero, then you know you prob­a­bly should have lis­tened to your mother.