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Focus on leafy green vegetables for better nutritionPerhaps Popeye was doing his body right when he ate spinach to replenish his superhuman strength. Green leafy vegetables are chock full of phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals. In fact, many health professionals believe that leafy green vegetables deserve a special focus in the produce world for the volume of nutrients tucked into their low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, low-glycemic index package. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recognizes the benefits of dark green vegetables on the basis of color, and recommends incorporating at least three cups (cooked, or 6 cups raw) in your diet every week, based on 2,000 calories per day.
The nutritional perks of leafy green vegetables are bountiful. Greens, such as collard and mustard greens and spinach, are rich sources of vitamins A, C, K and folate — a water-soluble B vitamin that supports cell production, such as for hair, skin and nails, and may protect against cancer and neurological and cardiovascular diseases. Many varieties of vegetables supply 20 to 30 percent of your daily recommendation for calcium in a one-cup cooked serving.
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Publication date: 4/22/2014
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