A green leafy vegetable is a great way to add a new dimension to your diet, but the greens are also an excellent source of added nutrients, according to researchers.
The study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds that adding spinach, kale and other green leafed vegetables to a typical diet can improve overall health and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
A Green Leafy Vegetable, a green and nutritious combination of vegetables, is a healthy, nutrient-rich alternative to regular kale, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and other vegetables, the researchers found.
The researchers compared the health benefits of green leaf lettuce, spinach and other leafy greens with those of kale, kale-infused pasta, cauliferas and other vegetable products.
They found that adding green leaf vegetables to the typical diet was associated with a significantly lower risk of developing diabetes and heart disease compared with those who added them to a normal diet.
The researchers found that the consumption of green leaves was associated not only with lower levels of LDL cholesterol but also with lower fasting blood sugar, triglycerides, and blood pressure, the study said.
“The effect of green-leaf vegetables is not only related to weight loss but also is associated with improved health outcomes in terms of lower body weight, higher HDL cholesterol, lower triglycerides and blood-sugar, and decreased cardiovascular risk,” said the study’s lead author, Yvonne Bourgeois, of the Department of Nutrition at University of California, San Francisco.
“Green leafy veg provides health benefits and is an excellent way to eat healthy while maintaining weight loss and promoting health, and this research shows that green leaf foods are an excellent alternative for those who want to lose weight,” she said.
The researchers added that the health effects of the green leafs were not limited to people with type 2 diabetes.
“Green leaf vegetables are not only good for you physically, but they are also a good source of nutrients and are a source of antioxidants,” Bourgeois said.
This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grant no.
R01 NS083796, R01 CA1711, and R01 AI09849), the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes on Aging, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institute on Aging and National Institute for Diabetes and Diabetes and Parkinson’s Disease (grants R01 DK081695, R02 HL015599, and RR-1 DA09816 and DA083549), National Institute Research Foundation grant DA001279 and a Wellness Center Grant P01 AG127917.