Did you know that leafy greens are one of the most powerful skin-beautifying foods you can eat? From kale to collard greens to spinach, leafy greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes that will leave your body and skin nourished, healthy and glowing. Here are just a few that we would like to shine the spotlight on:
Collard Greens: Closely related to cabbage and kale, collard greens are high in Vitamins A, C and E and minerals like calcium selenium and zinc. So what does all of this nutritional mumbo jumbo translate to? Well, Vitamin C supercharges your immune system while Vitamin A contains antioxidant properties that support healthy vision and glowing skin. Collards are also high in selenium; a trace mineral that is essential for the antioxidant glutathione to do it’s job of neutralizing the free radicals that cause inflammation and aging and promote skin cancer. How to eat: use collard leaves as a wrap for your sandwiches or burritos, blend into smoothies, sauté with garlic + onions or sliced into a salad.
Swiss Chard: Delicate in flavor, swiss chard contains 13 different antioxidants, including a flavonoid called syringic acid, which has been shown to help regulate blood sugar. Swiss chard is one of the most nutritious vegetables and in terms of nutrient-richness, it ranks second to only to spinach. All of those wonderful nutrients contribute to creating a healthy body (this includes your skin). How to eat: sautéed in an omelet, in place of spinach in veggie lasagna, blended into a smoothie or boiled (boiling it brings out its sweetness).
Dandelion Greens: Dandelions can certainly be a nuisance to a perfectly manicured lawn, but in the world of nutrition they are no nuisance. For centuries dandelion greens have been regarded for their powerful antioxidant profile (hello beautiful skin!), their liver and blood cleansing properties, and their benefits as a digestive aid. Dandelion greens are also high in iron and calcium---in fact they contain about 50% more calcium and 50% more iron than kale (and per calorie kale itself contains more calcium than milk and more iron than beef). How to eat: chopped into a salad, boiled into a soup, spiced and braised or blended with pumpkin seeds into a flavorful pesto.
Beet Greens: Typically these glorious leaves get cut off from their cabernet-colored beetroots and tossed. But if people only knew how nutritious these leaves were, they probably would think twice about throwing them away. Beets grow quickly and survive freezing cold temperatures, which translates to a strong and resilient plant that is packed with tons of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Beet greens are especially high in vitamin A, which helps strengthen the immune system and protect against macular degeneration (Vitamin A is also great for glowing skin). YAY, beet greens! How to eat: sautéed with garlic and herbs, juiced, sliced into a salad, simmered into a soup, mixed with eggs and made into a frittata.