24 Health Benefits of Kale, Spinach and Chard

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Green leafy vegetables is popular nowadays. People used to eat green leafy vegetables since they have many nutrients and give benefits to your health. All green vegetable contains vitamins, mineral, antioxidant and abundant in phytonutrients. Kale is a type of vegetable which is similar to spinach and chard. Even tough kale belong to crucferous while spinach and chard are types of amaranth, they provide almost same benefits. People used to consume those leafy vegetable as salad or even to make green smoothies. Having those kinds of vegetable will be perfect to keep disease away especially in fighting cancer.

Kale or cabbage leaf is belong to cruciferous vegetable which is in same family with cabbage and broccoli. It is consider as one of healthier vegetable to consume among other kinds green leafy vegetable. Kale is also regard as the powerhouse of nutrient due to its powerful nutrients that has been proved significantly can reduce the risk of certain disease.

Spinach and chard are types of amaranth vegetable which is really similar both in appearance, taste and nutrition contain. Some people also consider chard is same to spinach. As well as other dark green leafy vegetable, spinach and chard contained many healthy nutrients which is great to keep normal body function. They both are usually found in salad and they can be eaten as side dish that company your baked chicken, stew, pasta or many other dish. Combining spinach, chard and kale to make green smoothies will be a great way to enjoy the benefits of those vegetables.

Nutrition Facts

Kale, spinach and chard contains many nutrients which is useful to your health. Below are the table of kale, spinach and chard nutrition fact

 Potential Value

gram, mg
(% Daily Value*)

Vegetable

Kale

Spinach

Chard

Calories

16 kcal

7kcal

7kcal

Total Fat

0,3 gr
(0%)

0.1 g
(0%)

0.1 gr
(0%)

Saturated fat

0,05
(0%)

0 gr
()%)

0 gr
(0%)

Polyunsaturated fat

0,1 gr

0 gr  (0%)

0 gr

Monounsaturated

0 gr

0 gr

0 gr

Cholesterol

0 gr

0 gr

0 gr (0%)

Sodium

13 mg
(1%)

77 mg
(3%)

24 mg
(1%)

Potassium

165 mg
(9%)

136 mg
(3%)

167 (4%)

Total Carbohydrate

3 gr
(2%0

1.3 gr
(0%)

1.1 gr
(0%)

Dietary fiber

0.7 gr

0.7 gr

0.7 gr
(2%)

Sugar

0.4 gr

0.1 gr

0.1 gr

Protein

1.5 gr
(5%)

0.6 gr
(2%)

0.9 gr
(1%)

Vitamin A

133%

44%

56%

Calcium

10%

1%

3%

Vitamin D

0%

0%

0%

Vitamin B-12

0%

0%

0%

Vitamin C

134%

18%

14%

Iron

5%

3%

4%

Vitamin B6

10%

0%

5%

Magnesium

7%

7%

6%

Health benefits of Kale, Spinach and Chard

According to the table above, we can conclude that kale, spinach and chard have almost same nutritional value. These make them provide same health benefits to your body. Below are the list of benefits which can be brought by those lovely green veggies :

1. Promote healthy digestion

Like all dark leafy green vegetable, kale, spinach and chard are rich in fiber that show significant effect in promoting healthy digestion. Fiber is part of plant which the body cant digest. It just pass the stomach and help in managing nutrients absorption and stool formation. Fiber in kale, spinach and chard can help to prevent the body from suffering diarrhea, flatulence and other digestion problem

2. Prevent from irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder which occur in colon or large intestine. It is considered as chronic digestion problem which should be treated immediately since it can cause abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea and other symptoms. The fiber which contained in kale, spinach and chard may help you to prevent from irritable bowel syndrome due to their ability to protect stomach lining especially maintaining healthy colon function.

3. Prevent constipation

If you experience constipation, it means you need more fiber. Fiber can increase the size or weight of the stool which formed in large intestine and also soften it. A softer and bulky stool will pass the colon easier and it enhance the defecation process. If you experience diarrhea and watery stool, eating these vegetables can help to solidify your stool by absorbing the water and adding bulk.

4. Improve vision

Kale, spinach and chard are the house of Vitamin A. They contains high level of Vitamin A which is known as important nutrients to maintain healthy vision. Vitamin A is vital to protect the eyes especially cornea and it also can prevent from developing yes disorder such as macula degeneration and cataract.

5. Prevent diabetes type 2

Fiber is known as best nutrients which can lower blood sugar and maintain it on normal level. Diabetes is one of disease which has become epidemic nowadays and most of people are suffer diabetes due to lack of fiber consumption. Fiber can inhibit the absorption of sugar so the body will absorb it slower and it will show significant impact in bloos sugar level. Kale also contains alpha lipoic acid, a type of antioxidant which can lower blood sugar level and increase sensulin sensitivity that occur in diabetes patient.

6. Fight cancer

Fighting cancer, it is one of most wanted benefits that people look for today. Cancer has become nightmare for people because when they got diagnose with this disease they will think its the end of their life. Most cancer develop due to to free radical damage that caused by unhealthy life style. Kale spinach and chard contained high level of antioxidant which can help to fight free radical effect in the body. Make sure you consume adequate amount of vegetable to provide the body with antioxidant. Some antioxidant which presence in those vegetables are flavonoids, caratenoids and other bioactive components. According to a study in Swedia, scientist reported that consuming dark leavy vegetable 3 servings or more in a week can significantly reduce the risk of developing stomach cancer

7. Prevent anemia

As well as other dark leafy vegetable, kale, spinach and chard contains iron that is required in the formation of red blood cell. Iron also play important role in oxygen transportation in cell through blood. It facilitate the energy production since oxygen is needed to produce energy . When someone lack of iron, that person may develop the symptoms of anemia such as weakness, bad mood, and even fainting.

8. Reduce the risk of heart disease

Fiber has potential effect in protecting the blood vessels and heart from developing certain disease. It blocks the bad fat or LDL to enter the blood vessel whic later can trigger the development of atherosclerosis. Kale, spinach and chard provides you with fiber that can help you to keep your heart healthy and happy. They also contains some amount of magnesium which control normal heart rhytm. A study reported that consuming dark leafy vegetable can reduce the heart disease risk by 11 %.

9. Keeping strong bones

Its not a secret that dark leafy vegetable like kale, spinach and chard are rich in calcium. Calcium is important to keep bone mass and remain the strong bones that will support your activities. The calcium in those vegetables is easier to absorb by the body compared to the calcium which contained in milk and other diary product.

10. Maintain healthy skin

Who doesn’t want to get beauty and healthy skin? Instead of spend your money with skin care product, consuming more green smoothies or salad vegetables will give you more benefits to skin. These group of dark leafy vegetable can fight free radical that is harmful for skin and causing aging.

11. Prevent hair loss

By giving a lot of nutrients in the body, kale, spinach and chard can keep healthy hair growth and prevent hair loss. The improvement of body nutrients will nourish the hair roots and protect it from damage and aging

12. Improve healthy pregnancy

All these vegetable including kale, spinach and chard contain folate that is required by pregnant woman in developing fetus inside the womb, consuming dark leafy vegetable can help the baby from developing neural tube disease and other disorder that may affect new born baby.

13. Prevent scurvy

Vitamin C is well known as great substance which combat infection and inflammation in the body. Vitamin C contained in kale, spinach and chard can help to prevent scurvy and other mouth infection such as gum bleeding by removing the bad bacteria which live in human mouth.

14. Lower blood pressure

Not only lowering cholesterol level, these groups of vegetables also may give benefits in lowering blood pressure. This benefits is facilitated by the presence of magnesium in the nutrient list of vegetables. Magnesium is one key which control normal blood pressure

15. Prevent atherosclerosis

As mentioned before that fiber and antioxidant which is contained in kale, spinach and chard can protect the blood vessel lining from developing atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis usually occur due to accumulation and blocking by cholesterol and LDL (Low density lipoprotein ) or bad fat.

16. Prevent Alzheimer

Nutrients contained in kale, spinach and chard induce the new brain cell formation and prevent the damage which happen in brain tissue. By consuming these vegetable you make a step in effort to have healthy mind and maintain brain function in the golden age.

17. Reduce the risk of asthma

Asthma is a type of allergy disease that occur in respiratory system. Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach and chard contains an antioxidant called quercetin which can inhibit the development of allergy including asthma.

18. Maintain muscle function

Magnesium is a vital minerals which is required in maintain muscle and nerve function. Lack of magnesium will be harmful to your body. Consuming this vegetable group can help you to maintain muscle strength and it will keep you active during your day activities,

19. Boost immune system

Antioxidant work together with immune system to fight disease and other substance which can give bad effect to human body. Eating salad full of dark green leavy vegetable including spinach, kale and chard will help you to stay healthy and fit during uncertain weather and environment condition.

20. Reduce stress

Drinking green smoothies made from kale, spinach or chard that combined with other tasty ingredients such as fruits or honey can give calming effect to your mind and help to alleviate stress

21. Prevent hemorrhoid

Hemorrhoids may be a sign that your body lack of fiber. Without fiber your body will be hard remove stool from the body because it has harder texture. Fiber can soften the stool so it will be easier to remove from the colon. Harder stool will cause the vein in the anus area damage and you may experience bleeding during defecation process. Consuming vegetable can provides you adequate fiber that prevent you from hemorrhoid.

22. Reduce the risk of developing kidney disease

According to a study which published in Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reported that the fiber and phytochemicals in dark green leafy vegetable can help to protect the kideney from damage. Consuming dark green leafy vegetable including kale, spinach and chard can significantly help your kidney to work better.

23. Help in weigh loss

Eating vegetables can make you feel full longer than eating other types of food. Vegetable including kale, spinach and chard contains high fiber that add the bulk in stomach which slower the absorption of nutrient and save you from hunger and crave. If you want to have healthier weight its better to start consume vegetables.

24. Promotes long life

By all those benefits in preventing serious disease, eating kale, spinach or chard can keep you from aging and promotes better quality of life. A study reported that regular consumption of such vegetable can decrease mortality rates caused by heart diseas, cancer and other fatal disease by 40% . Isnt it an amazing news?

Health Risk of Kale, Spinach and Chard

These vegetable contains high amount of potassium so the excessive consumption of kale, spinach and chard may give bad effect to body especially to kidney. Too much potassium in the body will be harmful if the kidney can flush it away from the body. They also contains high level of Vitamin K which should be avoided by people who is under blood thinner medication such as warfarin.

How to Purchase, Store and Consume

If you want to start consuming kale, spinach or chard as your daily meal, follow these tips :

  • Purchase only fresh dark green vegetable in store and avoid to purchase vegetable that has yellowish spot or blemish
  • Store the vegetable in fridge just after you reach home. You can store it for around 3 days in the fridge.
  • Wash them before use, cut it after you finish washing
  • You can cook this vegetable in many ways. Just stir fry it or boil it in hot water in couple minutes. You also can eat it raw just like in salad or add it in your soup or stew dish.
  • Instead of adding meat to your pasta or other dish, replace it with those vegetable that is contains high nutrition
  • You can also blend the vegetables with othe fruit such as banana or pinneaple. Add some milk to give more flavor if you like more creamy taste

Now you just know the benefits of these group of vegetable and it gives you lots of reason why you should start to eat more kale, spinach and chard as your daily meals. Try to rotate the consumption of vegetable if you feel bored with just one type of vegetable or combine it with different meal. It will be a tastier way to enjoy the benefits of dark leafy green vegetable.

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