benefits of collard

Benefits of Collard

1. Collard
Collard greens are part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, rutabaga and turnips. These nutrition powerhouses pack in lots of nutrients for a little amount of calories. If you are trying to eat healthier, cruciferous vegetables like collard greens should be at the very top of your grocery list.
2. Description
All cruciferous vegetables provide integrated nourishment across a wide variety of nutritional categories and provide broad support across a wide variety of body systems as well. Collards are leafy green vegetables that belong to the same family that includes cabbage, kale, and broccoli. While they share the same botanical name as kale, Brassica oleracea, and some resemblance, they have their own distinctive qualities. Like kale, collards are one of the non head forming members of the Brassica family. Collards unique appearance features dark blue green leaves that are smooth in texture and relatively broad. They lack the frilled edges that are so distinctive to their cousin kale.
3. History
cauliflower and broccoli, collards are descendents of the wild cabbage, a plant thought to have been consumed as food since prehistoric times and to have originated in Asia Minor. From there it spread into Europe, being introduced by groups of Celtic wanderers around 600 B.C. Collards have been cultivated since the times of the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. While collards may have been introduced into the United States before, the first mention of collard greens dates back to the late 17th century. Collards are an integral food in traditional southern American cuisine.
4. How to Select
Look for collard greens that have firm, unwilted leaves that are vividly deep green in color with no signs of yellowing or browning. Leaves that are smaller in size will be more tender and have a milder flavor. They should be displayed in a chilled section in the refrigerator case to prevent them from wilting and becoming bitter.
5. How to Store
Place collard greens in a plastic bag, removing as much of the air from the bag as possible. Store in the refrigerator where they should keep fresh for about three to five days. Collard greens are highly nutritious staple green cabbage like leaves vegetable. Collards are one of the most popular members of the Brassica family, closely related to kale and cabbage and could be described as a non heading (acephalous) cabbage.
6. Nutritional breakdown of collard greens
One cup of boiled collard greens contains 63 calories, 5 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, 11 grams of carbohydrate (including 8 grams of fiber and 1 gram of sugar), over 250% of your daily needs forvitamin A, over 50% of your daily needs for vitamin C, 26% ofcalcium needs, 12% of iron and 10% of both vitamin B 6 and magnesium.
7. Bone health
Low intakes of vitamin K have been associated with a higher risk for bone fracture. Adequate vitamin K consumption is important for good health, as it acts as a modifier of bone matrix proteins, improves calcium absorption and may reduce urinary excretion of calcium.
8. Cancer
Since the 1980s, maintaining a high intake of cruciferous vegetables has consistently been associated with a lower risk of developing colorectal and lung cancer. Recently, cruciferous vegetable intake has been linked with targeting prostate cancer cells as well. These vegetables have sulfur containing compounds known as glucosinolates, which have been studied for their ability to impede the cancer process at different stages of development for lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers. New preliminary studies have found that glucosinolates may also be effective against melanoma, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
9. Diabetes
Studies have shown that type 1 diabetics who consume high fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels. One cup of boiled collard greens provides about 8 grams of fiber. Collard greens also contain an antioxidant known as alpha lipoic acid, which has been shown to lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity and prevent oxidative stress induced changes in patients with diabetes. Studies on alpha lipoic acid have also shown decreases in peripheral neuropathy and/or autonomic neuropathy in diabetics.
10. Digestion
Collard greens are high in both fiber and water content, which help to prevent constipation, promote regularity and maintain a healthy digestive tract. Wonderfully nutritious collard leaves are very low in calories (provide only 30 calories per 100 g) and contain no cholesterol. However, its green leaves contain a very good amount of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber that helps control LDL cholesterol levels and offer protection against hemorrhoids, constipation as well as colon cancer diseases.

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