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The nutritional benefits of collard greens

June 9, 2014

Collard greens can be incorporated into a daily diet to improve health for people living with several illnesses, from cancer to diabetes. A small amount of the vegetables supplies a surprising percentage of daily vitamins that promote healthy aging for seniors.

Benefits of collard greens
According to Medical News Today, cancer development can be inhibited by collard greens due to the glucosinolates they contain. Sulfur in the molecules has been proven effective in treating symptoms of multiple types of cancer including lung, colon, breast and prostate. Research is currently being done to find out what other cancers can be helped with nutrients found in collard greens.

The vitamin K in collard greens is beneficial for bone health. MNT reported that the nutrients modify bone matrix proteins that improve calcium absorption and potentially retention. Just one cup of boiled collard greens can provide enough vitamin K to surpass the daily recommended level.

The choline found in collard greens can help improve learning, memory, muscle movement and sleep. It can also affect inflammation, fat absorption and depression. Because of the high fiber and water content, collard greens are good for the digestive track as well.

Collard greens have a positive effect on people with diabetes, because they are high in fiber. According to Ware, studies have shown that high-fiber diets have lowered blood glucose levels in people with Diabetes Type 1 and managed lipids, insulin and blood sugar for people with Type 2. One cup of boiled greens contains 8 grams of fiber, and the daily recommended amount is 21 to 25 grams per day for women and 30-38 grams per day for men.

Vitamins A and C in collard greens are beneficial for hair and skin development. One cup of boiled collard greens supplies about half of the daily recommendations for vitamin C. The vegetable also contains iron, which may prevent hair loss caused by anemia.

Adding collard greens to your diet
The leafy greens are a quality addition to your diet, because they contain very little fat or sugar. Many people put collards in a juicer with fruit and other vegetables or add them to smoothies. This allows you to mask the taste if you find collard greens too bitter. You can also use them just like lettuce for salads or as an addition to sandwiches. Livestrong reported some people add collard greens to soups and casseroles. It's also possible to crisp them in the oven the same way you can make kale chips.