A hero among cruciferous veggies: Collard greens!
By: Leanne Ely
Collard greens have been enjoyed by human beings since prehistoric times. They’ve been a kitchen staple in the southern United States for centuries because of their great availability and fantastic mild flavor. And like their relatives—broccoli, kale and cabbage-,these leafy green cruciferous veggies are absolutely jam-packed with nutrition.
We know that we should be eating cruciferous vegetables at least three times per week, so how about adding some variety in there and making sure that collard greens are part of your regular cruciferous veggie rotation?
Note: Collard greens are on the Dirty Dozen list so if you can’t find the organic variety, think twice about buying them at all.
So, what’s so great about collard greens? Let’s have a look.
Cholesterol-lowering. If you have high levels of “bad” cholesterol, add steamed collard greens to your diet. Of all the cruciferous veggies (cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, mustard greens), collard greens may be the best at lowering cholesterol. Steamed collard greens are better for lowering cholesterol than raw collard greens are.
Cancer prevention. Collard greens contain several antioxidants including beta-carotene, Vitamin C, manganese and Vitamin E. In addition to these core, conventional antioxidants, collard greens provide us with several antioxidant phytonutrients. Collard greens also support detox functions of the body and fight inflammation. This makes collard greens a force against several types of cancer, including cancers of the bladder, breast, lung, colon, ovaries, and prostate.
Cardiovascular health. Collard greens not only help support cardiovascular health by reducing inflammation, but they have properties that can actually help prevent and possibly reverse damage to blood vessels.
Fiber. There are five grams of fiber in every cup of collard greens!
How to cook collard greens
For the sake of all that’s good and holy, don’t overcook your collard greens. Like other cruciferous veggies, you get quite an unpleasant sulfur smell when they’re overcooked.
Slice collard greens in 1/2 inch slices and chop their steps into 1/4 inch pieces so they all cook evenly. Steam them for only 5 minutes.
What’s your favorite way to eat collard greens? http://www.facebook.com/savingdinner