Follow any health and wellness blog and you’re sure to learn about the endless nutritional benefits of kale. Packed to the brim with essential vitamins and minerals, it seems this leafy-green goddess can do no wrong in the world of health and wellness. Don’t get us wrong – we are all for this delicious superfood. We’ve just begun to wonder if kale really is the front-runner when it comes to healthy foods, and as it turns out, there are plenty of contenders giving kale a run for its money. Here’s the rundown on seven superfoods that should be a part of every healthy lifestyle.
Watercress is a true superfood powerhouse. Underestimated as a simple garnish, this aquatic based plant contains a huge amount of beta carotene – processed by the body as vitamin A. Watercress is also a prime source of vitamin K, which helps the body generate protein for healthy bones and tissue. Best yet, research from South Dakota State University states that a compound in watercress, henethyl isothiocyanate, may reduce the likelihood of cancer relapse.
When it comes to potassium intake, beet greens have kale well and truly covered. Vital to the proper functioning of cells, tissues and organs, potassium also helps the body build protein and break down carbohydrates. Beet greens are also a winning source of magnesium, which helps your body to stabilise nerve function and blood pressure.
Rich in essential amino acids, Chinese cabbage supports your body’s use of nutrients, promoting optimal health. What’s the most awesome thing about this leafy, crunchy fare? Unlike kale, Chinese cabbage retains its antioxidant value once cooked, also arming your body with vital phytonutrients.
As a sturdy kale alternative, spinach boasts a more generous serving of protein, folate, iron and fibre. On top of that, this dark leafy green has been proven to assist in the fight against a range of cancers. And for the gym lovers out there, research coming out of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden suggests that spinach aids muscle development.
With a name this fascinating, it’s no surprise silverbeet is packed with interesting health benefits. Containing a high level of nitrate, this super-veggie is believed to help reduce the level of oxygen required for exercise, while boosting athletic performance. Containing an array of powerful antioxidants, recent research also suggests silverbeet may offer protection from type 2 diabetes.
There’s no denying that kale is packed full of nutritious goodness – it’s earned its reputation as queen of all healthy foods for good reason. Nonetheless, we’re ready to expand our horizons and throw a few other green contenders into the mix. After all, we know that variety is key when it comes to incorporating greens into your diet.