Health:
Colorful Foods: 
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
from Deena's "Nutritional Guide" Booklet


Deena Ministries is a ministry of Owings Presbyterian Church in Owings, SC.
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Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

 

What are dark green leafy vegetables?

 

Dark green leafy vegetables are good sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium. They also are great sources of fiber. The darker leaves have even more of these important nutrients. Some common dark green leafy vegetables are:

 

 

Swiss Chard, which tastes similar to spinach, is rich in vitamins K, C, and calcium. Swiss chard is best eaten raw in salads, or stir-fried.

 

Chicory, which has a slightly bitter flavor, is rich in vitamins K, C, and calcium. Chicory is best eaten with other greens in salad, or in soups and pasta sauces.

 

Collard Greens, which has an earthy spinachy flavor, is rich in vitamin A and calcium. Collard greens are best if you boil briefly and then add to soups or stir-fry.

 

Arugula, which has a peppery taste, is rich in vitamins A, C, and calcium. Arugula is best eaten raw in salads, or in stir-fry, soups, and pasta sauces.

 

Dandelion Greens, which has a bitter tangy flavor, is rich in vitamin A and calcium. Dandelion greens are best eaten raw in salads or steamed.

 

Kale, which has a slightly bitter cabbage-like flavor, is rich in vitamin A, C, calcium, folic acid, and potassium. Kale is best eaten in soups, stir-fry and sauces.

 

Mustard Greens, which has a hot spicy flavor, is rich in vitamin A, C and calcium. Mustard greens are best eaten raw in salads, or in stir-fry and soups.

 

Spinach, which has an earthy sweet flavor, is rich in vitamin A, C, iron and calcium. Spinach is best eaten raw in salads or steamed.

 

 

 

Different leafy green vegetables provide different amounts of nutrients. Here is a chart with the amount of calcium, fiber, and iron in a 1/2 cup serving of each chopped raw green:

 

 

 

Calcium

Fiber

Iron

Swiss Chard

9.2 mg

0.3 g

0.3 mg

Chicory

90 mg

3.6 g

0.8 mg

Collard Greens

26 mg

0.7 g

0.1 mg

Arugula

16 mg

0.2 g

0.2 mg

Dandelion Greens

51 mg

1.0 g

0.9 mg

Kale

45 mg

0.7 g

0.6 mg

Mustard Greens

29 mg

0.9 g

0.4 mg

Spinach

15 mg

0.4 g

0.4 mg

 

 

 

How can I cook dark green leafy vegetables?

 

Some dark leafy green vegetables can be eaten raw in salads, probably are best mixed with other kinds of lettuce. To cook dark green leafy vegetables you can either add then to a soup, or cut the leaves into smaller pieces and stir-fry them in a tiny bit of oil (olive oil or canola oil is best). Add tofu and some other vegetables to your stir-fry for a complete meal!

 

Written by Juniper Devecis, Nutrition Intern, Simmons University

Edited by The Young Women's Resource Center Staff

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