Best Superfood Greens to Eat
Nutrition and health experts seem to be constantly changing the rules. Eggs are bad. Now they're good. Avoid fat. Just kidding, it's actually sugar that's killing you. If the recommendations keep changing, why even try?
Well, for lots of reasons. If you throw in the towel and attempt to live off of a diet of beef jerky and sweet snacks, you'll feel like a pile of depressed potatoes. While the exact recommendations evolve as science and medicine advances, some core nutritional facts remain constant. No one is ever, ever going to tell you that veggies are bad for you. We promise.
With that in mind, there are tons of amazing superfood greens that can help you feel and perform your best. These are the most powerful green veggies you can eat. If you absolutely can't stand eating vegetables, relax. We included some helpful links to superfood supplements that make it easy to get your greens without suffering. Enjoy.
17. Prickly Pear
Good for: Cholesterol reduction, weight management, blood sugar regulation
Noteworthy nutrients: Magnesium, potassium, calcium and vitamin C
Recipe idea: Prickly Pear and Coconut Water Smoothie
Bottom line: Don't let prickly pear's spiky exterior deter you from giving it a try. Prickly pears, also known as nopales, are the fruits of the cactus plant. They look a little like aloe vera plants, but they taste much better.
Current research suggest prickly pear can help stabilize blood sugar and improve glucose sensitivity, both of which help manage type 2 diabetes.
An easy alternative:True Nopal Cactus Water
16. Beet Greens
Good for: Weight management, bone, eye and hair health
Noteworthy nutrients: Calcium, iron, copper and vitamin K
Recipe idea:Omelette with Beet Greens
Bottom line: Beets are known for their health benefits, but their leaves are just as good for you. A single cup of cooked beet greens has more than twice the recommended daily value of vitamin A, plus a substantial amount of potassium and fiber.
Add it fresh to salads and soups, or serve it as a side dish. The flavor and health benefits are hard to beat.
An easy alternative:Country Farms Bountiful Beets Powder
15. Collard Greens
Good for: Bone health, lowered cholesterol
Noteworthy nutrients: Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B-6, magnesium, and calcium
Recipe idea:Kickin' Collard Greens
Bottom line: Southern grandmas might not be right about everything, but they're definitely right about collard greens. The thick, somewhat bitter leaves of collard greens are the highest in vitamin K among all superfood greens.
Vitamin K promotes better bone health, particularly as we age. When consumed on a regular basis, collard greens can reduce the risk of hip fractures later in life.
An easy alternative:Organic USA Grown Collard Greens Powder
14. Swiss Chard
Good for: Lowered blood pressure, better digestion, cancer risk reduction, blood sugar regulation
Noteworthy nutrients: Vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, iron
Recipe idea:Simple Sautéed Swiss Chard
Bottom line: Swiss chard, sometimes called rainbow chard, is a popular superfood used in Mediterranean dishes.
Part of the same plant family as beets and spinach, Swiss chard can help improve blood sugar levels and give you a head start on your daily intake of vitamins and minerals.
Instead of tossing the stems, keep them for some added crunch.
An easy alternative:Super Greens Powder Premium Superfood
Good for: Collagen production, immune support, cancer risk reduction
Noteworthy nutrients: Vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, calcium, iron
Recipe idea:Super-Grain Soup with Watercress and Mushrooms
Bottom line: Watercress, an aquatic plant related to arugula, has been used for centuries to promote healing. While few of those claims have been confirmed, studies have shown watercress to help impair the growth of cancer cells.
It's also loaded with beneficial vitamins, so add it to your superfood greens arsenal.
An easy alternative:Watercress Organic Dried Herb Liquid Extract
Good for: Immune support, bone health, cancer risk reduction
Noteworthy nutrients: Calcium, manganese, magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin C
Recipe idea:Garlic Sauteed Spinach
Bottom line: Spinach is one of the most popular and versatile superfood greens around. It's not the most flavorful of veggies, but in this case, that's a good thing.
This folate-filled powerhouse is super easy to blend into smoothies and to cook down into soups and other dishes to add leafy greens into your diet without even realizing they're there.
Add them to a fruit smoothie, and we kid you not, your kids will have no idea they're drinking something full of veggies.
An easy alternative: Nutricost Pure Spinach Powder
Good for: Immune support, cancer risk reduction
Noteworthy nutrients: Vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, manganese and copper
Recipe idea:High Protein Blueberry Kale Smoothie
Bottom line: Kale is one of the infamous cruciferous superfood greens that can be a challenge to enjoy, but are well worth the effort. Kale contains so many beneficial vitamins and minerals that we couldn't list them all.
Incorporating kale into your diet can help lower your risk of developing cancer, particularly, lung cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. Its high vitamin K content also helps strengthen your bones.
If you don't like the flavor, try chopping up baby kale and mixing it with other greens in a salad with dried cranberries, feta and walnuts.
An easy alternative:Sustainably U.S. Grown Organic Kale Powder
Good for: Heart, lung, eye and kidney health
Noteworthy nutrients: Calcium, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A
Recipe idea:Arugula Salad
Bottom line: People tend to love or hate arugula, and we're on the side of love on this one. With a somewhat peppery flavor, baby arugula spices up boring salads while packing a nutritional superfood punch.
It's an excellent source of dietary nitrates, which may help lower blood pressure and improve circulation throughout the body. If you don't like it plain, consider this: You can put it on pizza. Mind. Blown.
An easy alternative:TerraVita Arugula Powder
Good for: Heart health, lowered blood pressure, reduced cancer risk
Noteworthy nutrients: Potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc
Recipe idea:30 Of The Best Microgreens Recipes Ideas
Bottom line: Microgreens are the immature greens from the seeds of different vegetables and herbs. Standing under three inches tall, microgreens have often been used as a decoration on top of other dishes, but they're worth eating all on their own.
Considering they have up to 40 times the nutrients of their full-grown versions, try tossing them into a salad for a boost of tiny superfood green power.
Plus, microgreens resemble salad for mice, which makes them infinitely more fun to eat. You can also add them to sandwiches and other dishes if you don't like them on their own.
An easy alternative:100 Percent USDA Organic Non-GMO Vegan Super Greens Supplement
8. Green Bell Peppers
Good for: Prevention and treatment of iron-deficiency anemia, immune support
Noteworthy nutrients: Vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium
Recipe idea:Classic Stuffed Peppers
Bottom line: Technically, this applies to all bell peppers, not just green ones. Red, yellow and orange peppers actually contain more lycopene, which is a powerful cancer-combatant, but the green variety is great too.
This superfood contains more than 100 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C, and it makes an amazing snack dipped in hummus.
An easy alternative:Gourmanity Dried Mixed Bell Peppers
Good for: Heart health, improved digestion
Noteworthy nutrients: Folate, vitamin K, iron, copper, manganese
Recipe idea:Spiced Edamame
Bottom line: Often served at Japanese restaurants as an appetizer, edamame is an immature version of the soy bean. In terms of nutrition, light green edamame fresh from the pod retain much more nutrients than their older, light-brown soy bean buddies.
A single cup of this superfood has 18.5 grams of protein, which is great news for anyone trying to avoid meat.
An easy alternative:Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame With Sea Salt
Good for: Thyroid function and cancer risk reduction
Noteworthy nutrients: Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, iodine
Recipe idea:Japanese Seaweed Salad (Wakame)
Bottom line: Seaweed is one of the lesser-known superfood greens. A single cup of dried seaweed has 21 percent of your recommended daily intake of iron, which can help balance your hormones and avoid development anemia.
It's most commonly used to wrap sushi, but dried seaweed can also be found in snack form. Fresh seaweed, however, is typically lower in sodium, and it's especially delicious as a salad or part of a poke bowl with rice and sashimi.
An easy alternative:Seaweed Supplement Vegan Capsules
5. Green Beans
Good for: Bone health, metabolism support, mood stabilization
Noteworthy nutrients: Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, calcium, iron
Recipe idea:Buttery Garlic Green Beans
Bottom line: Green beans aren't just for green bean casserole on Thanksgiving. All the fiber in green beans helps support healthy blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol. They're also lo on the glycemic index, making them ideal superfood greens for people with diabetes or prediabetes.
They're also incredibly easy to prepare. Try tossing them in a baking dish and roasting them with cubed sweet potato, almond slices, and a drizzle of olive oil.
An easy alternative:Yankee Traders Green Bean Chips
Good for: Heart health, bone density, eye health, cancer risk reduction
Noteworthy nutrients: Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K
Recipe idea:Seriously, The Best Broccoli of Your Life
Bottom line: Care for some vitamin K? Broccoli has plenty, along with numerous other nutrients and tons of fiber. Broccoli is the most nutritious when steamed, but the best way to prepare it is the way that'll get you to eat it.
A cup of broccoli only has 31 calories, so serving it as a side can help fill you up and reduce your consumption of more fattening foods. Eat your broccoli, kids.
An easy alternative:Micro Ingredients Organic Broccoli Extract Powder
3. Brussels Sprouts
Good for: More stable blood sugar, lowered cancer risk, decreased inflammation
Noteworthy nutrients: Vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate
Recipe idea:Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Garlic
Bottom line: Brussels sprouts get a lot of undeserved hate. They admittedly don't smell amazing, but when they're roasted and sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan, they're surprisingly tasty.
Brussels sprouts are a great source of fiber and vitamin C. Their potassium content may also help keep blood pressure in check.
An easy alternative:Vegan Rob's Brussels Sprout Puffs
Good for: Better digestion and lower blood pressure
Noteworthy nutrients: Vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folic acid
Recipe idea:Quick and Easy Asparagus
Bottom line: Asparagus comes in a close second, because it's one of the tastiest superfood greens ever. It's packed with varieties of vitamin B, including B6, riboflavin, niacin and thiamin.
It also has plenty of dietary fiber, including one type that helps promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. If you're not a fan of the flavor, try roasting it in olive oil with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
An easy alternative:Poshi Asparagus Rosemary + Oregano Vegetable Snack
Good for: Heart health, reduced inflammation, lowered cholesterol
Noteworthy nutrients: Vitamin C, vitamin E, Vitamin K, folate, magnesium, potassium
Recipe idea:Avocado Toast (Plus Tips and Variations)
Bottom line: The No. 1 green superfood isn't even a contest. Avocados are so amazing that avocado toast has become a staple of the millennial diet. Regardless of your stance on the avocado debate, avocados are as nutritious and delicious as a food can possibly be.
It's technically a soft, creamy fruit, but we'll count it as a vegetable because it's usually paired with savory dishes. And avocados have tons of healthy fats that help lower "bad" LDL cholesterol, plus lutein, an antioxidant that can help keep your eyes in tip-top shape as you age.
Toss them into a salad, on top of an omelette, as a garnish for chicken tortilla soup or pretty much anywhere else. It's hard to go wrong with avocado.
An easy alternative:BetterBody Foods Avocado Oil