Collards are not something many people eat on a regular basis. BUT, our grandparents did! We, in America have changed the way we eat drastically in the last 2 generations from what our grandparents grew up eating.
Collard have so many beneficial properties that they are hard to name them all. I am going to attempt to just list the benefits so you can see how amazing this green really is. Wouldn’t you want some of it in your body on a regular basis?
cruciferous vegetable – these veggie fight cancer!
binds bile acids in the digestive tract, especially when slightly cooked
Rich in these vitamins and minerals:
vitamin B6 (pyradoxine)
vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
omega 3 fatty acids
vitamin B3 (niacin)
vitamin B1 (thiamin)
vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
1 cup equals 49 calories ( a lot of punch for the calories, don’t you think?)
supports 3 body systems as do all cruciferous vegetables
1) the body’s detox system
2) its antioxidant system
3) it’s inflmmatory/anti-inflammatory systems
Collards are especially helpful to fight against bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer.
Collards help fight against toxin-related damage, a great detox for our bodies!
An excellent source of Vitamin C, beta carotene, and manganese and a good source of vitamin E and zinc, collard greens provide us with 5 core conventional antioxidants. BUT it also fights on the more complex and deeper level of phytonutrients which helps lower oxidative stress in our bodies. Oxidative stress is believed to be a primary factor in cancer.
Collards also give excellent cardiovascular support! Not only in cholesterol lowering ways, but also in anti-inflammatory ways. Scientists are discovering what an important role imflammation plays in bad cardio health.
Since folate is a critical B vitamin for support of cardiovascular health, and collards are very high in folate it is for this 3rd reason that collards are also amazingly helpful in supporting cardiovascular health. Collards contain 350 micrograms of folate in every 100 calories: That is 50% more folate than in 100 calories of brocolli, 100% more folate than 100 calories of brussels sprouts, 3 times the amount provided by cabbage and over 7 times the amount provided by 100 calories of kale! Sounds like this cruciferous vegetable definitely has a lot of punch for it’s calories!!!
Fiber is very important for our health as well. If you don’t have good digestive health you will not have good health long. The fiber content of collard greens is over 5 grams in every cup. In 200 calories of collard you get 85% of you Daily Value of fiber!
Collards also help protect the health of your stomach lining by preventing bacterial overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori in your stomach or too much clinging by this bacterium to our stomach wall.
Studies are being done now to figure out how much of a role collard could play in lowering our risk to many inflammatory diseases such as :Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, insulin resistance, irritable bowel syndrome, metabolic syndrome, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and ulcerative colitis. As far as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome I can attest personally that collards do help correct these issues. I use collard everyday in my green smoothies and it has helped me tremendously!
In Review: Collard greens are and excellent source of Vitamin K, A, C, manganese, folate, calcium and dietary fiber. In addition, they are a very good source of potassium, viatmin B2, B6, Vitamin E, mangesium, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, vitamin B5, niacin, zinc, phosphorus iron and pantothenic acid.
So, my friends, you just can’t go wrong with Collard Greens! Grandma was right, after all!! : )