From childhood, we’ve always been told to eat our greens. And with good reason! Dark green leafy vegetables have so many benefits. They’re rich sources of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as B9 (folate). They also contain abundant amounts of minerals such as iron and calcium and add a healthy dose of fiber to your diet too. These power-packed vegetables can help fend off heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol. Here are 9 green vegetables readily available in India that you can add to your daily meals:
- Spinach or palak: One of the most familiar vegetables we know, palak is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and iron. It can be eaten cooked or raw, though raw consumption is preferred as nutrients are better retained.
- Fenugreek or methi: Another common vegetable in India, methi leaves are small and green and usually added to various cooked dishes. The leaves are packed with calcium, phosphorus and iron. It is known to help lower blood sugar and used by diabetics for this reason. It also aids lactation in mothers who are breastfeeding.
- Water spinach: Also known as kalmi saag, this plant grows in ponds and lakes and is recognizable by its small pointed leaves that are attached to a stem. Both the leaves and stem can be eaten.
- Pea leaves: They’re a great source of fiber and vitamin C. They’re also called matar saag and make a delicious addition to stir-fry or salads.
- Mustard greens: The leaves of mustard seeds are sometimes called sarson ka saag in North India. They are usually made with other green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, into a dish that is eaten with makki ki roti. It is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, folate, and calcium.
- Sorel leaves: Also known as khatta saag, this vegetable is usually eaten in South India. It can be cooked and is also made into a chutney.
- Cabbage: Although it is paler in color compared to other leafy vegetables on this list, cabbage nevertheless packs a lot of benefits. It is high in vitamin C, K and dietary fibre. It can be eaten raw, made as a vegetable or added to dal to make a protein-and-vitamin packed super combination.
- Broccoli: This vegetable is packed with vitamin C and it also contains a good amount of vitamin A, potassium and folate as well. Add it to stir fries, pasta or curries, or use it with dip for a healthy snack. Broccoli can be expensive, although it is not clear why, since India is ranked as the second largest producer of broccoli in the world.
- Kale: A popular “super food”, kale is rich in vitamin A, C and K and makes a great addition to salads, soups and stir-fry. It’s also a trendy addition to smoothies by health-fanatics who want to reap its antioxidant and nutrient benefits. Although it has not been available in India, it is starting to make an appearance.
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