Are You After Green Vegetables List?
Green vegetables are essential components of well balanced diets and they are also the best vegetables for fast and sustained weight loss. They supply us with many vitamins, minerals, carotenoids and phytochemicals. The antioxidants in dark green leafy vegetables can inhibit certain types of cancers by removing free radicals from the body.
Preliminary research conducted on green vegetables, especially leafy green veggies like spinach, arugula, kale etc, has shown that they can stop growth of certain types of cancers such as breast, skin, lung and stomach.
Certain vegetables like green peppers also increase our body’s heat production and oxygen consumption for about 20 minutes after eating them. This means that we are actually burning calories which results in weight loss.
Green leafy vegetables not only offer many great health benefits; they are super tasty as a side dish or as part of almost any main course.
In this article, I will talk about 30 of the best green vegetables to eat for health and weight loss. I have included pictures for each vegetable so you can identify them easily, just in case you don't know the name. Before we do so, let's look at what makes green vegetables so healthy and how we can use them for weight loss and weight management.
Health Benefits of Green Vegetables: Green Leafy Vegetables Are Super Healthy!
It is well known that green vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and plant nutrients but a study published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology in 2016, demonstrated that leafy greens are good for much more than the things we usually think of – providing minerals and phytonutrients.
It has been discovered that there is a special sugar in leafy greens that feeds our beneficial gut bacteria and protects us from pathogens. The sugar, sulfoquinovose (SQ) is extremely beneficial for our health.
Dr Goddard-Borger from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute said:
[pullquote align=”normal”]Every time we eat leafy green vegetables we consume significant amounts of SQ sugars, which are used as an energy source by good gut bacteria… Bacteria in the gut, such as crucial protective strains of E. coli, use SQ as a source of energy. E. coli provides a protective barrier that prevents growth and colonisation by bad bacteria, because the good bugs are taking up all the habitable real estate.[/pullquote]
How many plant foods do you eat in a week? Five? Ten? twenty?
Did you know that if you consume more than 30 different types of plants you will have a significantly greater bacterial diversity in your gut than those who ate a limited variety of plant types (10 or less)?
The results of the largest study to have ever investigated the human microbiome and published in 2018 showed that a diverse plant-based diet makes for a more bacterially diverse gut and this has important implications for our dietary practices, resistance to antibiotics, and our mental health.
We all know that eating healthy, exercising and taking high quality nutritional supplements is what you should do to look and feel great. Therefore incorporating many plan based foods in your diet, including green vegetables, is more than ever important for your health and wellbeing.
The following is a summary of the main benefits of green vegetables?
The best leafy green vegetables provide us with tons of fibre. Fibre is very important for healthy heart as well as for our intestines. Unfortunately, most modern diets are devoid of fibre which leads to constipation and bloating and, ultimately, in unhealthy weight gain. Daily consumption of healthy vegetables help keep you regular.
Folate (folic acid or vitamin B9) is especially needed for pregnant women as it keeps their foetus healthy and reduces risk of spinal cord problems and birth defects. Green leafy vegetables like cooked spinach and asparagus contain tons of folate and low levels of it lead to lack of energy. People deficient in folate tend to have unhealthy cravings which result in binge eating and unhealthy weight gain. Folate is also necessary for breaking down carbohydrates and fats from food. All these factors indicate that this is a key ingredient for weight loss.
Another important element in the list of green vegetables included below is Potassium. Potassium plays a very important role in weight loss because it builds muscles, prevents fluid retention, releases energy we consume from food and also enables the heart, kidneys and other organs to work properly. You also need potassium for a maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Studies have shown that calcium is very important for weight management. A number of clinical studies have shown that calcium increased weight loss in dieters by as much as 60%. Green vegetables like spinach contain as much as 99 mg of calcium in just 100 grams. So eating green leafy vegetables may be the best thing you can do for weight loss and weight management.
Phytochemicals found in vegetables can result in weight loss. A study conducted in the University of Florida has shown that consuming phytochemicals in the form of fruits, green vegetables, nuts and seeds can curb appetite and reduce oxidative stress that causes obesity.
Apart from weight loss benefits, healthy green vegetables can also boost the immune system to ward off infections, maintain a healthy gut and also in weight management. The best vegetables in green colour also contain vitamins A, C, B6, and K all of which are needed for healthy functioning of the body.
Antioxidants like carotenoids, Vitamins A, C and E as well as Selenium protect cell damage and keep organs like the heart, eyes, liver etc functioning normally.
Now let us take a look at the list of green vegetables - 30 of the best vegetables to eat to help you in your weight loss efforts.
What Are The Best Green Vegetables for You? Try These Super 30 Green Veggies
List of green vegetables names with pictures
Kale is a dark green vegetable that is extremely rich in Beta Carotene, Vitamin A and Lutein. These are necessary for prevention of eye diseases and lung cancer. Kale is also a low calorie food-1 cup of raw kale has only 30 calories. Eating this healthy vegetable before main meals can help you consume fewer calories, thus resulting in weight loss. Kale is also rich in fibre and protein. So try snacking on crispy kale chips in place of unhealthy potato chips when looking to lose weight.
For a high protein meal, stew kale with some chicken for a nutritious meal.
Arugula is deemed a superfood containing vitamins A and K as well as folate. It heals inflammation of the gut and helps protect eye and heart health while also fighting cancer. Being a nutrition dense food makes Arugula one of the best salad vegetables. If you are following a low calorie diet, you can easily make Arugula a part of it. Have a cup of Arugula salad to prevent deficiencies, detoxify the body, keep bowels regular and also curb unhealthy food cravings.
Here is an easy Arugula salad recipe consisting of cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, and avocado.
Spinach is one of the most nutritious greens. A study conducted on 38 obese women over a period of 3 months showed that participants who drank a green juice consisting of spinach lost an average of 5 kilos more weight compared to a control group that was given a placebo. The reason behind this, concluded the researchers, was the thylakoids in spinach which extended digestion, reduced unhealthy cravings and produced feeling of satiety.
Te best way to eat spinach for weight loss is to make a soup like this one with chicken.
4. Romaine lettuce
The popularity of lettuce diet shows why this green leafy vegetable is one of the healthiest veggies for weight loss. This filling vegetable helps you consume fewer calories and it contains tons of vitamins, fibre and phytochemicals.
Best way to eat lettuce is to make a salad with other healthy low calorie foods like tomatoes, cucumbers and chicken etc for a delicious meal.
5. Iceberg lettuce
Lettuce may be known as ‘rabbit food’ but it is also the best weight loss foods available to man. Romaine lettuce is considered healthier than iceberg lettuce because of higher nutrient content. That said; Iceberg lettuce is still a weight-watcher’s best friend thanks to its low calorie content, high fibre and low Glycemic index. Its crisp texture and mild taste make it a wonderful addition to salads, subs, wraps etc.
The best way to use it for weight loss is salads. You can also add it to juices.
6. Collard greens
Collard greens are low in calories and rich in calcium, vitamin C and fibre. Eat at least 2 cups of collard greens with other healthy green vegetables daily.
The best way to cook collard greens is to steam them in a small amount of water to preserve their Vitamin C. You can use the water used for cooking to make stews or soups. Combine greens with other greens, whole grains and other vegetables in a stir fry recipe. Collard greens can be overpowering in salads.
According to a study published in British Journal of Medicine, chicory root fibre can trigger weight loss. This can be attributed to the oligofructose extracts found in chicory root which reduced energy consumption while maintaining feelings of hunger and satiety. This green veggie is also a fantastic source of vitamins A, C E and K.
For an easy, perfect pairing; make pasta with chicory greens and Andouille chicken sausages.
8. Swiss chard
Like all its other leafy green counterparts, Swiss chard is low in calories and high in nutrients. Apart from antioxidant vitamins, it also has magnesium. This dark green vegetable contains more than 300% of your daily Vitamin K requirement.
Swiss chard recipe by Weight Watchers is extremely popular.
Many clinical trials have been conducted on Artichoke extracts for weight loss. Artichokes contain tons of vitamins, magnesium, biotin, folic acid, chromium, and dietary fibre. They also contain natural diuretic compounds. Trials suggest that artichoke extracts speed up bile secretion, act as a natural laxative and help you lose water weight and toxins.
Steam artichokes for 20 to 30 minutes. You can use it in dips and sauces.
10. Bok Choy
Bok choy offers tons of green vegetable benefits. It contains many antioxidants and is very low in calories. A cup of chopped bok choy will give you all the vitamins you need on a daily basis.
Since it is tasteless, (or tastes more like cabbage) you can use it soups, stews, and stir fries.
According to experts, eating broccoli in the morning for breakfast can help you lose weight. It is rich in vitamins A, C and K and is a low calorie, nutrient dense food. Broccoli is also very rich in fibre.
Best way to eat broccoli for weight loss is to eat it fresh. Steam it for a few minutes, salt it and eat it with grilled chicken for a complete meal.
12. Broccoli Rabe/Rapini
Broccoli rabe is one of the dark green vegetables and is said to be the number weight loss super food by many experts. It has a strong flavour that goes well in weight loss smoothies. Broccoli rabe is loaded with vitamin C and iron. It contains 2 g of fibre per cup which keeps your digestive system running properly.
The high antioxidant content also keeps you inflammation free and prevents free radical damage. This also aids heart health. The high vitamin K content of broccoli rabe makes it an excellent vegetable for your bones.
Lutein and glucosinolates in this healthy green leafy vegetable can keep your eyes healthy.
Make a power smoothie with broccoli rabe, apple, banana, yogurt, parsley and honey.
13. Mustard Greens
Mustard greens are rich in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. The rich antioxidant content helps protect from diseases like diabetes and cancer. This low calorie, nutrient rich green leafy vegetable contains 500% of daily recommended value of Vitamin K.
Apart from that, it also contains manganese, folate, calcium and other vitamins and minerals necessary for weight loss. Regular intake of this healthy green vegetable can help lower cholesterol and detoxify liver and blood.
The best way to eat Mustard greens for weight loss is to sauté it in olive oil with some ginger, garlic and sesame seeds etc. Here is a great recipe.
Cabbage, which is one of the best green vegetables, may not lead to weight loss directly but being a low calorie food, is considered ideal for weight watchers. Cabbage juice and cabbage soup are both extremely beneficial for fighting inflammation in the body. It is also one of the most nutritious foods available and contains vitamins A, C, K and beta carotene.
Cabbage is also rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, lutein and anthocyanins. The high antioxidant content of cabbage reduces oxidative stress which is often the root cause behind lifestyle diseases like obesity.
The best way to eat cabbage for weight loss is to make a soup with other vegetables. Season it with a ready package of dry onion soup mix. Eat as much of this soup as you like while reducing carbohydrate intake.
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Many people have gone on a 6-week watercress diet to lose several kilos. This low calorie cruciferous green vegetable contains proteins, vitamins A, C and K as well as calcium, manganese and potassium.
There are many delicious ways to eat watercress. Throw a handful in your morning smoothie, make a pesto, add it to pasta sauce, and add it to your sandwiches/ wraps and soups.
One of the most nutritious greens to eat is Okra. It is rich in fibre and also has a low Glycemic index. Grilled and pickled okra or gumbo preparations are the best ways to lose weight with this healthy green vegetable.
Okra is digested slowly thereby making you feel full longer. It also improves blood glucose balance and helps in weight management and regulating metabolism.
Best ways to eat Okra is including it sliced in stews and gumbo.
17. Dandelion greens
Dandelion is a medicinal green vegetable which is extremely rich in nutrients. It contains all vitamins except vitamin D, and also is a rich source of zinc, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. Dandelion greens also contain phytochemicals and high amounts of dietary fibre. The latter often leads to a laxative and detoxifying effect.
Steep it into a tea or mix it with other salad vegetables.
18. Green Bell Peppers
Green bell peppers are full of fibre, vitamin C and other antioxidants. As per an article in the Bulletin of University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, regular consumption of green peppers can reduce free radical damage. They also keep you full longer to promote weight loss.
The best way to eat these healthy green vegetables is to add them raw to salads. You can also sprinkle them on your wraps, sandwiches and other recipes.
19. Green Beans
The reason why green beans are wonderful for weight watchers is because they are so versatile. You can eat them as a side dish or add them to your soups, pasta and rice dishes. They are also ideal for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks. The high fibre content of green beans keeps you full longer while also preventing constipation. These low calorie healthy green veggies are also rich in Vitamin A and magnesium. Green beans are also wonderful vegetables for weight loss.
Lightly sauté green beans with sesame seeds and a bit of olive oil for a delicious side dish.
20. Green Peas
Green peas are often considered as fattening foods. As per a research conducted in Harvard University, starchy veggie like potatoes and green peas are bad for weight watchers. However, another line of thought is that green peas are great for weight loss owing to their high fibre, protein and nutrient content. In fact, according to this article in Prevention, green peas can be considered to be “little slimming pills”!
The key to losing weight with green peas is to make some smart choices in your cooking. For example, instead of adding pasta and rice, use more peas in your recipes to fill you up. You can also snack on dried peas in place of chips or make a healthy soup with them. Snap peas or snow peas can also make a wholesome meal-simple roast them with a bit of butter or olive oil for a nutritious, low-carb main dish.
Cucumbers are technically neither fruits nor vegetables but they are used as healthy veggies all around the world. Detoxifying, hydrating and lipid-busting, cucumbers can be actually considered as superfoods for weight loss. One cup of this low calorie food can provide you with 17 mg of Vitamin K, 3mg of vitamin C and 152 mg of Potassium. This wonderful green vegetable also detoxifies the blood and liver and is great for digestion. It also makes the body alkaline.
Eat cucumbers raw by adding them to salads, wraps and sandwiches.
22. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are considered a green leafy vegetable though it belongs to the cabbage family. Like cabbage, these tiny green veggies are full of fibre and low in calories. Brussels sprouts can also supply us with vitamins A, C, K and thiamine as well as folate, magnesium, and manganese. Since these cancer-fighting cruciferous vegetables fill you up quickly, they are perfect for weight watchers.
Brussels sprouts have a slight odour so eating them raw might not be the best option. Steaming is your best bet. However, do avoid overcooking them as they tend to lose their nutritional value. Eat steamed sprouts with a dash of lemon juice or mustard sauce.
Leeks belong to the onion/ Allicaeae family but have a milder flavour. They are known to improve fertility levels and also improve heart health. 100 grams of fresh leek stems offer just 61 calories making them one of the best foods for weight loss. This unassuming vegetable is also rich in folic acid, zinc, iron and magnesium. They also act as natural antibiotic and remove toxins from the body.
For a wonderful detox and slimming remedy with leeks, click here.
24. Turnip Greens
The tops of turnips make for wonderful and healthy green veggies to add to your salads, but most people are not aware of this fact. Chopped turnip greens can be eaten with any lean meat of your choice for a healthy and well balanced meal. Turnip greens are very rich in carotenoids. They also contain vitamins A, C, B6, E, K, folate, copper, manganese, and calcium. For complete nutritional values of turnip greens, click here.
The best way to cook turnip greens is to steam them for no more than 3-4 minutes. Enjoy them with low-fat salad dressing.
There are millions of health benefits of Asparagus and the major one is weight loss. This low calorie green vegetable is low in fat but very high in fibre. It can prevent constipation and keeps you full longer between meals. The high levels of asparagine amino acid in this healthy green vegetable can prevent urinary tract infections and its high antioxidant content can fight dangerous free radicals. Its vitamin E, B6 and folate content make it a powerful aphrodisiac.
You can eat this nutritious and versatile dish in many ways: grilled, steamed, baked or boiled. Add it to your salad or main dishes or even make it into a delicious juice.
26. Kohlrabi (Turnip Cabbage)
This delicious East European vegetable is similar in texture and taste to cabbage, turnip and broccoli. The nutrient dense food consists of just 36 calories per cup. Kohlrabi contains tons of vitamins and minerals; its vitamin C content is even greater than that of oranges. This wonderful green vegetable is great for the heart, circulatory system and immunity and also promotes healthy digestion. You can read about the research on how high-vitamin C vegetables like Kohlrabi are great green vegetables for weight loss.
Use the tops, leaves and stems in stir fries. Add diced/sliced kohlrabi to soups and stews. Raw grated kohlrabi is also wonderful in salads.
27. Scallions or Green Onions
People often only use Scallions to add flavour and texture to their food. However, scallions play a more important role than that. This low fat, low calorie and nutrient rich green vegetable contains just 32 calories per cup. It also adds 4mg of omega 3 essential fatty acids per serving. You can also get 259% of your total daily recommended allowance of Vitamin K with just 1 cup of scallions.
Use fresh, raw chopped scallions in salads. You can also use them in savoury pancakes, rice, fritters, noodles, pasta and soups. Here is a great Paleo Tunamole recipe.
Celery is included in our green vegetables list because of its low fat, low calorie and high fibre content. It has a high water content as well, and we all know that a healthy weight loss diet needs tons of water in it. One cup of celery has 2 grams of fibre and just 16 calories. Celery is also rich in Vitamins A, K and folate. This vegetable also contains natural oils that act as diuretic and detoxify the blood.
Combine celery with carrots, green apples, cucumbers and spinach for a healthy weight loss drink.
Zucchini has great flavour and adds texture and variety to any dish. This versatile dish can be prepared in many ways. The reason why it is beneficial for weight loss is owing to its high calcium, potassium and fibre content. This diuretic vegetable is healthy for our kidneys. It contains numerous vitamins like A, C, E and B9 or folic acid. The iodine in zucchini regulates metabolism.
There are numerous ways to eat zucchini for weight loss. Try some of these recipes.
Belgian Endives (or simply endives) are rich in fibre, vitamins A, C, E and B complex as well as calcium. It also has copper, iron, manganese, and folate. One serving of this healthy green vegetable consists of 16 grams of fibre which helps improve digestion. This helps flush out toxic wastes, regulates metabolism and aids in weight loss.
You will derive most nutrition from endives by consuming them in their natural state. Add them to smoked salmon or herby cheesy dips. You can also use it in salads. Alternatively, sauté it and add it to your main dishes.
Are there any other green leafy vegetables that you like? Please share your comments below.