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Food In Focus: Leafy Greens

When it comes to brain health, plant-based foods pack a powerful nutritional punch, and at the top of the list are leafy greens. In fact, leafy greens contain a clever combination of nutrients that can help your entire body – from your head to your heart.

Healthy heart

A diet full of fruit and veggies can help prevent against heart disease. In particular, leafy greens may help with your ticker with a recent study founding a link between vitamin K levels and a healthy heart structure. Vitamin K is found abundantly in veggies like kale, parsley, broccoli, spinach, iceberg lettuce and cabbage. An analysis of studies on these powerful plants has also shown they may help reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease.

Good mood food

Dark leafy greens like kale and spinach are packed with magnesium, which boosts your mood, combats tiredness and helps your body produce energy.

Cancer protective

Many leafy green veggies contain fibre, folate, and a range of carotenoids which some researchers believe may help reduce your risk of cancer by acting as an antioxidant – they remove nasty “free radicals” (reactive compounds formed in the body from external factors like smoking and sun damage) from the body before they can cause any harm.

Building bones

When you think of calcium, you might not think of leafy greens, but you can actually get a boost from foods like kale, broccoli or bok-choy. Calcium is needed for far more than healthy bones and teeth. It helps with nerve and muscle function to keep us moving.

The great thing about leafy greens is you can eat them throughout the day – blend into a green smoothie or chop finely into an omelette for breakfast, use as a base for your salad at lunch, or add to a stir-fry and reap the benefits.