Collard greens offer a range of health benefits. One cup of boiled collard greens contains only 63 calories, but it provides over 250 percent of a person’s daily needs for vitamin A, over 50 percent of vitamin C, 26 percent of calcium, 1 percent of iron, and 10 percent of vitamin B-6 and magnesium.
Collard greens are also a rich source of vitamin K, for bone health. One cup of boiled collard greens provides well over 100 percent of the daily recommended intake.
It also contains folate, thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, choline, phosphorus, and potassium. A nutrient powerhouse!
Since the 1980s, maintaining a high intake of cruciferous vegetables has consistently been associated with a lower risk of developing various types of cancer, including cancer of the upper digestive tract, colorectum, breast, and kidney.
Cruciferous vegetables like collards have sulfur-containing compounds known as glucosinolates. Studies have suggested that they can impede the cancer process at different stages of development for lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers, and possibly melanoma, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
One cup of boiled collard greens provides about 8 grams of fiber. This fiber helps to control diabetes and improve liver function and lower blood pressure.
How to incorporate collards into your diet
- Don’t overcook collards! They will become sulfurous and also lose nutrients. Steaming collard greens for 10 minutes or less means they will still have their nutrients. Peppers, chopped onions, herbs, and spices can be used to season them.
- They can be enjoyed raw in salads or on sandwiches or wraps, braised, boiled, sautéed, or added to soups and casseroles.
- Another idea is to sauté fresh garlic and onions in extra-virgin olive oil until soft, then add collard greens and continue to sauté until they reach the desired tenderness.
- Adding black-eyed peas and brown rice gives a healthier version of a southern favorite.
- Collard green chips can be made by removing the ribs from the collard greens, tossing them in extra-virgin olive oil, and baking them at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 30 minutes until they are crisp. They can be lightly sprinkled with a choice or a combination of cumin, curry powder, chili powder, roasted red pepper flakes, and garlic powder.
- A small handful of collard greens can be added to a favorite smoothie. This provides extra nutrients without changing the flavor significantly.
We thank MedicalNewsToday.com for these ideas.