The collard green is a green vegetable which is belonging to Acephala group which also has green vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli. The collard greens are usually found in Brazil, Portugal and parts of the United States of America. In India, collard greens are most commonly found in Kashmir and the most dishes that are cooked in Kashmiri houses have collard greens. Collard greens are grown for its huge and dark – colored edible green leaves. In Portugal and Brazil, collard greens are known as “couve”. The taste of the leaves of collard greens is slightly bitter. The leaves are available throughout the year but their taste is better during the winter months. You need to pluck the leaves of this plant before they reach their optimum height because in this way you will obtain the texture from these leaves and also you should cook them in a different way than the newer ones. Collard greens are rich in Vitamin K, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin A and different types of Vitamin B. Also it has dietary fibers, sugars, carbohydrates and soluble fibers and a lot of minerals such as sodium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
Collard greens health benefits
Helps improve immune response: There are some studies in which are discovered that collard greens have 3,3’ – diindolymethane which is powerful modulator of the natural immune response system with anticancer, antibacterial and antiviral activity.
Helps fight cancer: It is known fact that when you consume cruciferous vegetables in high amounts, like collard green, then it can help to lower the risk of developing prostate, lung and colorectal cancer. There are new studies in which are shown that collard green has sulfur – containing compound which can be effective against pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer and melanoma. This compound become biologically active when they are converted to isothiocyanates, thiocyanates and indoles through the digestive process or chewing. This is natural killing compound which can prevent the formation and metastasis tumors, neutralize cancer – killing chemicals and reduce inflammation.
Collard greens benefits
Contributes to improving sleep and overall mood: Collard greens have choline which is an essential nutrient that can help with memory, learning, muscle movement and sleep. Also collard greens are rich in folate. It is known that folate helps to treat depression by preventing the excess of homocysteine from forming in our body. When there is excess homocysteine in the body, then it disrupts the production of feel – good hormones norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, which regulate the mood as well as appetite and sleep.
Helps promote healthy looking skin and hair: Collard greens have iron, Vitamin C and Vitamin A which can help in the skin and hair quality. The Vitamin A is required for the sebum production which is keeping the hair moisturized and for the growth of all body tissues, in which hair and skin are also included. We know that the Vitamin C helps our body to produce and maintain collagen which is an essential protein in the hair and skin. One of the most common causes for hair loss is the iron deficiency and when we take adequate amounts of iron, then we can prevent the hair loss.
Helps improve digestion: Collard greens are rich in fiber. Those foods which are rich in fiber can help to prevent constipation, promote regularity and possibly prevent colon diseases like leaky gut syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, fecal impaction, diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome. There are some studies in which are suggested that the absence of the plant enzyme myrosinase like in cooked broccoli but also found in the collard greens can help to protect our health of the stomach lining by preventing the bacterial overgrowth and the clinging of bacteria to our stomach wall.
Slows aging process: When you consume collard greens, then they can help to prevent the cell damage and at the same time, they will slow down the aging process.