The 10 Best Leafy Greens
Find out if kale really is king and iceberg sinks when it comes to nutrition
Whether it’s walking to work, installing a low-flow showerhead, or recycling more often, it’s important to live a little greener. The same holds true for your diet. Saturated in an alphabet of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, leafy greens are the MVPs of the supermarket produce section. And if you need more incentive to toss bunches of kale into your grocery cart, a daily serving of leafy green vegetables may lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by 14 percent, according to a recent study in the British Medical Journal.
In general, the deeper the green the more nutritional firepower the leaves contain. To help you zone in on the heavyweights, we’ve ranked ten greens from healthiest to least healthy based on their nutrient density and suggested ways to eat your fill without resorting to humdrum salads.
Resembling a blooming rose with deliciously tender light green leaves, many people find eating raw Boston lettuce more appetizing than the robust darker greens. Swap out your carby tortillas or flatbreads for the large, pliable leaves when making wraps for a good dose of vitamin K and manganese, a mineral necessary for proper carbohydrate and protein metabolism. And like other greens, this leafy green is exceptionally low-cal—a cup will set you back a mere seven calories.
Eat outside the bowl: In a bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 teaspoon curry powder, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. In another bowl, stir together 2 cans drained and flaked salmon, 1 can rinsed and drained navy beans, and 1 cup grated carrot. Place some salmon mixture on a Boston lettuce leaf and top with a few dollops of curry yogurt. Repeat with remaining ingredients.