Collard Greens: Nutrition, Benefits, Recipe
Collard greens are loose leaf greens. Like kale, they belong to the cruciferous family.
Unlike kale’s curly, narrow leaves, collard greens’ leaves are large, smooth, and flat.
This versatile vegetable is rich in many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and eating it regularly might reduce your risk of developing certain diseases.
This article reviews all you need to know about collard greens, including their nutrition, benefits, downsides, and how to serve them.
Despite their low calorie count, collard greens contain many important nutrients.
Just 2 cups (72 grams) of raw collard greens provide (1Trusted Source):
Carbs: 4 grams
Fiber: 2.8 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Fat: 0.4 grams
Vitamin K: 128% of the Daily Value (DV)
Calcium: 16% of the DV
Vitamin C: 28% of the DV
Folate: 23% of the DV
Vitamin A: 20% of the DV
Magnesium: 5% of the DV
Potassium: 3% of the DV
Phosphorus: 1% of the DV
Additionally, they’re rich in beneficial plant compounds known as antioxidants — particularly the types called phenols, polyphenols, and alpha-lipoic acid. Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress by combating free radicals in your body (2Trusted Source).
Collard greens are nutrient dense and low in calories. They’re an excellent source of calcium, folate, and vitamins K, C, and A. Furthermore, they’re high in fiber and antioxidants.
Studies on the health benefits of collard greens alone are limited.
Still, several studies have analyzed the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables like collard greens as a group.
May protect against cancer
Cruciferous vegetables, including collard greens, may have anticancer effects.
In fact, both older and newer research shows that people with a high intake of cruciferous vegetables have a reduced risk of developing certain types of cancers, including prostate, breast, ovarian, lung, and colon cancer .
The link between eating cruciferous vegetables and reduced cancer risk has also been demonstrated by older and newer test-tube and animal studies (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).
This promising benefit might be attributable to plant compounds called glucosinolates, which are found in cruciferous vegetables.
When broken down in your body, glucosinolates are converted to isothiocyanate (ITC). ITC protects your cells from damage and may help prevent various forms of cancer (9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).
Still, human studies and studies on collard greens alone are limited. Further research is warranted to better understand how this vegetable may help prevent cancer.
Improves bone health
Collard greens are especially rich in calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health.
In fact, just 1 cup (170 grams) of these cooked greens provides 27% of the DV for calcium and an impressive 883% of the DV for vitamin K (12Trusted Source).
Almost all your body’s calcium is stored in your bones and teeth, where it supports their structure and function (13Trusted Source).
If you don’t get enough calcium for long periods, your bones may start to break down, making them thinner and more vulnerable to fractures. This happens because your body needs the stored calcium for other important functions like nerve signaling and muscle movement (14Trusted Source).
Getting enough calcium is particularly important for older adults, especially postmenopausal women. It can help reduce gradual bone loss, which is a normal part of aging (13Trusted Source).
Meanwhile, vitamin K activates proteins that promote bone health and bone metabolism (15Trusted Source).
For example, many older and newer observational studies speculate that a low intake of vitamin K may be linked to an increased risk of bone fractures. Yet, controlled studies have been inconclusive, so more research is needed (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).
May boost eye health
Collard greens are chock-full of nutrients that are good for your whole body, including your eyes.
These green leafy vegetables are not only rich in vitamin A, which has been shown to play a crucial role in vision, but also antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin (19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source).
Lutein and zeaxanthin are both a part of the colorful carotenoid family and can be found in the macula and retina of your eyes (22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source).
Studies have shown that these antioxidants may help prevent eye conditions like age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy (24Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source).
Plus, one study showed that eating one or more servings of collard greens per week was linked to a 57% decreased risk of developing glaucoma (26Trusted Source).
May benefit heart health
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States (27Trusted Source).
Fortunately, many studies have demonstrated that lifestyle changes like increasing physical activity, avoiding tobacco use, and eating more cruciferous vegetables can reduce your risk of heart disease (28Trusted Source).
It’s also worth noting that cruciferous and leafy green vegetables may benefit heart health more than other vegetable families (28Trusted Source).
Lastly, one animal study observed that collard greens improved heart health measures like total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, as well as systolic blood pressure (the top number of a reading) (29Trusted Source).
Supports digestive health
Adding more collard greens to your diet is likely to boost your fiber intake. Fiber can improve your digestive health by promoting regularity and feeding your healthy gut bacteria (1Trusted Source, 30Trusted Source).
Plus, collard greens and other cruciferous vegetables contain a plant compound called dietary sulforaphane (31Trusted Source).
It’s speculated that sulforaphane may prevent the overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that can attack the lining of your stomach and cause symptoms like bloating, nausea, and stomach pain (32Trusted Source).
Eating a diet rich in sulforaphane has also been shown to improve symptoms of constipation in adults (33Trusted Source).
Collard greens may protect against cancer and improve bone, eye, digestive, and heart health.
Collard greens are generally safe to enjoy, though a few precautions are warranted.
First, this vegetable is exceptionally high in vitamin K, a nutrient involved in the process of coagulation, or blood clotting.
According to older research, a large intake of collard greens could interfere with blood-thinning drugs like warfarin (34Trusted Source).
However, one small but more recent study suggested that increasing vitamin K may stabilize anticoagulation therapy (35Trusted Source).
If you’re taking a blood thinner, it’s recommended that you consume consistent amounts of vitamin K each day. An irregular intake of vitamin-K-rich foods may make it difficult for your doctor to prescribe the correct medication dosage (36Trusted Source).
Collard greens are also a good source of fiber. Even though including fiber-rich foods in your diet is good for your health, adding too much of it too quickly may cause intestinal gas or bloating.
Thus, if you’re interested in adding collard greens to your diet, aim to do so gradually, especially if you’re not used to eating many high fiber foods.
Furthermore, older studies recommend that as you increase your fiber intake, you should prioritize drinking plenty of water and chewing your food thoroughly (37).
Collard greens are high in vitamin K, so if you’re taking a blood-thinning medication like warfarin, you should proceed with caution. Collard greens are also rich in dietary fiber, so eating them may promote flatulence and bloating.
Westmont Living’s Nutrition Tips for Brain Health
Residential Facility Offers Smart Food Advice for Seniors
‘Like so many other organs, the brain possesses a miraculous ability to heal itself, to forge new synaptic connections around old ones, to learn and relearn. That is, however, if you don’t keep damaging it three times a day. A wholesome diet and exercise may offer your best hope for remaining sharp and healthy into your twilight years.’
—Michael Greger, How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease
‘Keep your blood clean, your body lean, and your mind sharp.’
Diet and exercise is the key to good health at any age, but particularly as you grow older. Current research says a brain-healthy diet encourages good blood flow to the brain, is low in fat and cholesterol, and includes vibrant foods rich in antioxidants. Like the heart, the brain needs the right balance of nutrients to function well. To be most effective, a brain-healthy diet should be combined with physical and mental activity and social interaction.
Peter Do, Senior Director of Culinary Services at Westmont Living (westmontliving.com), which owns Mariposa at Ellwood Shores in Goleta, says there are a variety of foods that help to maintain brain health. He recommends:
• Eat in moderation; increase intake of protective foods that may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke and protect brain cells.
• Avoid artery-clogging saturated fats and cholesterol that can put you at higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease. “Remember to stay away from trans-fats, and stick with mono- and polyunsaturated fats such as olive oil or avocado oil that are very good for you,” said Do. “The preferred preparation is to bake or grill and not to fry. But if you want to fry something, then use canola oil, which is cholesterol-free. Also, when eating something like chicken, it is okay to grill it with the skin on to keep the meat moist, but remove the skin before serving and eating it.”
• Eat dark-skinned fruits and vegetables, which have the highest levels of naturally occurring antioxidants. These include kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, beets, red bell pepper, onion, corn, and eggplant. “Celery is also a great source of antioxidants,” said Do. “Garlic also plays an important role in healthy eating. Chinese dishes have a lot of ginger and garlic, both of which makes them more healthy.”
• Choose vibrant, antioxidant-rich fruits such as plums, prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, oranges, red grapes, and cherries.
• Cold-water fish containing beneficial omega-3 fatty acids are the best. Some examples are halibut, mackerel, salmon, lake trout, and sardines.
• Eat nuts, such as almonds, pecans, and walnuts, which are a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant. “Nuts can be a good substitute for people who need omega-3 but do not like the taste of seafood,” said Do.
When asked about nutritional supplements, Do explained, “Not all food experts mention supplements because they are focused on a healthy eating program. However, we know that there are supplements which are especially supportive of brain health such as vitamin E, or vitamins E and C together, vitamin B12, and folate. All may be important in lowering your risk of developing Alzheimer’s. A brain-healthy diet will help your body use these vitamins effectively. Remember, for the best absorption, always take vitamins with food. You should check with your medical provider about which vitamins and how much are safe for you.”
Westmont Living communities such as Mariposa at Ellwood Shores customize their dining program and take advantage of seasonal produce. “Santa Barbara has great local produce, and we work with many local companies,” said Do, who frequently offers salmon and fresh fish from nearby waters. “Our residents enjoy the trout and halibut and love tuna. There are also more vegetarian options such as tofu and eggplant dishes.”
The facility’s Dine Your Way program connects culinary directors with residents on a monthly basis. “So there are no one-size-fits-all menus,” said Do.
Safeway’s Summer (Nutrition) Standouts
Summer is a time to rediscover your love for water sports, traveling and fruit! The produce section is never more colorful than in summer. The fruits that stand out nutritionally generally follow these three color palates; purple/blue, red, and yellow/orange. The plant compounds that give these fruits their color, tend to also contribute antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Three summer standouts, one in every color, are mango, watermelon and blueberries. Read more about what makes each of these summer fruits special and check out the easy recipes below.
Eat More Mango
One of the most popular fruits in the world is one of the most nutrient-packed. Mangos are one of our yellow/orange superfruits because they are packed with compounds (including polyphenols and flavonoids) that may offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity in the body. Mangos also add over 20 vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C, many of which have been linked to possible improvements in heart and immune health and brain function. One-half cup mango adds so much flavor and color to your dish plus 50% of the Daily Value for vitamin C and about 18% for vitamin A, with only 50 calories and 12 grams of carbs.
Watermelon Brings More Than Water
Chilled watermelon is the ultimate refresher on a hot day! Red fruits tend to have certain plant compounds that come with the color red, many of which may have antioxidant and immune-boosting activity. When you enjoy a bowl or a slice of watermelon you are getting many of these antioxidant compounds (like lycopene) plus several key vitamins including vitamins B6, A and C. A 90-calorie, 2-cup serving of watermelon is both filling and hydrating, thanks to it being made up over 90% water and being a great source of the electrolyte potassium. Enjoy watermelon on its own or in a fruit salad, blend it up for a slush, smoothie or beverage.
Gen Z And Food Choice: What Are Millennials Thinking When It Comes To Diet And Nutrition
A deep dive into how our Gen Z, and especially our 16 to 25 year olds, are dealing with food.
On August 12, International Youth Day, 2021, we at POSHAN Outlook are focusing on young people and the food choices they are making today. In fact, the theme for IYD this year is “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health” – making it appropriate to take a deep dive into how our Gen Z, and especially our 16 to 25 year olds, are dealing with food. How are they building their relationship with it, grappling with diet and nutrition, and more importantly, carving out new ways of being in a society where food cultures are deeply entrenched and a part of strong, daily behaviour and patterns? Here’s a quick look:
What do you think about the food you eat? And how often do you think about the food you eat as related to the nutrition your body receives?
MANY YOUNG PEOPLE ARE CAREFUL TODAY:
I believe that the food I eat is perfectly healthy for me. I eat out once a week, so the remaining time I’m consuming proper nutritious home cooked food.
Food is central to my existence; it is key to getting full performance from my body. Food is sustenance. It’s also a mood uplifter. I am constantly thinking about this because food is a source of energy for me.
I think about what I eat with relation to the nutrient contents, constantly. I believe home cooked food is the best. I rarely eat out.
Ever since I moved back home because of the lockdown, it has given me the time to view different perspectives of the type of food I am consuming. With changing times and with new viruses emerging every day, we are looking after ourselves. Everyone has started eating healthy and clean food. A conscious choice that I have made is that I have replaced sugar with honey, these are small changes that I am adapting for a healthier version.
Thinking is centred on the calories I am consuming. Don’t particularly think of nutrition as much as I think of calories but try to eat as much home-cooked food as possible and fruits every day to ensure adequate nutrition.
I think about this very often. I try to pre-plan all my meals for the week beforehand, good input of nutrition driving most of these decisions.
A dietitian on why ‘healthy’ is one of nutrition’s most misinterpreted words
Don’t trust the ‘health’ food aisle.
Dietitian Susie Burrell shares her tips on how to know if a food is ‘healthy’ or not.
The word ‘healthy’ would go close to one of the broadest, most misinterpreted terms in the world of diet and nutrition.
Not only do we have ‘health’ food aisles that are filled with highly processed, not so healthy foods, but with no regulations about the use of the word’s ‘health’ or ‘healthy’ on food packaging, it means that anything from a lower sugar chocolate bar to cake made with coconut oil and rice malt syrup can be labelled as ‘healthy’ options.
The issue with this general term is that it is entirely possible to look at literally any food or drink as a ‘healthy’ choice, depending on your personal beliefs about what constitutes good health.
As a nutritional professional though, I have a very clear idea of what a healthy food choice is.
This is not to say that not so healthy foods do not have a place in the diet, rather for a food to be officially called ‘healthy’’ it needs to satisfy a number of key criteria that have scientific rational behind them to justify an overall classification of ‘healthy’.
The Worst Foods for Your Mood, According to Experts
Much has been said about nutrition and how it intersects with mental health. We tapped psychiatrist Lauren Taylor Edwards, M.D., to learn even more about how the food we eat can affect our mood. Edwards is a board-certified psychiatrist who specializes in anxiety and stress-related disorders and has an interest in the effects of diet and nutrition on mental illness and treatment.
Edwards shared that diet and mood can be related. It’s important to note that food is more than just the the sum of its nutrients, and the food choices we make can affect our overall health—including our mental health and mood. Think of an apple and a chocolate bar, for example. Both contain sugar, but our body processes that sugar in different ways. The naturally occurring sugars in the apple are paired with fiber, nutrients and water to slow down their digestion and make them more usable to the body. The chocolate bar, on the other hand, contains added sugars and minimal fiber so our bodies burn through it very quickly. This can cause a sharp spike and subsequent crash in your blood glucose, which can lead to mood swings as well as larger health problems in the future.
There are also trillions of helpful bacteria in your gut that make up your microbiome. These little guys nosh on what we eat and can contribute to our health in many ways, from reducing chronic disease risk to decreasing our stress and anxiety. A diet that includes plenty of fiber-rich produce and limits added sugars and processed foods may boost not only your gut health, but also your mood.
Some other foods that may help boost your mood? Chocolate (to up the nutrition quotient of your chocolaty snack, try pairing it with fruit—chocolate-covered strawberries, anyone?), green tea and probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt and kimchi. Check out our full list of mood-boosting foods, and then whip up some tasty mood-boosting recipes like our One-Skillet Salmon with Fennel & Sun-Dried Tomato Couscous and Chocolate Zucchini Brownies.
Foods to Avoid for Better Mood
Instead of swearing off certain foods completely (remember, there’s no such thing as inherently “good” or “bad” foods), think about moderation and balance in your overall eating pattern. “I think understanding patterns and reasoning as opposed to memorizing ‘bad’ versus ‘good’ foods is a better way to think about nutrition,” explains Edwards. If you are looking to boost your mood, these are types of foods it might be worth trying to limit.
Highly Processed Foods
While you should try to steer clear of highly processed foods, that doesn’t mean you have to swear off anything that comes in a package. In fact, there are plenty of times when it is totally fine to eat packaged foods (even according to dietitians). That said, think about what you are getting from the food. Processed foods such as candy bars, fast-food meals and packaged snacks can have things like added sugar, added fats and preservatives for flavor, texture and more while packing minimal nutrition. Plus, they can have a negative impact on your gut microbiome. Not to worry, we have a few simple ways to help you cut back on highly processed foods so you can get back to feeling your best.
Edwards recommends cutting down on having sugar-sweetened drinks like soda, energy drinks or sports drinks. She says, “Without the fiber of whole foods, the sugar in drinks makes your blood glucose shoot up (which feels great at first) and then it plummets down, which makes you lethargic and cranky.” For an easy swap, try adding lemon to your water or switching to seltzer. Bonus: Drinking plenty of water can help ward off mental fog and moodiness.
Edwards says, “Alcohol is fine in moderation for most people, but it is important to note that it is a central nervous system depressant and can make you feel more tired and can worsen depression after consumption.” Not to mention, drinking too much can cause oxidative stress and inflammation in the gut and disrupt sleep patterns, both of which can affect your mood.
Foods That You Have an Intolerance To
If any food is making you feel physically ill, it is probably not helping your mood either (no matter what it is). If you think you have a food allergy or intolerance, it’s worth making an appointment with a dietitian or doctor ASAP. (They may recommend you try an elimination diet to identify what could be causing your discomfort—here’s what it is and how to do it.)
Refined Grain Products
Bread can absolutely be part of a healthy diet—if you choose the right kind. As illustrated by Harvard’s School of Public Health, grains are made up of three parts: the bran (fiber-filled outer layer), the germ (nutrient-packed core) and the endosperm (the starchy middle layer). While whole-wheat breads include all three parts, refined grains (for example: that plain bagel in the morning or white sandwich bread at lunch) use just the endosperm of the wheat. Regularly choosing refined products over whole-grain ones deprives your body of the beneficial fiber and nutrients that feed your gut (and brain!).
The Bottom Line
Since there is plenty of research to support the gut-brain connection, it’s safe to say that the foods we eat can definitely affect our mental health. While a healthy diet isn’t a magic pill for conditions such as anxiety, depression or the occasional bad mood, we can certainly reduce our risk by choosing minimally processed, fiber-rich foods that boost gut health and help tamp down inflammation in our bodies.
Nutrition is the biochemical and physiological process by which an organism uses food to support its life. It includes ingestion, absorption, assimilation, biosynthesis, catabolism and excretion.
The science that studies the physiological process of nutrition is called nutritional science (also nutrition science).
How do you define nutrition?
Nutrition: 1: The process of taking in food and using it for growth, metabolism, and repair. Nutritional stages are ingestion, digestion, absorption, transport, assimilation, and excretion. 2: A nourishing substance, such as nutritional solutions delivered to hospitalized patients via an IV or IG tube.
What are the 7 types of nutrition?
There are seven main classes of nutrients that the body needs. These are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, fibre and water. It is important that everyone consumes these seven nutrients on a daily basis to help them build their bodies and maintain their health.
What are the basics of nutrition?
Nutrients can be divided into two categories: macronutrients, and micronutrients. Macronutrients are those nutrients that the body needs in large amounts. These provide the body with energy (calories).
What are the 5 types of nutrition?
They include the following five:
- Vitamins and Minerals.
What is foods and nutrition?
Food and nutrition are the way that we get fuel, providing energy for our bodies. We need to replace nutrients in our bodies with a new supply every day. Water is an important component of nutrition. Fats, proteins, and carbohydrates are all required.
How important is nutrition?
A healthy diet throughout life promotes healthy pregnancy outcomes, supports normal growth, development and ageing, helps to maintain a healthy body weight, and reduces the risk of chronic disease leading to overall health and well-being.
What nutrients does body need daily?
There are six main groups of essential micronutrients and macronutrients.
Alpha Strength Supplement Reviews – Men’s Nutrition Formula?
Most men between the ages of 16-30 feel energetic and full of life due to their high testosterone levels. However, past thirty, the dominant male hormone (testosterone) levels start to decline. For men with health issues such as obesity, testosterone hormone levels decrease rapidly. Inadequate testosterone hormone affects their energy levels, sexual drive, lean muscles, and cognitive functions. As a result, some men depend on pills to boost their energy levels, get into the sexual mood or develop stamina.
Alpha Strength Nutritional Supplement? What is it?
Adam Armstrong is the co-maker of Alpha Strength dietary pills. As per the official website, Alpha Strength is a 100% natural supplement for men that can enhance their sexual performance, improve erections and their overall health. He assures users that it contains natural and safe ingredients that can raise testosterone levels by over 400%, improving the lives of most males. You only need to ingest four Alpha Strength capsules daily, and you will be able to improve your sex life, stamina and have better erections.
How do Alpha Strength nutritional supplements improve a man’s health?
Each Alpha Strength dietary capsule contains eight potent ingredients that can increase blood circulation, increase energy levels, stimulate testosterone production, and enhance libido. Alpha Strength stimulates Nitric Oxide production, which leads to increased blood flow to your penis. In addition, some of the ingredients can promote cognitive health by improving the function of the nerves and receptors cells. Also, your cardiovascular health can improve due to better blood circulation, thus reducing the risk of developing hypertension, heart attack, and other heart conditions.
Sexual desire + sex drive
Sexual desire is a motivational state and an interest in sexual objects or activities, or as a wish, or drive to seek out sexual objects or to engage in sexual activities.
Synonyms for sexual desire are libido, sexual attraction and lust. Sexual desire is an aspect of a person’s sexuality, which varies significantly from one person to another, and also varies depending on circumstances at a particular time. Not every person experiences sexual desire; those who do not experience it may be labelled asexual.
Sexual desire may be the single most common sexual event in the lives of people. Sexual desire is a subjective feeling state that can be triggered by both internal and external cues, and that may or may not result in overt sexual behaviour.
Sexual desire can be aroused through imagination and sexual fantasies, or perceiving an individual whom one finds attractive. Sexual desire is also created and amplified through sexual tension, which is caused by sexual desire that has yet to be consummated.
Sexual desire can be spontaneous or responsive. Sexual desire is dynamic, can either be positive or negative, and can vary in intensity depending on the desired object/person. The sexual desire spectrum is described by Stephen B. Levine as: aversion → disinclination → indifference → interest → need → passion.
The production and use of sexual fantasy and thought is an important part of properly functioning sexual desire. Some physical manifestations of sexual desire in humans are; licking, sucking, puckering and touching the lips, as well as tongue protrusion.