4 Nutrients in Greens You Didn’t Know You Needed

Most of us know that leafy green vegetables like our Dream Greens baby salad greens and microgreens are nutritional powerhouses, chock full of nutrients that are important for keeping us healthy.  You may already be familiar with Vitamins C & A (beta carotene), two essential nutrients found in high amounts in dark leafy greens, and also commonly seen on the nutrition panel of packaged foods. However, there are potentially thousands of health-enhancing vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients in leafy greens that are just as vital for our well-being. 

4 nutrients in greens that you didn’t know you needed:

#1) Lutein

Lutein is a member of the carotenoid family, just like beta carotene (the plant form of Vitamin A). Along with another compound called zeaxanthin, lutein is a macular pigment, which means it lives in our eyes and serves as a major protector from sun damage, preventing chronic eye diseases such as cataracts. Dark leafy greens are excellent sources of both lutein and zeaxanthin, so keep your eyes open for Dream Greens on the shelf.

#2) Folate

Dark leafy greens and lettuces are good sources of Folate.  A member of the B family of vitamins, Folate plays a wide variety of important roles in our bodies, including DNA production and healthy cell growth.  Folate deficiency may lead to neural tube defects in newborns, so it is especially important for women that are pregnant or nursing to consume adequate folate.  Folate is naturally occurring in beef liver, beans and leafy greens, but many cereal and grain products are also fortified with folate.  Dream Greens are good sources of folate all around, especially our baby Kale: 1 serving will get you a whopping 30% of your daily folate needs!

#3) Magnesium

Even though it is a trace mineral, magnesium is a superstar nutrient with hundreds of jobs in our bodies.  Some of its major activities include making sure our muscles and nerves are working properly, keeping our blood sugar and blood pressure in check, and even keeping our heart beating to the right rhythm. In recent years, soil quality has been declining around the world, which directly impacted the presence of magnesium in our food supply.  Thankfully, this does not apply to your package of Dream Greens–the way we grow ensures that our greens receive the perfect amount of vitamins and minerals like magnesium all year round. 

#4) Sulforaphane

Sulforaphane is a phytochemical that has recently been getting a lot of attention from medical researchers for its biological activity, including antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory potential.  It has also been found to be a very promising chemopreventive agent against a variety of cancers as well as against cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and diabetes. The great news is that sulforaphane is found in most cruciferous veggies including Dream Greens Baby Kale, Baby Pac Choi, Baby Watercress & Baby Super Mix, and in even higher concentrations in microgreens such as our Micro Super Mix, which includes Kale, Red Cabbage and Pac Choi Microgreens.  Eat your greens raw for maximum Sulforaphane content, and make sure to chew your greens extra well – Sulforaphane is activated when the plant is chopped, cut or chewed!

Looking for ways to incorporate more greens into your meals? Here’s a few of our favorite, greens-filled recipes!

Sources:

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9828775

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221451411500121X

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sulforaphane#what-it-is