Questions for the Cook

Light greens vs. dark: which are better for you?

Dear Cooks:

Everyone is always talking about how green leafy vegetables are so good for you. But which are better for you – light greens or dark? Thanks!

John in Jersey

Dear John:

While all greens pack a nutritional punch, dark greens are better for you. Vegetables are green because they contain chlorophyl. Chlorophyl is the dark green pigment which allows leaves to use the sun to make food. Dark green vegetables are better for you because they contain less water and more chlorophyl. Dark leafy greens like kale and spinach have more chlorophyl than lighter greens like lettuce or cabbage. This gives kale and spinach a stronger taste and makes them better for you. Chlorophyl contains vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that keep you healthy. Those chemicals help with eye health, lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of getting certain cancers. But don’t give up on lighter greens – all greens are good for you!
Like all vegetables, green leafy vegetables are really good sources of nutrients that help to protect us from disease and keep us healthy.  Green vegetables are rich in vitamin C, folates, carotenoids, vitamin K, and calcium, and may also provide small amounts of iron.


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