Collard greens are dark leafy veggies that are related to kale, broccoli, and cabbage. In fact collards, are actually the descendants of wild cabbage. Most of us may know and love collards as a side dish (that sometimes is cooked to death), and accompanies a larger meal. Although these greens tend to be rough there are many ways you can prepare them. You can cut them finely and steam sautee them easily, enjoy eating them raw with the right preparation in salads, or use them as a tortilla substitute for a wrap filled with veggies. If you grow them or if you can buy baby collards, they tend to be less bitter and really easy to add into salads like any other green. Collard greens are an excellent source of vitamin C, K, A, beta-carotene, manganese, folate, calcium, magnesium, iron, and fiber. Individuals who have pre-existing or untreated kidney or gall bladder issues should avoid collards because of the measurable levels of oxalates. If oxalates become concentrated in bodily fluids, they can crystallize and cause a host of health issues. Below are a few brief reasons why adding some collard greens to your life every now and then is not a bad idea. Whether you steam them, wrap them up, or toss them into a salad, know that these super greens are a great way to boost your nutrition. -XoXo Raw Girl
1. Consuming collards protects against cancer. Collard greens provide nutrients and support functioning of the bodies' detox, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory system, all of which must become compromised for cancer to thrive in the body.
2. Collards support weight loss, because like most greens they come with little to no calories and a nice serving of fiber to support digestion and proper elimination.
3. These cruciferous veggies have also been show to have very powerful effects on heart related conditions and lowering cholesterol. Collards contain niacin, a vitamin which is known to reduce cholesterol and prevent diabetes and heart disease.
4. Collards also have anti-inflammatory benefits as they are an excellent source of vitamin K and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids (in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA), two important anti-inflammatory nutrients. Vitamin K acts as a direct regulator of our inflammatory response, and ALA is the building block for several of the body’s anti-inflammatory messaging molecules.[divider]