Dark leafy vegetables are known for their abundance of cancer-fighting properties. Aside from being a fantastic source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B6, fiber, and folate, these greens also have a range of carotenoids. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), research shows that the carotenoids in dark leafy vegetables act as an antioxidants, removing harmful free radicals that potentially lead to cancer development. Here are some of our favorite leafy greens.
In a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, watercress topped the list of the most nutrient-dense, powerhouse fruits and vegetables. Although it is available year-round, watercress is freshest from April through September and can be found at many local farmer’s markets and grocery stores. Boasting a peppery flavor similar to other members of the mustard family, this underrated vegetable can add great flavor to salads or egg dishes. We particularly enjoy it in soups and recommend trying our Cream of Watercress Soup.
Similar to watercress, arugula also has a peppery taste that can add zest to any dish. Our Arugula Salad With Artichokes, Olives, & Feta is a perfect springtime side dish or light meal. Plus, artichokes also hit their peak during spring, specifically from March to May, so it gives you even more of an incentive to try it out.
Spinach is readily available year-round and can be found in a variety of forms: bagged, frozen, and canned. However, we believe that the flavor and texture of fresh bunches of spinach can’t be beat. Be sure to check for vibrant looking leaves when you buy them during their peak season, March through June. Our Greek Pasta Salad incorporates the cancer-fighting nutrients of this leafy green into a light and flavorful dish.
Last but certainly not least is chard, an incredibly versatile cruciferous green. Chard, like other plants in the brassica vegetable family, comes with an abundance of cancer-fighting potential. Its peak season starts in May/June. Learn how to prepare chard, and try it in our Swiss Chard Frittata recipe.