More than one thousand plants have leaves we can eat but how many do we actually eat? If we have just five servings a day, we cut our risk of developing diabetes by 20 percent. Several studies have found that leafy greens such as spinach (best choice), more so then other vegetables, play a significant role in decreasing our risk of diabetes. They attribute this to the fiber and magnesium that helps thyroid hormone secretion, metabolism, and overall nerve muscle function. The manganese in green leaves is also essential for normal glucose metabolism.
The Vitamin C in leafy greens can be helpful to adrenal glands as well. The adrenals release Vitamin C during stress, but taking megadoses of it may lead to an increased risk of diabetes. The best way to get your vitamin C is through natural sources such as romaine lettuce and turnip greens.
The high levels of iron in spinach and Swiss chard are great for bringing oxygen to your muscles. When you don’t have enough oxygen to your body, your metabolism takes a big hit. By blocking the formation of prostaglandins, leafy greens also help prevent system wide inflammation, reduces arthritis pain, and blood clotting. The soluble fiber in dark-green leafy veggies is considered “prebiotic” which means it helps to feed the “good” probiotic bacteria in your gut, also known prevent inflammation.
Believe it or not, leafy greens even contain a very small amount of omega-3 fats. On their own, they won’t get you all the omega 3’s you need, but one serving of spinach will give you half the amount in a serving of canned tuna, and even a gram of protein as well.