There are so many reasons to be big fans of dark leafy vegetables 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. Research shows that carotenoids act as an antioxidant, 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’s 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!
Research rates spinach as a top cancer-fighting food, containing plenty of vitamin C, lutein, and beta-carotenes. Spinach is easily accessible throughout the year and can be found bagged, frozen, canned, etc. If buying fresh, check for vibrant green leaves. Our Greek Pasta Salad incorporates the cancer-fighting nutrients of this leafy green into a light and flavorful dish. Find more of our spinach recipes here.
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.
Check out our blog on cruciferous vegetables to learn more about their cancer-fighting potential. Try using fresh chard in this delicious Spring Pea Salad.