Green leafy vegetables are packed with vitamins A, C, E and K, minerals, and an abundance of phytochemicals so vast that nutrition professionals are still trying to uncover all of their goodness. Although, Whenever we are suggested to increase our intake of leafy vegetables, we hardly tend to go beyond the humble spinach. Although spinach is an excellent source of vitamins and iron, Let’s learn a bit about what else is in store for us, from the vast variety available in the vegetable basket.
Arbi leaves – Also known as Colocasia or taro leaves. These heart shaped, dark green leaves are packed with nutrition.
If you are pregnant, it is good to consume taro leaves. Rich in nutrition, it contains folate which is essential for the development of your fetal brain and nervous system.
taro leaves also contain manganese. This mineral helps in the fetal cartilage, bone, and teeth formation during pregnancy.
The magnesium mineral in taro leaves helps to prevent preeclampsia(high blood pressure and related issues) during pregnancy. Magnesium has the mechanism in muscle relaxation so it can be used to prevent preeclampsia.
Dill – Also known as sua bhaji, Aromatic dill contains vitamins С, В, В1, В2, folic acid, carotin, iron, calcium, phosphor, and also proteins, natural sugars, volatiles and flavonoids due to which it possess such amazing health-giving properties.
Dill is famous as an efficient remedy for stabilization of the nervous system. It is very important during pregnancy when women often become prone to anxiety and depression because of hormonal changes. Dill acts as an effective diuretic during pregnancy, and also does its bit in reducing high blood pressure and regularizing kidney function.
Constipation is a common issue that pregnant women usually experience in the third trimester, having dill leaves can act as a simple remedy to cure constipation.
Dill contains folic acid and iron. The folic acid is valuable as it positively affects the growing baby’s nervous system and bones; iron is needed to maintain good haemoglobin levels and prevent anaemia. Dill also help post pregnancy as an effective galactagogue.
Beet greens – Beet Greens (beetroot leaves) are highly nutritious and healing.these are usually available at some vegetable vendors during the winter months. Beetroot leaves are a wonderful source of Calcium, Iron, Vitamin A (beta-carotene), Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. In fact, beet greens have more iron than spinach
Beet greens are highly recommended for women who are planning to get pregnant and also during early pregnancy because beets provide a great source of Folate along with many other beneficial vitamins and minerals. Rapidly growing tissues, such as those of a fetus, and rapidly regenerating cells, like red blood cells and immune cells, have a high need for Folate (Vitamin B9), a vitamin that is essential for the synthesis of compounds (purines and pyrimidines) which play an important role in developmental processes and helps in preventing any neural tube defects in newborns.
These are also a good food source of vitamin A which facilitates fetal growth.
Folic Acid is made up of the same chemistry as Folate; however, it is produced synthetically for supplements. Consuming Folate through diet, found in specific nutritious foods, has a better absorption rate.
Spring onions – These tender onion bulbs are great in taste and also rich in nutrients.
Spring onions are rich in vitamins including Vitamin C, These mild-flavored onions are a source of vitamin C, Vitamin B2 and thiamine. They also contain Vitamin A and Vitamin K. In addition, these are good sources of copper, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, chromium, manganese and fibre. Spring onions are a strong source of quercetin which is a natural antioxidant.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects your cells and promotes healthy tissue growth. Green onions also contain small amounts of calcium and phosphorus, two important minerals to promote healthy bone development.Vitamin C also increases the uptake of iron from other foods and prevents anaemia.
Green onion contains a high amount of folate too, and as we know, folate is an essential nutrient in fetal development.
Amaranth leaves – cholai leaves as they are commonly known, are available in 2 varieties red and green. It is a good source of Niacin, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper and Manganese.
It can help in the development of nervous system and brain of the fetus, as well as promotes healthy bones of mother and child, not to mention prevents anaemia, by promoting good haemoglobin levels.
So now we have a wide variety of leafy greens all with great folate and iron content, hence we can add at least one type of green leafy vegetable each day of the week.to make sure we take adequate amounts of micronutrients for a healthy pregnancy and don’t completely depend on multivitamins. You should also be aware that the micro nutrients obtained from natural sources are better absorbed by our body that synthetic tablets.