5 Homegrown, Dark Leafy Greens that are Full of Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants
One of the best ways to boost your health is by adding more nutrient-dense foods to your diet.
Dark leafy greens are especially good for you and are among the most nourishing foods around. They’re great at covering for deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It’s recommended that an adult’s weekly diet should include 1.5 cups of any dark green vegetable, along with 4 cups of other green vegetables.
Growing Dark Leafy Greens at Home
It’s extremely easy to grow dark leafy greens in your Click & Grow smart indoor garden. Our greens grow at very similar speeds, meaning they can easily be grown side by side and harvested at the same time. A Click & Grow Plant Subscription is a great way to ensure you always have plants to grow.
By growing greens in rotation, you’ll always have something to harvest. As some plants mature and become ready to harvest, you can already begin planting new pods ahead of time. This works especially well with a Click & Grow Wall Farm which has room for 51 plant pods. It becomes possible to grow greens in rotation so that you have fresh produce every other day or every weekend when the family is home together.
You can invent your own harvesting and planting cycle taking your own personal needs into account. There’ll be no more need to get your greens from the store. On top of that, you’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing your greens are 100% fresh, free from harmful substances and haven’t been handled by anyone else.
Here are 5 of the most nutrient dense dark greens from our collection. All of these can easily be grown in your Click & Grow smart indoor garden. You can use them to make delicious salads, wraps, soups, stir-frys, omelets, or they can even be steamed.
Arugula is originally from the Mediterranean region and has been a much loved ingredient in Italian, Moroccan, Portuguese and Turkish cuisines for years. The Ancient Romans and Egyptians even believed the plant contained aphrodisiac properties.
Arugula has a peppery kick and is a natural source of vitamins A, C, K, calcium, folate, potassium, magnesium and iron. One cup (10gr) of Arugula provides 12% of an Adult’s Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamin K and 14% of vitamin A.
2. Green Chard
Chard is said to have developed from a type of wild beet in ancient times. Aristotle even mentions a red-stalked variety of chard around 350 BC. It’s been cultivated as a vegetable crop but also enjoyed as an ornamental plant.
Green chard’s leaves have a unique, bitter taste when eaten raw. Once cooked, its flavour becomes mild and slightly sweet, similar to spinach. Green chard is a natural source of vitamins A, B, C, dietary fiber, iron, magnesium and potassium. One cup of fresh green chard provides 30mg of magnesium as well as being a reliable source of potassium and iron. One cup of baby leaves (36 gr) provides 16% of an adult’s RDA for Vitamin A, 14% for Vitamin C and 332% for Vitamin K.
3. Pak Choi
Pak choi is believed to have been cultivated in south China as early as the 5th century AD. By the middle of the 18th century, pak choi was introduced to Europe and has gone on to become a staple ingredient in a variety of cuisines, especially in Asian inspired dishes.
Enjoy pak choi’s mild, grassy flavor knowing it’s a natural source of vitamins A, C, K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese and iron. One cup of baby leaves provides 35% of an adult’s RDA of vitamin K, 42% of vitamin C and 10 % of Vitamin B6. It also covers up to 7% of calcium and 5% of other essential minerals such as iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and phosphorus.
4. Red Kale
Originally from the Mediterranean and Asia Minor, Kale has been cultivated for food since approximately 2000 BC. During World War II, Kale was among several vegetables that people were encouraged to cultivate. This was due to the fact that it’s easy to grow and contains key nutrients that were absent from a diet due to rationing.
Kale’s flavour is earthy and strong. Enjoy as a natural source of vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, potassium, protein, carbohydrates and dietary fiber. One cup (20 grams) of red kale’s fresh leaves provides 7% of an adult’s RDA of vitamin A, 26% of vitamin C and 90% of vitamin K. It also provides 10% of an adult’s RDA of manganese.
5. Leaf Mustard
The origins of leaf mustard are shrouded in mystery. Wild forms of the plant (along with its relatives such as radish and turnip) are found in Europe and Asia, which means they may have been domesticated in those regions. Today, leaf mustard has become a popular ingredient in world cuisine, often enjoyed in Italian, Indian, and Japanese dishes.
Leaf mustard has a deliciously sharp, peppery flavour. It’s a natural source of vitamins A, C, K as well as antioxidants, flavonoids and dietary fiber. One cup of leaf mustard (56 gr) provides 13% of an adult’s RDA for vitamin E, 50% of vitamin A and will fully cover vitamin K needs. It’s also a good, natural source of minerals such as iron, calcium and magnesium.
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NB: Information in this article is based on data collected from USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) compared to RDA (recommended daily intake) in one cup of fresh produce. In most cases, one cup is equal to the yield of one plant pod if harvested in one go when the pod has reached its maximum age.