Switch to Afrikaans

Why green vegetables are so good for you

Here are some reasons why you should finish all your greens before eating your dessert

Remember how your parents used to say that you can’t have desert until you’ve finished your veggies? Well, they just might have been onto something!


There’s new evidence that eating up your greens is vital if you want to reduce your risk of chronic disease. A study of 220,000 people, carried out by the University of Leicester, found that eating one-and-a-half extra portions of green, leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbage and broccoli a day cuts the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 14%. The key seems to be the high levels of antioxidants, magnesium and omega3 fatty acids in veg.


Meanwhile, a large-scale European study found that people who ate the widest variety of veg were less likely to develop lung cancer, even among smokers (although, of course, the only proven way to reduce your risk is not to smoke). Leafy vegetables are also ideal for weight management as they are typically low in kilojoules.


Health benefits:

Broccoli reduces the risk of heart disease and boosts the immune system. It’s a great source of fiber and calcium.


Lettuce is packed with fiber and anti-oxidants. Lettuce is great for dieting and it also helps prevent heart disease.


Spinach is rich in Vitamins A and C and also iron. These vitamins and minerals promote healthy brain function.

Like this?
to our Free Good Housekeeping Newsletter
Host the perfect dinner party

Self-confessed food addict Kate George shares five tips that every hostess simply must know