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Not Pretty But Boy Is it Good For You!

As I was sitting at my desk the other day eating my lunch, I noted to myself...this doesn't look very pretty but it is a nutritional powerhouse. In this bowl is turnip greens, mustard greens and sweet potato from a local farm topped with fresh avocado. The greens were seasoned with fresh onions and garlics. Continue to read to for some of the nutritional benefits of each of the ingredients that made up this bowl. Benefits sourced from

Mustard Greens

  • Fresh mustard leaves are excellent sources of vitamin-C. 100 fresh leaves provide 70 µg or about 117% of RDA. Vitamin-C (ascorbic acid) is a powerful natural antioxidant that offers protection against free radical injury and flu-like viral infections.

  • Fresh mustard greens are an excellent source of several essential minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium, and manganese.

  • Regular consumption of mustard greens in the diet is known to prevent arthritis, osteoporosis, iron deficiency anemia and believed to offer protection from cardiovascular diseases, asthma, and colon and prostate cancers.

Turnip Greens

  • Turnip greens are one of the excellent sources of ß-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These flavonoids have potent antioxidant and anti-cancer activities. Beta-carotene converted into vitamin-A inside the human body.

  • Again, they are among the top vegetable sources for vitamin-K; 100 g provides 251 µg of this vitamin that is about 209% of recommended intake. Vitamin-K has a potential role in bone health by promoting osteoblastic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has an established role in the treatment of patients who have Alzheimer's disease.

  • 100 g of fresh leaves contain 60 mg, or 100% of daily recommended levels of vitamin-C. Vitamin-C is a modestly potent water-soluble antioxidant which helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.

  • It is notably good in many B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, folate (48% of RDA/100g), niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc., that are essential to the body as part of coenzymes during the metabolism in the body.

  • Its leaves are also a rich source of minerals like magnesium, copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. The human body uses manganese as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for cellular oxidation and red blood cell formation.

Sweet Potato

  • Sweet potato provides vital minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and potassium that are essential for enzyme, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism.

  • Sweet potato leaves, indeed, are more nutritious than the tuber itself. Weight per weight, 100 g of fresh leaves carry more iron, vitamin-C, folates, vitamin-K, and potassium but less sodium than its tuber.


  • Avocados are high in mono-unsaturated fats and calories. They are very rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals and packed with numerous health benefiting plant nutrients.

  • Research studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet which is rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids help lower LDL or bad cholesterol and increase HDL or good cholesterol, and thereby, help prevent coronary artery disease as well as stroke risk through favoring healthy blood lipid profile.

  • They are an excellent source of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. 100 grams of fruit provides 6.7 g or about 18% of recommended daily intake of fiber. Dietary fiber helps lower blood cholesterol levels and prevent constipation.

  • They are also good in many health-benefiting vitamins. Vitamins A, E, and K primarily concentrated in its creamy pulp.

  • Avocados are excellent sources of minerals like iron, copper, magnesium, and manganese. Magnesium is essential for bone strengthening and has a cardiac-protective role as well. Manganese used by the human body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron and copper required for the production of red blood cells.

Red Onions

  • Onions are a rich source of chromium, a trace mineral that helps tissue cells respond appropriately to insulin levels in the blood. It thus helps facilitate insulin action and control sugar levels in diabetes.

  • They are a good source of antioxidant flavonoid quercetin, which is found to have anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antidiabetic functions.

  • They are also good in antioxidant vitamin, vitamin-C and mineral manganese. Manganese is essential as a co-factor for the anti-oxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Also, isothiocyanate antioxidants in them help provide relief from cold and flu by exerting anti-inflammatory actions.

  • Onions are also good in the B-complex group of vitamins like pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folates, and thiamin. Pyridoxine or vitamin B-6 helps keep up GABA levels in the brain, which works against neurotic conditions.


  • Garlic is an excellent source of minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. The bulbs are one of the richest sources of potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and selenium. Selenium is a heart-healthy mineral and is an essential cofactor for antioxidant enzymes within the body.

  • It contains many flavonoid antioxidants like β - carotene, zeaxanthin, and vitamins like vitamin-C. Vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.

  • Garlic cloves have amazingly high levels of vitamins and minerals. Just 100 g provides (in % of recommended daily allowance): 95% of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), 52% of vitamin C, 33% of copper, 21% of iron, 18% of calcium, 26% Selenium, and 73% of manganese.


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