Need a little encouragement to get your daily dose of the healthiest greens?
If you’re tired of your usual steamed broccoli and kale salad options, one spin around your local grocery store’s produce section will prove to you there’s plenty of green to get you excited.
From mustard greens to microgreens and spinach to arugula, our list below compiles 16 of the healthiest greens for you to consider giving a try. You’ll find each green has a unique offering of vitamins, nutrients, and essential minerals you need to feel your best.
Ready to be a little bit more adventurous with your greens?
Below, discover new options to get your recommended two to three servings of veggies a day in with ease.
A Look at the Healthiest Greens
Vegetables — especially greens — are valuable sources of nutrients like potassium, dietary fiber, folic acid, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Plus, they’re often low-fat but provide the filling fiber that can help you from overeating.
Here’s a list of some of the most nutritious and healthiest greens to add to your diet:
This cruciferous vegetable is in the same family as Brussels sprouts, kale, and broccoli, so you know it’s a good one to add to your diet. It’s full of nutrients like vitamins K, B9, and is a source of glucosinolate, which can fight off disease.
Similar looking to Swiss chard, these nutritious greens are full of vitamin K, iron, copper, calcium, and manganese. Plus, there’s no cholesterol or saturated fat, either. Best of all, these versatile greens are easy to eat raw or even cooked. Prep the greens like you would kale. Add it to a salad or even sauté it with garlic and olive oil!
These tiny, cabbage-like greens have a low-calorie content but are insanely nutritious. Inside each ball-shaped green, you’ll get a dose of vitamin C and K. Plus, you’ll get folate, iron, calcium, and potassium with each bite.
As part of the cruciferous family of veggies, this mildly flavored green is popular in Chinese cuisine but also stands alone as a great side dish. It can be eaten raw or cooked in soups or stir-fries. It’s a great source of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and even folate. Plus, it contains anti-inflammatory properties, making it an ideal food to eat any time to keep inflammation away.
Broccoli has long been the go-to green vegetable in many households. It’s high in fiber and nutrients, making it an ideal side dish that goes along with most meals. It also has a fair amount of protein as far as veggies go, along with vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin K1, folate, potassium, manganese, and iron.
Broccoli rabe is basically the thinner cousin of broccoli. You’ll find these veggies are more slender and the skin isn’t as thick as broccoli. Best of all, you can eat all of it — the leaves, stem, and buds, making it simple to prepare as a side dish to add a little more green to your plate. Include it in your diet for vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, along with zinc and copper.
If you want the nutrients of kale but can’t stand the taste of it, you can swap it out for cabbage! You’ll find cabbage is low in sodium, has zero fat, and contains plenty of vitamin C. Plus, thanks to its fiber content, it can aid digestion. You can eat it raw or cooked — whatever way will get you excited to eat this healthy veggie.
Looking to add more vitamin K to your diet? Collard greens are one of the best sources to get it from in the leafy greens family. You’ll find a single cup of cooked collard greens has 1,045% of the recommended daily value. Plus, it’s a great source of vitamins A, B9, and C, along with calcium.
Dandelion greens are an excellent prebiotic option to include in your diet. You can add these to your salads to increase the good bacteria in your gut. Plus, you’ll find it’s a good source of vitamins A, C, K, and E. You’ll also get minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium in a serving of dandelion greens.
Tip: If you enjoy these greens raw, purchase them when they’re fresh and young. The older the greens are, the more bitter they’ll be. Salads should be made from plants that haven’t yet flowered.
Frisée is a leafy green vegetable that is great for a salad base or to add to your sandwiches. It’s low in calories yet full of nutrients your body needs. A serving of this veggie will get you one-third of the daily recommended values you need of vitamins A and C, along with folic acid.
You either love it or you hate it. Kale is basically the new iceberg lettuce to swap out of your fridge for kale if you’re looking for a higher nutritional value. Kale contains a myriad of benefits, including plenty of fiber along with calcium, iron, and 134% of your daily recommended value of vitamin C. Plus, you’ll get a 206% dose of the daily recommended value for vitamin A!
Often referred to as “veggie confetti” or micro herbs, these small, healthy greens are full of nutritional value. These greens are usually 1 to 3-inches tall and have a concentrated nutritional content that’s rich in iron, zinc, potassium, copper, and magnesium. Depending on the variety you eat, you’ll find the flavor can taste anywhere between neutral to spicy. You may not even realize some of the regular greens you eat are nutritious microgreens! Popular microgreens include chives, cilantro, mint, dill, parsley, fennel, and even radishes!
Have a green thumb? You can grow your own microgreens with at-home kits!
While the bitterness may be an acquired taste, there’s no denying that mustard greens are healthy. Luckily, you can shop around to find your favorite type as mustard greens do actually vary in size, color, and taste. These greens are low in calories as well as a great source of fiber. A single cup of boiled mustard greens yields 177% of your daily recommended value of vitamin A! Plus, it’s filled with antioxidants like lutein, beta-carotene, violaxanthin, and neoxanthin.
Looking to protect your brain, heart, and eye health? Spinach is the perfect green to do it. As one of the top healthiest greens, spinach is easy to find and use in your daily life. It’s filled to the brim with essential nutrients, plus vitamins and minerals to help the body function optimally. One cup of raw spinach alone has 145 micrograms of vitamin K. It’s recommended women age 19 and older have 90 micrograms of vitamin K daily; men should have 120 micrograms.
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but watercress may work just as well, too. Because it has four times the amount of vitamin A and beta-carotene than an apple.
Note: This green is super seasonal. If you see it and like it, buy it! Give it a try.
Wheatgrass is the young grass of the wheat plant. First used for medicinal purposes in ancient Egypt, its healing abilities have remained steadfast through the years. Not only does fresh wheatgrass contain calcium and iron, but it also has 17 amino acids, magnesium, chlorophyll, and phytonutrients.
Curious about the benefits of wheatgrass shots? Check out our newest post on 7 Wheatgrass Shots Facts That’ll Make You Want This Green.
The Healthiest Greens = A Powerhouse of Nutrients
As you can see from the long list above, greens are an easy way to get your daily recommended vitamins and minerals.
If you haven’t been hitting your 2 to 3 cups of vegetables a day, you have plenty of options to choose from to reach your daily greens goal. Even if you don’t love “standard” veggies like broccoli, we hope this list helps you branch out and try some of the more unique green options out there.
Research shows those who eat a wide range of veggies often have a lower risk of serious health concerns. When you consume enough vegetables and fruits, it prevents issues like high blood pressure, digestive issues, and more. If you struggle with hitting your daily needs, try to make it as simple as possible.
A few tips on getting your daily greens in:
Prep all your veggies - After you get back from the grocery store, get to work washing, dicing, and slicing your vegetables. Put them in glass containers that make it simple to see what food is inside. This will make it easier to grab when you or your family members want a healthy snack.
- Keep it at eye-level - When you open the fridge, have all the veggies right at eye-level, if possible. This will make you more tempted to reach for it right away!
- Try it in a shot - Need a little help getting your greens in? Give our GREEN UP wheatgrass shot a try. Inside, you’ll find the powerful benefits of wheatgrass along with spirulina, too. Check out our post, 7 Wheatgrass Shots Facts That’ll Make You Want This Green!
Pass on starches - You’ll likely feel less sluggish after a meal with greens instead of super heavy, starchy carbs like pasta or other refined carbs.
- Explore new recipes - Break out your crockpot, Instant Pot, or air fryer and start experimenting with various ways to bring bright greens into your diet. Have family members alternate cooking or recipe selection to keep it interesting.
Prefer to drink your greens? Give our GREEN UP shot a try! We bet you’ve never experienced a wheatgrass shot like this before. The perfect blend of fresh wheatgrass, spirulina, pineapple juice, lemon juice, and ginger juice creates a smooth shot experience.