Secrets of the Superhuman Food Pyramid: Benefits of Collards

Collards are green leafy vegetables belonging to the Brassica oleracea species just like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. Unlike said vegetables though, collards do not have compact heads and instead have slender upright stalks that have broad blue-green leaves forming a loose cluster.

You’ll want to incorporate collards into your diet as this cruciferous vegetable has a lot to offer nutrition-wise.

Read further and learn more about the benefits of collards and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends this vegetable.

Collards’ Benefits:

Collards are a potent source of vitamin K, specifically vitamin K1 or phylloquinone, with one cup already providing ten times the recommended daily intake for this nutrient. Vitamin K has long been known as crucial for proper blood clotting. But recent research conducted by the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Spain has brought to light two more benefits of this nutrient. In a study published on November 2012, it’s been found that elderly subjects who had high intake of dietary phylloquinone lowered their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. As it turns out, phylloquinone plays a role in blood glucose metabolism as well as managing insulin resistance.

Collards are an excellent source of vitamin A as well, with one cup already providing three times the RDA for this nutrient. Vitamin A, specifically beta carotene, is crucial for maintaining eye health as it prevents macular degeneration which is the most common cause of loss of vision in the elderly. In a 2001 study, it was found that supplementation of beta carotene, vitamins C, E, as well as zinc and copper, slowed down the progress of macular degeneration in the elderly. A cup of collards provides about 8% of the RDA for vitamin E, 3% of the RDA for zinc, and 4% of the RDA for copper, so the vegetable is no doubt a great choice if you’d like to maintain optimum eye health without resorting to pharmaceutical supplements.

Collards, together with broccoli, kale, and cabbage, have been studied for their potential cancer-preventive properties, too. As it turns out, the glucosinolates in these cruciferous vegetables have breakdown products like isothiocyanates, specifically sulforaphane, which aid in the body’s detoxification system as well as provide anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Collards have cholesterol-lowering properties, too. The fiber-related components of this cruciferous vegetable have been found to bind with bile acids more efficiently resulting in the latter getting excreted via the bowel movement. Made from cholesterol by the liver, bile acids aid in the digestion and storage of fats in the body. Because the bile acids get excreted when you eat collards, the liver will then need to draw from the existing cholesterol supply, ensuring the lowering of the latter’s levels in the body.

Collards’ Practical Uses:

The manner by which collards are prepared determine its bile acid binding efficacy, and according to a study conducted by the USDA, steaming is by far the most favorable cooking method for this purpose. Fill your vegetable steamer pot with two inches of water. Once the water is briskly boiling, put in the steamer basket filled with thoroughly washed and chopped collards and steam for five minutes. You can eat the steamed collards on its own or tossed with other salad greens. You can also put these tangy greens in a sandwich.

Collard wraps are a great way to enjoy these greens, too. Choose four large collard leaves, wash thoroughly, and steam as usual. In a food processor, put in a cup of your choice of raw seeds and nuts like pecans, a tablespoon of tamari, a teaspoon of olive oil, and a teaspoon of cumin powder and pulse until the mixture turns into a paste. To make the wrap, lay the collard leaves first, followed by the paste, and then put in some slices of avocado, red peppers, and your choice of sprouts, and fold both sides to make a wrap.

In the next post, I’ll tell you the benefits of Swiss chard that will help you in your quest to Become Superhuman.

In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the vegetables on Superhuman Food Pyramid:

Eat:

Sprouts

Avocados

Olives

Asparagus

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Cabbage

Naturally Fermented Sauerkraut

Naturally Fermented Pickles

Bok Choy

Collards

Swiss Chard

Kale

Mustard Greens

Nori (Seaweed)

Organic Greens Powder or Capsule

Moderate:

Sweet Potatoes

Yams

Plantains

Potatoes

• Corn

Peas

Carrots

Celery

Cucumber

Squash

Zucchini

Romaine Lettuce

Red Lettuce

Iceberg Lettuce

• Fennel

Radishes

Avoid:

Canned Vegetables

Non-Organic, Un-Rinsed Vegetables

Also avoid if autoimmune disease or nightshade sensitivity:

Potatoes

Tomatoes

• Peppers

• Garlic

Onions

Eggplant

If you have questions, comments or feedback about the benefits of collards, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the benefits of collards.