If you like salad, you're gonna love this: A diet rich in green leafy vegetables may help you lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a recent study in the British Medical Journal.
That's good news for people with arthritis. Although not directly related, the two diseases often go hand-in-hand: More than half of those with diabetes also have arthritis. Research shows that eating a balanced, healthy diet helps people with inflammatory arthritis maintain their overall health and may help people with osteoarthritis lose weight and better manage their symptoms.
“Green leafy vegetables could have a number of positives: Antioxidants, fiber content, omega 3s,” says Patrice Carter, a doctoral student and research nutritionist at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom who worked on the study. “The results are pretty positive. Get more in your diet.”
Among the most popular and easiest to find dark, leafy greens are arugula, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, spinach and Swiss chard. If you’re looking for ways to increase the amount of these – and other – greens in your diet, here are a few things to consider:
Eating just a little goes a long way: A single cup of green, leafy vegetables – or a half-cup cooked – is all you need to get the benefits.
Most of the somewhat bitter varieties, such as turnip, mustard and collard greens, taste best when cooked. Boil or steam these, add them to soup or sauté them with garlic and a bit of olive oil. Add romaine and other dark lettuces to your salad bowl, sandwiches and wraps. Or use large romaine leaves instead of bread when making sandwiches.
For a more inventive serving idea, try kale chips. Clean kale leaves, drizzle with olive oil and sea salt, and them bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees until edges are brown and leaves are crispy.