Belonging to the family of cabbage or cruciferous vegetables, collard greens come laden with good health and nutrition. These greens are known to have originated in the Asia Minor region, but are now cultured in almost all parts of the world, where the temperatures are on the cooler side. The health benefits of this vegetable are abundant and are a blessing for weight watchers as they are very low on calorie on the one hand and on the other contain a high dose of dietary fiber.

A wholesome vegetable

Collards are greatly recommended by nutritionists, because they are a wholesome food. There is no doubt about the fact that you will receive a lot nutrition benefits when you are consuming collard greens on a regular basis. Nutritionists recommend that even if you can not have collard greens every day, include them in your soups or stews at least two to three times in a week. The serving size per adult should be at least a cup and a half. If you are planning to cook them, make sure that they are not overcooked. For them to cook better, slice the leaves into half inches and the stems into one fourth of an inch.

These leafy greens will help you contain cholesterol levels and offer you protection against conditions such as constipation; haemorrhoids and can even protect you from colon cancer diseases. Collards also contain substances called di-indolyl methane and sulforaphane that are known to be found in cancer curing medications. Thus consuming collards could give you protection against prostate, ovarian or breast cancer.

Laden with nutrients and minerals

These wonderful greens are also rich in important source of substances such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C and folates. Vitamin C can provide you protection against flu like infections, Vitamin A has several antioxidant properties and folates are excellent for women in the pre conception period as it can be exceptionally good for the baby to be born. That's not where the benefits of collards end. They also come complete with many good minerals such as copper, manganese, calcium, iron and zinc. You can so see that collards are indeed a powerhouse of nutrition.

Now that you know the many benefits of collards, you would like to use them in your daily diet. But unfortunately they are not really the tastiest things around! But not to worry! You can still use them in your green smoothie. Here is a lip smacking smoothie recipe that uses collards. In order to make this recipe you will require two tablespoons of lime juice, one and half cups of frozen mango, 2 cups of chopped collards and one cup of green grapes.

Combine the fresh lemon juice with half a cup of water and blend in with your collards, grapes and mango and puree for about a minute or so. You can add a little more water if you want your smoothie to be a little smoother. From each serving of this smoothie you receive 183 calories, 1 g of fat, 5 g of fiber and calcium 101 mg.