Be Like Popeye: Eat Canned Spinach!?! As a dietitian, it’s difficult to understand how anyone can be happy or healthy without dark green leafies in the daily diet. From spinach, chard, and collards to kale and broccoli, these are the very best sources of the B vitamin, folate. Your brain cells won’t turn on without it. It’s no wonder that poor intake of folate increases the risk for depression, fatigue, poor memory, and possibly even more serious mental problems like schizophrenia. People battling the blues who boost their intake of greens say they feel better and happier as a result. People who are clinically depressed only respond  to antidepressant therapy if their blood levels of folate are high. Need I say more?

Packed with vitamins and minerals, one serving of dark greens supplies an entire day’s requirement for vitamin A, more than 3 milligrams of iron, almost a third of your daily need for folate, and hefty amounts of calcium and B vitamins, all for about 20 calories. A one-cup serving of cooked Swiss chard supplies more than half of a woman’s daily recommendation for magnesium, a mineral that helps her cope with stress, curbs symptoms of PMS, and aids in sleep. Phytonutrients, such as sulforaphane in broccoli and the carotenoids in kale, clear toxins from the body and strengthens your resistance to colds and infections. Finally, dark greens are one of the best sources of lutein, a cousin to beta carotene, that lowers the risk for cataracts and macular degeneration.

That said, you can ruin a superfood like greens if you do any of these to it:

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