Help fuel your body
A one-cup serving of raw escarole provides 1/10 of your daily needs for vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). The B vitamins help convert the carbs in food to glucose that the body can use as a fuel to produce energy. B vitamins are water soluble, which means the body doesn’t store them, so you need to get enough each day.
Boost bone health
The slightly bitter taste of many leafy greens is a good sign: It reflects their high levels of calcium. It’s unlikely you’d be able to eat enough greens in one day to get the 1,000 mg of calcium recommended daily for women ages 31-50, but they can help you get there: A ½-cup serving of dandelion greens contains 78 mg calcium; mustard greens have 55 mg; Swiss chard has 54 mg; and kale has 49 mg.
Prevent colon cancer
Kale and mustard greens are part of the nutrient-rich Brassica family, which also includes broccoli and cabbage. A study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in 2011 linked a higher intake of these vegetables with a decreased risk of cancer in the ascending section of the colon. In Canada, one in 15 women and one in 14 men are expected to develop colorectal cancer.