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Underutilized crop: Leafy Greens

What do you know about leafy greens?

Leafy greens are plant leaves eaten as a vegetable, sometimes accompanied by tender petioles and shoots. Nearly one thousand species of plants with edible leaves are known but lettuce and spinach are the most famous ones.

However, there are a lot more species that are amazing to add into your diet but less known and cultivated. These underutilized leafy greens contribute to your daily health and enhance biodiversity. Indeed, they have a high nutritional value, can now be incorporated into existing cultivations to contribute to more nutritious food for the consumer while at the same time make alternatives available to producers and the market as well as can enrich biodiversity.

Leafy greens are amazing for your nutrition and here is why:

  • Antioxidant compounds
  • Vitamins
  • Phenolic compounds
  • Flavonoids
  • Anticancer properties
  • Antibacterial properties

In BioValue we recommend the following delicious leafy greens:

Urtica dioica: Source of carotenoids, vitamins, polysterols proteins with most promising application in the food/feed, medicinal and cosmetic sectors.

Portulaca oleracea: Famous for its vitamin C and iron content. It is the plant with the most omega 3 fats and with a low fiber content

Amaranthus blitum: Source of proximate, phenolics, minerals, flavonoids, vitamins and high in protein.

Sonchus oleraceus: Reduces serum cholesterol level and high blood pressure disease

Lactuca serriola: Polyphenolic compounds while its shoots and leaves contain milky juice, which is sedative and mood elevating.

Scolymus hispanicus: Source of antioxidants and phenolic compounds.

Reichardia picroides: The leaves are depurative, diuretic, emollient, galactagogue, hypoglycaemic and tonic while the roots are used in the treatment of cough, abdominal pains and kidney problems.

Silybum marianum: Antioxidants which provides Renal protection, hypolipidemic and anti-atherosclerosis activities, cardiovascular protection, prevention of insulin resistance, cancer, and Alzheimer prevention.

Plantago lanceolata: Notable phenolic content, as well as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic activity.

Crithmum maritimum: Rich in carbohydrates and antioxidants.

Check for more details and their uses in our dedicated poster here.

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