Collard Greens: Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits, Side Effects

By homehealthup

April 19, 2024

Collard greens are those leafy green veggies that pack a punch of goodness. They're part of the same family as kale and cabbage and are bursting with all sorts of good stuff that keeps you healthy. From vitamins to minerals to other good-for-you stuff, collard greens have got it all. In this article, we'll dive into what makes collard greens great for you, how to pick the best ones, how to cook them up, and some tasty recipes. Whether you're a kitchen whiz or just starting to get into veggies, collard greens are something you'll want to have on your plate.


Collard greens are nutrient-packed leafy greens that offer a variety of health benefits.

What Are Collard Greens?

Collards are a family of plants in the Brassica oleracea family. They are a type of loose-leaf cultivar. These greens are edible and part of the cruciferous family. They are grown for a variety of reasons, including their health benefits.

Collard greens contain a sulfur-containing compound called sulforaphane. It helps protect DNA from damage and prevent cancer cells from spreading. It may also activate the body's defenses against pathogens and environmental pollutants. Because collard greens contain a high concentration of sulforaphane, they may be used to target cancer cells.

To prepare collard greens, wash them thoroughly. This is especially important when purchased fresh since they are often dirt-filled. Taking the time to clean them thoroughly is the key to enjoying them in a tasty meal. Distilled vinegar and salt are two common cleaners that will remove most dirt and help your collard greens look fresh and taste great.

Moreover, collard greens can be eaten raw or combined with other ingredients, such as chopped fresh or dried fruits, beans, or other vegetables. They can also be cooked and used in salads. If you want a vegetarian meal, collard greens can be used as a substitute for kale or Swiss chard.

Collard greens are a great source of nutrition. Their ancient roots can be traced back to the pre-Christian Romans and ancient Greeks. They were widely cultivated in the Americas by the 1600s. They are a popular ingredient in many dishes found in most markets. You can even order them from restaurants.

Nutrition Facts of Collard Greens

Collards are a type of vegetable. They are the loose-leafed cultivars of the Brassica oleracea species. Collards are very nutritious and can be used in a variety of dishes. They have a high level of dietary fiber and are high in vitamins A and C.

Nutrition facts for 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of Collard greens include:

  • Calories: 32
  • Fat: 0.6 g
  • Sodium: 17 mg
  • Potassium: 213 mg - 6% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Carbohydrates: 5 g - 1% of the DV
  • Fiber: 4 g - 16% of the DV
  • Sugar: 0.5 g
  • Protein: 3 g - 6% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 58% of the DV
  • Iron: 2% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 10% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 6% of the DV
  • Calcium: 23% of the DV

Vitamins and Minerals

Collard greens are a great source of vitamins and minerals. They can help you stay healthy by protecting your cells and boosting your immune system. They are also high in soluble fiber and contain high levels of antioxidants. These nutrients can help detoxify your body, fight cancer, and boost cardiovascular health. Collard greens are also high in glucosinolates, a sulfur-containing compound that benefits your health.

Collard greens are also high in fiber, which is important for good digestive health. They are also high in vitamin A, vital for sebum production and the growth of all bodily tissues. In addition, they contain a high amount of vitamin C, which is good for your skin and can reduce the risk of acne.

In addition, collard greens contain vitamin K and manganese, which are essential for bone health. They play a role in bone metabolism and in the production of bone-building enzymes. Vitamin K also improves calcium absorption, which is crucial for healthy bones. It also helps reduce urinary excretion of calcium.

Collard greens also contain antioxidants, which can help protect the body from oxidative damage. These compounds can also help reduce inflammation and control glucose levels. They can also be helpful for people with diabetes, as they increase insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.

Health Benefits of Collard Greens

Collard greens are a great source of antioxidants, a nutrient that may lower cancer risk. They also have many other health benefits, including a significant amount of vitamin K, which may help protect the body from osteoporosis. Collard greens also have a high fiber content, which helps reduce inflammation and maintain healthy insulin levels.

Collard greens are also a healthy alternative to potato chips. To eat them as an appetizer, simply toss them in extra-virgin olive oil and bake them at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 30 minutes. To enhance the flavor, you can add spices such as chili powder, cumin, and roasted red pepper flakes. These greens can be prepared in a variety of ways and are a great addition to the holiday table.

Moreover, collard greens contain a compound known as glucosinolates, which has powerful anti-cancer effects. Studies have shown that high intakes of cruciferous vegetables can reduce the risk of many cancers. This compound works by delaying the growth of cancer cells by blocking cellular damage caused by free radicals. Glucosinolates also protect against DNA damage.

Collard greens are a low-calorie, high-nutrient vegetable. They are high in vitamins and minerals and are delicious when added to salads, soups, and sides. While they may be a bit bitter, collard greens are superstars in supporting your health. They can help reduce cholesterol levels, fight cancer, and promote bone health when cooked correctly.

Side Effects

While collard greens are packed with good stuff for your body, eating too much of them in certain situations might cause some issues. Knowing about these possible problems is important so you can make smart choices about what you eat.

Tummy Troubles: Collard greens contain a lot of fiber, which is good for digestion. However, for some people, eating a lot of fiber, especially if they're not used to it, could make them feel bloated, gassy, or give them the runs.

Kidney Stones: Collard greens have something called oxalates, which are natural compounds. They can team up with calcium in your body and make little crystals that might stick in your kidneys and form stones. If you've had kidney stones before or think you might get them, it's best not to go overboard on collard greens.

Thyroid Troubles: Collard greens are part of the cabbage family and contain goitrogens. These can mess with your thyroid, which helps control your hormones. Cooking collard greens can help, but if you've got thyroid issues, it might be best not to eat too much.

Blood Thinning: Collard greens have vitamin K, which helps your blood clot. That's usually a good thing, but if you're taking meds that thin your blood, like warfarin, you've got to keep your vitamin K intake steady. Big changes could mess things up, so talk to your doctor before making any changes.

Allergies: It's rare, but some folks might be allergic to collard greens or other cabbage-related veggies. Allergic reactions can be mild, like itching or hives, or serious, like trouble breathing. If you think you're allergic, get help right away.

Medication Mix-ups: Collard greens can mess with some meds, like ones for your thyroid, antibiotics, or blood thinners. This could make your meds less effective or cause problems. If you're on meds and want to eat more collard greens, talk to your doctor first.

In summary, collard greens are great for you, but it's best to eat them in moderation and watch out for any issues, especially if you have health problems or take medications. If you notice anything weird after eating collard greens, check in with your doctor for advice.

Tips for Choosing Collard Greens

When you're choosing collard greens, here are some things to keep in mind:

How They Look: Look for collard greens with bright green leaves that feel firm and crunchy. Avoid ones that look limp, yellow, or have spots on them.

Size Matters: Go for medium-sized leaves. They're usually tastier and easier to eat than big ones, which can be tough and bitter.

Check the Stems: Make sure the stems are firm and not wilted. You don't want ones with thick, woody stems because they're hard to chew.

Organic or Not: If you can, get organic collard greens. They're less likely to have chemicals on them. But if you can't find organic ones, regular ones are okay if you wash them well.

When to Buy: Collard greens are best in the fall and winter. They taste the best and are freshest then.

Local is Best: Try to buy collard greens from local farmers or markets. They're usually fresher and might have more nutrients.

Think About Cooking: If you're planning to cook them, get ones with big leaves. For salads or wraps, go for smaller, softer leaves.

These tips allow you to pick out the best collard greens for your meals.

Tips for Preparing Collard Greens

Getting collard greens ready to eat is easy with these tips:

Wash Them Good: Rinse the collard greens well under cold water to remove any dirt or stuff on them. Pay attention to the undersides of the leaves and the stems.

Take Out the Stems: The stems of collard greens are tough, so it's best to get rid of them before cooking. You can do this by pulling the leaves off the stems with your hands or cutting them out with a knife.

Cut Them Up: Once the stems are gone, stack the leaves on top of each other and roll them up. Then, slice them into thin strips or chop them into smaller pieces, depending on how you want to cook them.

Cooking Styles: There are lots of ways to cook collard greens. You can boil them, steam them, sauté them in a pan, or even bake them in the oven. Boiling helps soften them and remove bitterness, but it can also cause them to lose some nutrients. Steaming keeps more of the good stuff in while sautéing adds flavor and lets you mix in other tasty things like garlic or spices.

Season Them Up: Collard greens have a strong flavor, but you can make them even tastier with some seasoning. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, or vinegar or lemon juice for extra zing.

Cooking Time: How long you cook collard greens depends on how you cook them and how soft you want them to be. Boiling or steaming usually takes about 20-30 minutes, while sautéing is quicker, around 10-15 minutes. Just taste them as they cook to see if they're done how you like.

Store Them Right: If you have leftovers, put them in a sealed container in the fridge. They'll keep for a few days. Warm them up on the stove or in the microwave when you want to eat them again.

With these tips, you'll be cooking delicious collard greens in no time. Try different ways of cooking and seasoning them to find your favorite way to enjoy them!

Tips on Including Collard Greens in Meal

Collard greens are a great addition to a meal. You can add them to biscuits or egg biscuits, a shredded salad, or a sweet potato casserole. You can also saute them in olive oil, which will allow the greens to get a bit crispy.

When cooking collard greens, make sure to use fresh greens. You can find them at farmers' markets. Make sure to purchase them in full and healthy varieties. To enhance their flavor, add garlic and yellow onions. You can also add red pepper flakes to add a touch of heat. If you do not want to use bacon, use smoked turkey leg or ham hocks instead. You can also add broth instead of water.

You can also freeze collard greens. First, wash the greens thoroughly. To do this:

  1. Lay them out flat on a cutting board.
  2. Cut them in half or quarters.
  3. Wash them separately to remove any sand.
  4. Rinse and drain them well. If you don't plan to eat the greens immediately, you can store them in the refrigerator for three to four days.

Collard greens are a hearty and nutritious vegetable. They can be added to salads or other dishes, used in tacos or wraps, and are particularly versatile in a Whole30 diet, as the fat from the meat can help make them tender and flavorful.


About the author

Homehealthup is an avid researcher with a deep love of health. She specializes in writing research and reviews on new and essential topics in fitness and nutrition by thoroughly analyzing products based on user reviews, personal experiences, and feedback from forums.

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