Greens are leaf vegetables which forms the incredible part of our diet which are rich in many nutrients with high proteins, vitamins and minerals and low fats and also many micro nutrients such as zinc, manganese, magnesium, iron, calcium, fiber and folate. There are many types of green leaves which are edible and have a high nutritional value. Lets go through about the familiar Indian varieties of greens which yields a number of health benefits to us.
Arai Keerai or Tricolor Amaranthus or அரைக் கீரை
Tricolor Amaranthus is the most familiar, cheaper in price and easily available variety of greens. It is rich in many nutrients and antioxidants. As it is rich in protein and fiber with very less calories. Hence helpful in increasing weight loss. This green leaves are rich in Vitamin C,A,K and B, pottasium and calcium. It helps in improving immunity.
Siru Keerai or Tropical Amaranthus or சிறு கீரை
These are comparatively small leaves with tender stem.This leaves are also rich in dietary fiber, iron content and other vitamins, which increases the body metabolism. It prevents us from anemia and also increases our immunity. Intake of this greens in food strengthens the liver and eyes.
Thandu Keerai or Tender Amaranthus or கீரைத் தண்டு
Tender Amaranthus has long stems in greens variety. It cures stomach ulcer and strengthens liver and kidney. It has vitamins, iron, phosphorous and calcium. It helps to improve memory power and immunity. Sigappu Thandu Keerai or Red Amaranthus is also variety of this which looks red in colour.
Pasalai Keerai or Spinach or பசலைக் கீரை
There are many varieties of spinach.This has a thick and triangular shaped leaves. This has enormous benefits and also tastes good to eat. It is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, folic acid, calcium and iron. Intake of this greens result in healthy skin and controls hair fall. It helps to regulate body metabolism and increase immunity. It cures stomach and mouth ulcer.
Murungai Keerai or Drumstick Leaves or முருங்கை
Drumstick leaves or moringa are the most popular and easily available greens. The leaves, bark, pod and flowers all have medicinal values. It has high nutritional value with vitamins and minerals and also high in magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc content. It is rich in amino acids and antioxidants. It helps in weight loss. It reduces blood pressure and sugar levels. It boosts the immune system. Intake of these leaves strengthens eyes, liver and bones.
Ponnankanni Keerai or Dwarf Copper Leaf or பொன்னாங்கண்ணி கீரை
Dwarf Copper Leaf is a dwarf type plant with tender stem and long leaves. Its an aquatic plant rich in iron, calcium, phosphorous, proteins and vitamins. Intake of these leaves cures eye problems. It is also used in medicinal hair oils which has cooling effects.
Pulicha Keerai or Sorrel Leaves or புளிச்ச கீரை
Its a perennial plant which has a distinctive tangy taste. It has many medicinal and culinary uses. Its a great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and antioxidants which is good for our overall health. Its a good choice for low calorie and low fat diet. There are many variety of sorrel leaves(gongura) and all provide us with many nutrients. It also has many beneficial organic compounds such as flavonoids, anthocyanins and polyphenolic acids.
Mudakathan Keerai or Ballon Vines or முடக்கத்தான் கீரை
Balloon Vines is a perennial climber with balloon like fruits. Like many of the greens it is rich in minerals, calcium, iron and phosphorus.This leaves has strong anti-inflammatory property and thus recommended for swelling joints, pain in joints and rheumatoid arthritis. It is used to cure stiffness of limbs. It is also used to rectify ear pain, cough and cold. It has Anti ulcer, Anti diarrheal, Anti Arthritic, Anti Bacterial and Anti Fungal properties. Its slightly bitter in taste.
Vallarai Keerai or Centella or Brahmi or வல்லாரைக் கீரை
It is well known as a powerful medicinal herb which helps to enhance brain activity and functioning of nervous system. It is a short creeper plant which grow up to a height of 4 to 20 inches. These leaves don’t have any aroma or flavour and taste but used in cooking because of its medicinal values such as boosting memory, helps curing indigestion problems. It is rich in Vitamin C,B and essential dietary fibres and proteins.
Agathi Keerai or August Leaves or அகத்திக் கீரை
August Leaves is a loosely barked soft wooded tree which grows fast in hot humid climate. This greens is said to have 63 essential nutrients. The leaves, flowers, barks and roots are used for medicinal purposes. It cools the body and it is good for indigestion problems and stomach ulcers. Good amount of calcium, iron and vitamins in agathi leaves are valuable in fortifying the bones. These leaves are bitter and astrigent in taste.
Vendhaya Keerai or Fenugreek Leaves or வெந்தயக் கீரை
Its a short herb which can be harvested only once. This greens consists of enormous dietary fiber, iron, manganese, copper, magnesium and vitamin B6. It cools the body. Intake of this by diabetic patients helps to keep the blood sugar levels in control. The dietary fibers in these leaves lessens the cholestral levels and gives strength to heart. These leaves are slightly bitter in taste and it can be used as green leaves for cooking and also as dried leaves which gives flavour to the food.
Manathakkali Keerai or Black Night Shade or மணத்தக்காளிக் கீரை
Black Night Shade is a plant grown anywhere as it doesn’t require much of water or fertile soil. The small fruit which this plant bears has medicinal values and it is used in many of the dishes. These small fruits and the leaves help to cure mouth and stomach ulcers. This give strength to muscles and eyesight and reduces urinary infection. The juice of this leaves is used to cure infections in liver and pancreas.
Thoothuvalai Keerai or Thai Night Shade or தூதுவளைக் கீரை
This plant is mainly used to cure common cold and cough. It is also good for wheezing and asthma problems. Its a climber that grows anywhere. Leaves, flower, fruit and roots of this plant has medicinal values. Curved thorns are found in the plant even the leaves bear thorns which are considered to be mildly toxic. So it is necessary to remove the thorns before you consume. You can stir fry the green leaves in oil or ghee or this leaves can be dried in shade and powdered and consumed. These leaves are rich in calcium and iron.
In general all greens have high nutritional value.Use these easily available greens to get many nutrients in cheaper price. Take different kinds of greens as a part of your meal.
Though greens have a lot of health benefits, due to its high dietary fibers and nutrients present in it may cause indigestion. So to avoid this try to consume it in a limited amount. Do not take greens for your dinner as it may result in digestion problems. EAT HEALTHY AND STAY HEALTHY.