Finding recipes that the whole family will enjoy can be challenging, but luckily solutions do exist. When you’re pressed for time and in need of an easy dinner recipe, don’t panic. Our Lemon Thyme Halibut is an easy dinner recipe that will keep you on track to meet your weight loss goals. Naturally high in protein and rich in essential nutrients, like vitamin D and B-12, this recipe delivers a healthy option that takes less than thirty minutes to prepare
For Starters, you’ll need (Serves 4):
You’ll need a basting brush, baking sheet (optional), aluminum foil
4 4 oz Halibut Fillets
1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp garlic minced
2 tbsp fresh thyme
3 tbsp Fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1. Begin by preheating oven to 400 degrees. A barbeque grill works just fine as well and should be set to medium-high and allow to preheat.
2. Lay out your halibut fillets and, using a basting brush, brush the halibut fillets with olive oil. Then mince garlic and thyme leaves before spreading them on top of fillets.
3. Take your lemons or lemon juice and squeeze fresh lemon juice over fillets. Next, sprinkle your fillets with fresh sea salt (Himalayan salt is a great, healthy alternative for sea salt if available).
4. Place your fillets directly on your grill or, if using an oven, place them on a baking sheet before popping them in. Cook for 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness of your fillets (halibut is ready when the fish starts to flake).
5. Remove from grill or oven and immediately cover the fillets tightly with aluminum foil for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes of sitting covered with foil, remove, serve, and enjoy.
In my last post, we discussed how many eggs you should be eating and what your safe levels of cholesterol should be. Now what if I told you there was an actual breakfast food that could reduce cholesterol? Yes, it’s oatmeal! Oatmeal magically reduces the amount of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol in your body.
Oatmeal’s other fun factor is that it makes you feel full a lot longer, making it easy to reduce your calorie intake just by exchanging your normal greasy breakfast with this one-bowl wonder. Plus, it can be easily portable and a quick snap to prepare, making it a great option to bring to work.
But how do you jazz up something that may at times remind you of dismal force-feedings as a child? Lots of different toppings can make your oatmeal more fun, and they all allow you to change it up so you don’t get bored by monotony. A little goes a long way, so here’s a list of the ingredients you could use for your next bowl of oatmeal:
One of the diets I skimmed through today is called “The Simple Pescatarian Diet” which adheres to some solid health principles, such as eating lots of fish, fresh fruit and dairy (mercury levels and lactose intolerance aside) but I feel its overuse of eggs is a tad questionable. The regimen advises the dieter to eat 6-7 scrambled eggs during the week, which led me to today’s blog question: how many eggs should you be eating?
Eggs sometimes get a bad rap because of their high cholesterol levels (which is only contained in the yolk, measuring at 215 mg, while the recommended daily limit is 300 mg), but in moderation, they are actually an amazing food. They do contain B vitamins and are a healthy source of protein since they contain all 9 essential amino acids. They are also high in choline, which can help prevent breast cancer. Eggs have been shown to also help prevent macular degeneration because of their high lutein content. The American Heart Association recommends eating 3-4 eggs a week. But eggs are a hidden ingredient in many foods, such as pastries, certain breads, muffins and other baked goods. Our nation is one where high cholesterol, which contributes to heart disease, is a problem for many people. Every 34 seconds, somebody in America will die from heart disease  and I know my readers have no plans of becoming part of a statistic.
I make a point to keep abreast of every fad diet around, and I was alarmed to find yet another terrible diet is on the march: the 3-day diet . This awful diet causes the person to eat small breakfasts and lunches, which is fine, but then tells you to consume a cup of ice cream or two beef franks along with dinner! The portions are just ridiculous, and it looks like anyone on this diet must want to starve during the daytime and then stuff him or herself at night. Which is not the point of a diet, especially with heart disease on the rise, since the last thing we need is more sodium from preserved meat such as beef franks.
The second biggest flaw in the 3-day diet is that it tells you to drink four glasses of water a day . You need more water than that, and it's really too bad that water's role in successful dieting is often neglected. Water is one of the easiest ways to feel full without packing on the pounds - or even becoming sluggish and slow during your workday . Water keeps your system running smoothly, helps prevent headaches and helps keep your kidneys running in tip-top shape, resulting in better fat-burning metabolism.
Frozen yogurt is all the rage right now , especially with so many new types, brands, flavors, and stores being introduced. It's cold, delicious and nutritious, but it can also pack a lot of sugar and hidden calories, as well as artificial ingredients. Today I'd like to discuss the pros and cons of frozen yogurt to help you decide if it's the best dessert for you.
Grocery vs Store-Bought Yogurt: Health Benefits
Not every yogurt is created equal. Grocery or supermarket frozen yogurt is very inferior to most yogurt-shop varieties, as most commercial yogurts are subjected to heat, which kills the beneficial bacteria . Eating the beneficial bacteria in the more tart frozen yogurt brands, such as Pinkberry and Red Mango (called probiotics, also in regular, non-frozen yogurt), helps your digestive system process food. But beware because not all frozen yogurt brands contain these special live bacterias, so if you are not sure, ask the store! More often than not, because live active cultures are such a health benefit, the yogurt store will advertise them in their product.
Fat-Free, Low-Fat or Low Calorie?
One of the most interesting nutritional health questions I've heard these past few weeks was posed to me by my young son. He asked: "What's better for you, fruit or vegetables?" This is not a simple question to answer, and I love how my son’s inquiry has offered me something new and challenging to think about and now share with you.
Because a lively argument is so much fun, let's do this debate style and hear from each side of the table, point by point. We should also clearly identify what’s considered to be a fruit and what’s a vegetable.
Though tomatoes, bell peppers and eggplants are technically fruit, they are eaten more as vegetables as part of things like salads, cooked dishes, so we'll just eschew any botanical conventions for now and count them in the vegetable group.
Fact: Animal meat is a source of complete protein.
Fact: Soybeans and soy are also a complete source of protein.
What are complete proteins? Wikipedia defines complete or whole proteins as “a source of protein that contains an adequate proportion of all of the essential amino acids for the dietary needs of humans.” Soy’s complete proteins are similar in composition to egg whites and milk protein and are also easy to digest.
Soy is also low in saturated fat and contains zero cholesterol. It’s important to keep your cholesterol count low as it can clog your arteries and put you at risk for heart disease, a major killer. Soy is also a great source of fiber, which is key for a healthy digestive system and can actually help lower cholesterol.
There is one caveat with soy for certain women. Soy can act like a pseudo-estrogen. If you are a breast cancer survivor or have a history of breast cancer in your family, you have probably already been advised to stay away from any medications containing estrogen or estrogen-like hormones, such as birth control pills, because they can increase the risk for breast cancer in people who are already prone to the disease. Because soy can act like a pseudo estrogen, breast cancer survivors and those with a genetic disposition for breast cancer should avoid eating large amounts of soy for the same reasons they should stay away from hormone pills. That being said, aside from this caveat, soy is a very healthy super food.
Though recipes are the gourmand’s ’safe bet’ in an uncertain world, wouldn’t it be nice if we could simply cook a vegetable based on its color, knowing how to craft culinary morsels with only a swift and assured glance? Trouble yourself no more. By the end of this guide, you will be armed to the teeth with enough knowledge to please any discerning palate.
All vegetables have pigments. Pigments are an indicator of how the vegetable should be cooked or eaten. The golden rule is to preserve a vegetable’s natural color to ensure that its nutritional content stays intact.
Vegetables may be grouped into four color categories (with examples):
White: potatoes, turnips, celery, cauliflower, onions, mushrooms, cucumbers
Yellow or Orange: carrots, yams, squashes/pumpkins, sweet potatoes
Red: beets, red cabbage, red beans
Green: beans, broccoli, peas, spinach, parsley, asparagus, artichokes, okra
The benefits of olive oil have been proclaimed far and wide. Even if you are already aware of some of them, this list goes through the most interesting facets of olive oil. If you aren't a fan of olive oil already, I think this post may more than convince you to incorporate olive oil into your diet.
1. There Are 4 Types of Olive Oil
Olive oil is made by pressing the core of olives to extract the oil, and extra virgin olive oil is made with the first press. Because olive oil is expensive, it's often used sparingly to drizzle over carpaccio, bruschetta and other Italian delicacies or salads where the oil can really be tasted. When looking for quality "E-V-O-O," go for the cold pressed variety, as heat can change the taste.
The second type, virgin olive oil, is a bit more acidic and good for when you want a tart flavor for pomodoro sauces or maybe even a quick pasta with fresh tomatoes, lemon juice and a good Parmigiano Reggano.
Pure olive oil, despite its name, is actually a blend of refined leftovers from the virgin olive oil extraction process and virgin olive oil. It's cheaper, so it's best for frying.
Light olive oil is actually the worst quality, so watch out for bottle labels that say '100% pure olive oil.'
2. Olive Oil is the Only All-Natural Vegetable Oil
Olive oil is the only vegetable oil that can be consumed as is, ready to be consumed fresh and straight from the olive press. No heat or chemicals are required in the extraction process, so if you buy extra virgin or virgin olive oil, you should feel safe with the quality of the final product.
Today's power food under the microscopic spotlight is the mighty asparagus, the tightrope-balancing, one-act wonder of the nutritional world.
Asparagus is one of the most nutritious, well-balanced vegetables around, containing considerable vitamins and minerals that can supply what the body needs. You might never reach for a supplement again. For one, asparagus is a great source of folic acid. A 5.3 ounce serving of asparagus can provide 60% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for folacin. Folacin is needed for blood cell formation, growth and the prevention of liver diseases. Folacin has also shown to play an important role in the prevention of neural tube defects like spina befida, which causes paralysis and death for 2,500 babies every year. So if you're expecting children, make a note of this power food.
Asparagus is also low in sodium and calories which makes it ideal for dieters and the health conscious.
Tomatoes are a wonderful fruit, and are essential to any weight loss regimen. Say you decided to have steak and potatoes for dinner, but you want to lose weight. You eat a half portion of what you were originally planning to eat, but you replace the remainder with insalata caprese, a delightful salad of tomato slices, paper thin mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves. Voila! You're on your way starting your healthy diet!
Tomatoes can't be beat for versatility. You can eat them raw, add them to a salad, put them in your sandwich, make them into pasta sauces and pizza toppings, and toss whole or pureed into soups and stews, or even make them into juice. They're cheap too, and can even be grown at home. Normal garden tomatoes are easy to grow on the vine, but cherry tomatoes are harder to cultivate.
Tomato Nutrition Facts
If you're not on the miso bandwagon already, jump on! You might remember miso soup from your last trip to a Japanese restaurant. A bowl filled with dashi stock, silky tofu and seaweed is set in front of you. Inside that bowl floats a cloud of flavor, a fog of salty richness that disperses with a gentle stir of your chopsticks. That, my friends, is pure delicious and nutritious miso.
Have you heard about how the residents of Okinawa island are the longest-living people in the world? Here are some facts about the Okinawans from About.com. Okinawans have...
- more people over 100 years old per 100,000 population than anywhere else in the world
- the lowest death rates from cancer, heart disease and stroke (the top three killers in the US)
- the highest life expectancy for both males and females over 65
Research has attributed the incredible good health of Okinawans to a positive attitude, not smoking, lots of exercise and a healthy diet rich in soybeans - and miso is made up of fermented soybeans! The typical Japanese breakfast staples include rice and miso soup.
When people consult with me on what to eat for healthy weight loss, I tell them that one of the best health moves they can make is to replace refined food products with whole grains alternatives. Whole grains have been identified as one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Disassembled, whole grain is made up of bran, endosperm and germ. Unlike books, you can actually judge whole grain by its cover, as its outermost layer, bran,is rich in iron, riboflavin, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, thiamine and zinc. When you eat white rice and white flour, the nutritious outer layer has been husked off and all you’re eating is endosperm. What a waste of goodness!
‘Ingrained’ In Your Diet
Eating bran cereal, white cereal, oats, whole wheat bread and whole-wheat flour is one of the most effective ways to lose weight because of the high fiber content. Fiber rich food requires prolonged digestion, which prevents frequent over-eating because you feel full. You’ve probably felt how short-lived fast food sustenance is; you could eat one junk food meal now, but in 2 hours you’d just be looking for more food again.
If you look around in your grocery store these days, you’ll see a wide range of products that tout the fact that they’re healthy because they are fortified with flax and/or flax seeds, such as tortilla chips, cereals, breads, baked goods, and more. The question is, does this really mean all of these products are healthier?
Flax in Two Forms
Let’s start by discussing the actual health benefits of flax. Flax is an excellent source of fiber and Omega 3 fats, a.k.a. “the healthy good-for-you-fat.” These fats actually help you lower your cholesterol, but like all food, should still be eaten in moderation and balance. According to the National Cancer Institute, flax also has potential cancer fighting properties, although further study is needed.
Flax and all of its nutritional benefits can be absorbed in the body in two ways. It can either be ground up or sprinkled into foods, or it can be used as flax seed oil. However, flax seed oil has a very delicate chemical nature. Because of this, it must remain refrigerated and lasts only approximately 90 days. This oil can be used as a topping on vegetables or added to salads and dressings. However, it cannot be cooked.
They may not be in the Guinness Book of World Records, but these foods are deserving of accolades and recognition. Be sure to add these to your diet to give yourself a much needed nutrition boost.
Salmon is a great source of Omega fatty 3 acids. This health booster is great at lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol while increasing “good” HDL cholesterol. Salmon is also a very versatile protein source and can be a good substitute for meat.
It is recommended that you consume 2 servings of salmon a week. Wild salmon is considered the healthiest, and can be sold canned or frozen too.
With all the anti-fat themes present in the media, you might wonder if there is such a thing as good fat. Isn’t all fat bad?
I have good news for you...the answer is no! Fat plays its own role in our as a useful tool to better absorb soluble vitamins and by lining our stomachs, helping us feel full. When we’re feeling lethargic, fat serves as an emergency energy reserve. Fat is also used in nutrient transport and in insulating nerves. We also need fat to build cell membranes, and it’s also a major component in some hormones. Although fat is required in our diets, we need to make an informed choice about which type of fat to eat.
Today we gently tackle another topic: saturated fat. Found mainly in fatty meats, butter, cheese and whole milk, saturated fats are composed of “saturated” hydrogen atoms, which make them rigid in structure and hard at room temperature. Saturated fat is also found in coconut milk, coconut oil, palm oil and cocoa butter.
Saturated Fat Dangers
Medical experts conclude that saturated fat raises LDL or “bad” cholesterol in the blood. It is damaging to the heart and arteries since LDL accumulates in artery walls and can trigger inflammation, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
The flip side is that saturated fats alone do not cause the condition. There are other factors like sedentary lifestyle, work stress and even other food eaten in conjunction with saturated fats. To minimize intake of “bad” saturated fats, choose lean sources of protein and low-fat or non-fat dairy products. Read labels on packaged foods, such as cookies, crackers and microwave popcorn, to avoid palm and coconut oil
Take a sip of soft drink, and you’ve just tasted high fructose corn syrup, one of its main ingredients. High-fructose corn syrup, or HCFS, is a mixture of sucrose and fructose, and is popular in a wide range of sweetened food. Sadly, new research has linked HCFS to an increase in obesity, diabetes, hypertension and atherosclerosis. HCFS is so common in processed foods and over-consumed by the average person that many health experts believe that it will support increasing rates of metabolic disease in the future.
It’s impossible to walk through the supermarket without noticing the strange words attached to our food products. Instead of simple milk, flour and sugar, we see products proclaiming that they are ‘refined,’ ‘fortified,’ ‘organic’ and ‘enriched.’ To clear up the confusion, today we’re going to tackle the real meaning behind the word enriched. We need to hold manufacturers responsible for what additives they decide to ‘enrich’ our food with...for our eating pleasure of course.
The Reason Behind Enrichment
One reason manufacturers say their product is enriched is because it adds to the hype. It seems like you’re somehow getting added value. Although it may seem a good idea at first, the enrichment process refers to the adding back of nutrients and/or vitamins that were lost during processing. That means the enriched milk you’re buying for your kids is mostly powdered milk and water, with substances added to bulk it up that are definitely NOT milk. What you’re buying is definitely not a whole, healthy or premium item. The manufacturer has created a product that is cheaper to produce while convincing the average consumer that the product is somehow better than its natural counterparts.
Trans fat has long been a hidden public menace, clogging up our arteries like bad wasteand increasing the incidence of coronary heart disease.
A lot of people think they’re trans fat free, and I hope they are. We’re all learning to buy brands that proclaim ‘no trans fats’ while roaming the shopping aisles. However, not everything the typical person eats boasts a ‘no trans fats’ label, as trans fats are too deeply ingrained into our public consumption cycles for us to simply assume they’re gone. It may surprise you to know that trans fats have been commercially available since the 1910s. That’s one hundred years of trans fats!
Trans Fats are Chemical Preservatives
The main reason why trans fat is used in almost all food products is that it prolongs the shelf life of processed food products. It is also known to enhance the flavor of food, and is a superior baking agent to lard, which was a big deal back in the early 1900s.
Most of the trans fat we eat comes from processing liquid vegetable oil into solid fat.When trans fat travels through the arteries and into the intestines, it turns into sludge, blocking up your blood vessels and seriously damaging your heart. This is when trans fat becomes very dangerous to your health.
In my previous post on how to read food labels, I listed some ingredients to avoid which were bad for your health. Foremost on the list is white or refined sugar, and I’d like to explain why.
Do You Even Know What Refined Sugar Really Is?
White sugar is crystallized sucrose made from beet or cane juice. Sounds safe right? Did you know that during the refinement process, all vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber and water are stripped away? What is left is this chemical product that has no nutritional value, and is a whopping 774 calories per cup. Amazingly, the typical American still consumes two to three pounds of white sugar every week.
Refined Sugar Stunts Growth, Immune System
Greetings readers! I’m sure you all know by now that I’m a licensed nutritionist and devoted mom. Despite what some people believe about nutritionists, I don’t have an underground hydroponic farm where I grow my own organic lettuce and free-range turkey; I have to drive to a supermarket and buy my groceries like any other time-conscious parent. However, I always take the time to read the food labels, because you are what you eat. I invite you to let your eyes travel farther south, beyond the calorie and fat counts on your food labels, and learn the real deal about what you are putting in your mouth.
What is Tofu?
Tofu is a soft cheese-like food made by compressing curdled soymilk into blocks. It has a very mild taste, absorbing the flavor of anything it is paired with. Silken tofu is smooth and breaks easily like an egg custard Italian panna cotta, while firm tofu is springy and porous, and can substitute for meat in many dishes.
Tofu is definitely a power food because of its nutritional value. Tofu is high in protein, iron, and several other minerals, while being low in cholesterol and other fats. Tofu also takes a short time to cook. As opposed to roasting meat for an hour or more, tofu can be quickly pan fried in a matter of minutes or even eaten raw in soups or desserts. With these facts in mind, it's simple to see why many people opt for this power food instead of red meat streaked with fat.
Plus, on its owns, tofu has virtually no taste, but it easily absorbs any flavor you pair it with. It can take on any marinade, herb, spice, sauce, or anything else you cook it in, so it can be very diverse across many different types of cuisines.
What Are The Health Benefits of Tofu?
Tofu is a rich source of both high quality protein and B-vitamins, so it’s the natural substitute for meat in vegetarian recipes. Tofu also contains a high amount of calcium, which originates from the coagulant in the curdling process. This is when the soy proteins are precipitated with calcium, which is essential to the prevention of osteoporosis.
Like most other soy foods, tofu reduces heart disease by lowering the level of the "bad" LDL cholesterol, and as the result maintaining the level of "good" HDL cholesterol.
Tofu is also rich in isoflavones. Firm tofu contains about 35mg isoflavones per 100g. Isoflavones reduce the risk of osteoporosis,a disease associated with reduced bone density and increased bone fractures. Isoflavones also reduce the risk of breast prostate cancer, and inhibit menopausal symptoms like mood swings and hot flashes.
I’ve always been interested in foods that heal, and my blog would not be complete without mentioning the nutritional superstar, turmeric. I don’t think people use enough turmeric in their cooking, probably because it’s not a popular flavor in American food recipes.
What is Turmeric?
A bright yellow spice, turmeric tastes like a peppery mixture of ginger and musky orange. You’ve probably tried it in egg salad and Indian curries, but it might surprise you to learn it’s also an ingredient in ballpark mustard. It also lends itself well to pickles, relish, chutneys, rice dishes, butter and cheese. Exotic and fragrant, turmeric is actually the powdered rhizome (root) of the plant Curcuma longa, a cousin of the ginger plant, and has been used in India for over 2500 years. The yellow coloring substance present in turmeric, called curcumin, appears to be the major active component.
15 Reasons to Love Turmeric
The misunderstood avocado is not a force of evil in the dieting world. Most people shy away from this fruit because it’s ‘so fattening,’ only seen next to a bowl ofnachos.. The fad diet books have warned us about its dual nature. “You can eat fruit, but shy away from the avocado or it will make you fat!”
Sure, the avocado is high in fat. It’s almost all fat. One avocado is about 360 calories and 30 grams of fat. However, it’s high in monounsaturated fat, and that kind of fat is good for your heart. –Plus, avocado’s health benefits include helping to control diabetes, fighting inflammation and protecting babies from birth defects.
Avocados for Diabetics
Have you heard about the man who went to see his doctor? He said, “Doctor, Doctor I feel like a goat.” The doctor, surprised, said, “How long have you felt like that?” The man replied, “Since I was a kid.”
Jokes aside, I can imagine the average person on the street squirming at the thought of drinking milk that came from a goat. It’s a little unusual in the United States, yes, but goat milk packs so many benefits that I really must challenge you to try it. Chances are you’ve already tried some goat milk products. Goat milk is used in many fine foreign cheeses, such as Greek feta, the Italian Caprino, and a number of French Chèvres. It also makes a popular moisturizer, thought to keep the skin elastic and smooth.
Goat Milk vs. Cow Milk
Roasting a bell pepper seems to break all of the normal rules of cooking. You need to roast the pepper until it’s black and burnt, but once you peel away all the charred skin, a glorious treasure is revealed: sweet, soft and impeccably delicious. Red, orange and yellow peppers are best for this process..
Peppers Roasting on an Open Fire
First, remove the stem and innards of the pepper. Then, take your whole pepper and slice it into halves. You can then cook it directly over a flame or broiler with a pair of tongs. Be sure to turn it over ever so often so both sides are evenly cooked. When the skin chars evenly on all sides, turn off the heat and let it rest in a closed brown paper bag for a few minutes before rinsing it under cold water. The skin will easily slide off. Be careful though, as the pepper is Usually very hot. Too hot for bare hands, so use something to protect yourself when peeling the charred skin.
Storing Your Tasty Jewels
I love eating yogurt with my kids in the morning, poured over fresh birch muesli or over oatmeal, tangy and sweet with glistening, ripe fruit. I even sneak it into lunch, pairing grilled chicken kebabs with delicious tzatziki, a cold, creamy blend of yogurt, spices, fresh garlic and cucumber. And all the while I’m purring like a cat knowing this 5,400 year old food product is not only rich in calcium, riboflavin, protein and B12, but that it’s also got some hidden benefits up its sleeve.
1. Yogurt for Weight Loss
For one, did you know that yogurt effectively aids weight loss? A study published in the International Journal of Obesity (11 January 2005) found that obese individuals who ate 3 servings of low fat yogurt a day as part of a low calorie diet lost 22% more weight than the control group who only cut back on calories and did not have extra calcium. They also lost 81% more abdominal fat.” An additional study by the University of Washington in Seattle showed that people who consumed a 200-calorie yogurt snack felt significantly fuller and subsequently ate less than people who consumed other types of 200-calorie snacks . So make yogurt part of your daily diet today - but if you want to lose weight, opt for unsweetened, natural yogurt over ripe fruit, instead of varieties that are higher in sugar and empty calories.
Leafy green vegetables are low in calories and therefore ideal for weight management. In addition, they are also useful in reducing cancer and heart disease because they are low fat, high in dietary fiber, and rich in folic acid, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium.
Leafy green vegetables are rich in phytochemicals, such as lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene. Studies have shown that a daily serving of green leafy vegetables lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease by 11%. The frequent consumption of green salads is associated with a lower risk of mortality among Americans.
The high magnesium content and low glycemic index of leafy green vegetables are essential for people with type 2 diabetes. An increased serving daily of green leafy vegetables was associated with 9% lower risk of diabetes. These vegetables are also high in vitamin K which is important for osteocalcin, a protein needed for bone health. Certain leafy green vegetables are good sources of calcium and iron. The rich beta-carotene content is also converted to vitamin A which helps to improve the immune function. Children should have a daily intake of leafy greens which provides a good source vitamin A in the body.