Nutrient-Dense Food: Five Leafy Greens for Healthy Eating

This close-up image shows chard growing in the ground. Chard is a nutrient dense food, like other leafy greens.

Dark leafy greens are a type of nutrient-dense food and ideal to add to your diet if you’re trying to eat healthier. The green beauties contain extra-high levels of vital nutrients.

Here’s a quick look at some of our favorite leafy greens.


Microgreens are young plant shoots that are eaten about 5-10 days after they sprout. You can grow a variety of plants for microgreens. Some popular ones include radish, sunflower, broccoli, beets, and more! Microgreens are not only incredibly fast and easy to grow, but also incredibly nutrient-dense! A study performed by the USDA found that microgreens contained significantly higher levels of nutrients compared to their adult plant counterparts! (More about that here)


Swiss chard, which comes in a variety of colors from green to hot pink, is a beautiful and hardy edible to add to your garden or landscape! The leaves are slightly bitter, but better tasting than Kale, in my personal experience. They can be eaten raw or cooked to mellow the bitterness. In addition to a host of vitamins and minerals, chard also contains a special flavonoid called syringic acid. This flavonoid has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties!

Plated salad featuring spinach, chicken and pomegranate. Spinach is a leafy green and nutrient dense food.
Photo by Kaboompics .com on


Spinach has long been touted as a “healthy green” and it’s easy to see why! Spinach is rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, folic acid, fiber, calcium, and Vitamins A, C, and K. To get the most out of your spinach, it’s recommended to eat it with foods that help your body absorb iron, like veggies & fruits high in Vitamin C. Spinach is primarily grown during the cooler seasons. It is a great addition to salads, pasta, smoothies, and egg dishes. It can even be used to fill ravioli, burritos, and more!

Bok Choy/ Pac Choi

Many people are surprised to learn that Bok Choy is a type of cabbage! You can eat it by harvesting the young green leaves, or wait for the head to form and then harvest the entire head. Bok choy is very similar in flavor to spinach. It’s a super easy leafy green to add to almost any dish and can be eaten raw or sauteed. It’s high in fiber, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc, manganese, and selenium. It’s also in Vitamins A, C, and K. 


Arugula is a favorite in our household! This mustard family green has a peppery flavor. It can be a bit bitter when picked too maturely or during the heat of summer. However, sauteeing can help reduce the bitterness and make the flavor more enjoyable. Arugula is high in potassium, folate, calcium, and Vitamins A, C, and K.