Nutrients in (and not in) Leafy Greens

A nutritionist/RD blogs that leafy greens are a "great" source of omega-3 and vitamin E.


A standard (FDA) serving of leafy greens – 85 grams, or about ½ cup cooked – is NOT a great source of either vitamin E or omega-3 fatty acids. Both are more plentiful in fatty foods (nuts, seeds, fish, etc.). A serving of kale, spinach, Swiss chard or arugula is in the range of 2-8% Daily Value for vitamin E. It would need to have more than 3x that amount to reach “great source” (i.e., 20% or more of DV). The good thing about greens, however, is they are so low in calories, that you can eat 3+ servings (assuming no fats/oils added) for less than 100 calories. Omega-3 has no established Daily Value, so there is really no way to label something as a “good source” or “great source.” But even if we go with the generally accepted recommendation of 1 gram per day of ALA (the omega-3 fatty acid from non-fish sources), most leafy greens would not be even a “good source” (10% DV or more) as they contain less than 100 mg ALA per serving.

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