Like other dark, leafy greens, collards are sky-high in vitamin K—a mere cup provides more than twice the daily requirement of this fat-soluble vitamin essential for proper blood clotting and bone formation. Further upping the health cachet of this Southern staple are impressive amounts of cancer-fighting beta-carotene, as well as vitamin C and folate. Collards are also brimming with lutein and zeaxanthin, an antioxidant dynamic duo that help bolster eye health.
Choose It & Use It
Less bitter than many dark greens, raw collards are a welcome addition to a salad bowl, or try them as a low-calorie lunch wrapper. Studies show that lightly steaming the leaves is the best way to turn up their antioxidant power. Collards go limp quickly, so use them up within a couple days.