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By Kristen Carli, MS, RD

10 Best Green Leafy Vegetables

For many of us, the narrative of consuming buttery pasta, indulgent desserts, sweet cocktails, and lots of party-town carbs over the weekend is always a sign of a 'good time.' But then visions of a hearty kale salad bursting with multi-colored veggies might dominate our thoughts. There’s a reason we humans CRAVE green leafy vegetables—because they instantly nourish us and make us feel on top of the world.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, people have been munching on leafy greens since prehistoric times. The most popular ones like spinach and kale contain a handful of exceptional nutrients, like fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.1

Of course, here at Suja, we’re huge fans. So today, we’re sharing our coveted leafy greens list and a few creative ways to consume more of these in your wellness routine!

The 10 Best Green Leafy Vegetables

kale and spinach greens

1. Spinach

Viewed as one of the most versatile and accessible leafy greens on our list, you really can’t go wrong with a spinach salad. But we also love adding spinach to a satiating white bean soup or bowl of brown rice pasta with luscious red sauce. We’re also fans of adding it to a chocolatey berry smoothie! From a nutritional perspective, spinach contains folate, which can support healthy cell division and overall wellness!2

2. Arugula

Coming in hot with a very distinct, peppery flavor, arugula will always add an unbeatable zest to a Neapolitan-style pizza or a loaded veggie sandwich. Although it holds a delicate texture, it certainly bursts with flavor and can elevate any dish! Fun fact - the best “seasons” for arugula are typically fall or spring.

3. Kale

Looking to increase vitamin C and K intake? Choose kale! This popular leafy green contains a host of nutrients that can elevate your wellness routine. It’s earthy, crunchy, and best when massaged with fresh olive oil and lemon. Like its cousins spinach and arugula, you can toss kale into just about any salad, soup, or stir fry.

4. Swiss chard

Did you know that vibrant Swiss chard actually belongs in the beet family? It also contains lots of calcium, iron, and a slew of vitamins that can support overall wellness.3

A few of our favorite ways to consume this leafy green is by braising it in a light broth or wine until tender. Adding some fresh garlic, onions, tomatoes, and herbs can make it a nutritious side dish. Another terrific way to cook Swiss chard is in a stir fry with salty soy sauce, other veggies, and hearty proteins such as tofu, chicken, or shrimp.

5. Romaine Lettuce

What’s a leafy greens list without romaine lettuce? High in vitamin K and A, which can bolster immune health, romaine is always ultra crisp and refreshing. We love it as the base of any type of salad, especially in a crunchy Caesar wrap layered with creamy lemon garlic dressing.

6. Collard Greens

Although it skews a bit more “bitter” than the rest, collard greens are a Southern cooking staple—containing high amounts of folate, vitamin C, and calcium. As part of the cabbage family, collard greens are hearty— flaunting thicker stems. If you’ve never tried collard greens before, we definitely suggest doing a quick Google search for a “Southern collard greens recipe” and making this an entry point into the world of collard greens.

7. Watercress

It’s not always the talk of the town, but watercress is a yummy leafy green gem, known for its distinctive peppery taste and tender leaves! Accessible mostly all year round, you can toss watercress into a salad with sweet apples, slivered almonds, and champagne dressing! You can also assemble it on a Crudités platter with various other veggies and delectable dipping sauces.

8. Bok choy

Known as Chinese cabbage, bok choy is practically mustard greens ‘adjacent’ and combines the flavor of water chestnuts and spinach. The stems are crunchy and the leaves span out like cabbage, emitting a slightly peppery flavor. Of course, we love chopping up bok choy and adding it to a stir fry. However, it makes a terrific standalone side! Simply saute it in a little oil, and add garlic, shallots, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Gently top on white rice with a protein of your choice!

9. Endive

Often described as slightly earthy and nutty in flavor, endive belongs in the “wild chicory” family. The leaves look like tiny boats—perfect for holding tuna or chicken salad or dunking into your favorite appetizing dip. Also, don’t be shocked if you can’t find endive at your local grocery store. This leafy green is a bit of a rarity, but typically you can find it at a farmer’s market.

10. Turnip greens

As part of the “cruciferous” veggie clan, turnip greens are full of good nutrients, like calcium, and vitamins K and C. The leaves are pretty durable with a more mild flavor. In the South, turnip greens are a go-to, often paired with brown rice and a healthy portion of black-eyed peas.

How to Consume More Leafy Greens

So the running theme here is that leafy greens can make incredibly delicious, robust salads, healthy wraps, stir fries, stews, and soups. Simply adding a handful of leafy greens to a meal can help you hit the recommended four to five servings a day, according to the American Heart Association.4

However, if you don’t want to go through the hassle of all that meal prep and don’t have time to stress over it, Organic Greens could be your “wellness” knight in shining armor. You get a full serving of veggies within seconds, including the leafy ones we just mentioned, like kale and spinach.

“I've been adding this Organic Greens Powder to my mornings and I love it. It's a quick and easy way to improve my wellness and help ensure I get some key nutrients I might otherwise miss throughout the day. Would absolutely recommend!”
- Verified buyer, Ryan F

With over 15+ essential vitamins and minerals, you can life-hack your routine automatically. Plus, you’ll feel more energized, while supporting your immune and digestive system.

Don’t Wait to Upgrade Your Health Routine

You can instantly upgrade your health routine by just eating more veggies! So next time you’re perusing the produce section, be sure to bring our leafy greens list.

Also, don’t snooze on Organic Greens—one of the most convenient ways to get an excellent source of vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, plus hit your veggies goals every day!

Green Leafy Vegetables


  1. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables: USDA ARS. (n.d.).
  2. Folic Acid vs. Folate — What’s the Difference? (2019, August 19). Healthline.
  3. Swiss chard: Possible health benefits, uses, and risks. (2017, May 19).
  4. American Heart Association. (2010). Fruits and Vegetables Serving Sizes.

By Kristen Carli, MS, RD

Kristen Carli is the owner of Camelback Nutrition & Wellness, a private nutrition practice and consulting firm. She graduated from University of Arizona with a BA in psychology and then received a BS in dietetics from Arizona State University. After completion of the dietetic internship, she continued her education by receiving a MS in Human Nutrition from University of Western States. Having a passion for nutrition communication, she writes for many food and nutrition outlets as well as regularly develops recipes for food brands and media companies. Her nutrition expertise has been featured in InStyle, Bustle, Livestrong, The List, MyFitnessPal and many others. Additionally, Kristen is often featured via local TV segments sharing nutrition tips and tricks. She was selected to act as a Produce for Better Health Foundation Fruit and Vegetable Ambassador in Action, helping to promote the health benefits and importance of consuming fruits and vegetables, as well as a FoodMinds upwaRD winner for 2022, honoring up and coming media dietitians. You can find her reading, running, and exploring new restaurants with her husband and baby boy.