Some vegetables are more healthy than others, here are my top 10.
This leafy green tops the chart as one of the healthiest vegetables, thanks to its impressive nutrient profile.
One cup (30 grams) of raw spinach provides 56% of your daily vitamin A needs plus your entire daily vitamin K requirement — all for just 7 calories.Spinach also boasts a great deal of antioxidants, which can help reduce the risk of chronic disease.
One study found that dark green leafy vegetables like spinach are high in beta-carotene and lutein, two types of antioxidants that have been associated with a decreased risk of cancer.In addition, a 2015 study found that spinach consumption may be beneficial for heart health, as it may lower blood pressure.
2.Red Bell Pepper
Versatile and flavourful, red bell peppers are a common ingredient in a variety of raw and cooked dishes. This low-calorie food holds roughly 150 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin C begins to break down if cooked above 375 degrees fahrenheit, meaning the vegetable loses some of its nutritional value when cooked.
Try this: Simply cut a raw pepper into slices for a crisp, tasty snack on-the-go.
Beet roots’ edible leafy tops are brimming with vitamin K, which is linked to a lower chance of getting type 2 diabetes. One cup raw provides nearly twice your daily requirement. Cooking tip: Saute a bunch of tender beet greens with some olive oil and garlic for a healthy side dish. Or chop them and add to frittatas, soups, or pasta dishes.
Kale is a very popular leafy green vegetable with several health benefits. It provides 7 calories per cup of raw leaves and good amounts of vitamins A, C, and K.
Kale may benefit people with high cholesterol. One small study reports that men with high cholesterol who drank 150 milliliters of kale juice per day for 12 weeks experienced:
- a 10 percent reduction in low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol
- a 27 percent increase in high-density lipoprotein, or “good,” cholesterol
Other research suggests that kale juice reduces blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.
How to eat kale
People use baby kale in pasta dishes, salads, and sandwiches. Also, try making kale chips, or juice kale for its heart-healthy benefits.
Carrots are packed with vitamin A, providing 428% of the daily recommended value in just one cup (128 grams)They contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant that gives carrots their vibrant orange color and could help in cancer prevention
In fact, one study revealed that for each serving of carrots per week, participants’ risk of prostate cancer decreased by 5%Another study showed that eating carrots may reduce the risk of lung cancer in smokers as well. Compared to those who ate carrots at least once a week, smokers who did not eat carrots had a three times greater risk of developing lung cancer
Carrots are also high in vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium
Like kale, broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable and holds the same anti-carcinogenic properties outlined above. In comparison to other cruciferous vegetables, though, broccoli has the highest concentration of carotenoids, a category of compounds shown to decrease the risk of disease, particularly cancer and eye diseases.
One caveat: As SFgate.com explains, “Some folks [may] experience gas and bloating from difficult-to-digest sugars found in raw cruciferous vegetables” like broccoli.
Try this: For an easy, crunchy snack, try tossing raw broccoli with vinegar and salt in a large bowl.
With an earthy-sweet flavor, asparagus is a good way to load up on folate. Research suggests that this B vitamin is an ally in the battle against high blood pressure. Cooking tip: Shave raw asparagus with a vegetable peeler. You’ll get ribbons that are wonderful in salads.
Peas are sweet, starchy vegetables that provide 134 calories per cooked cup. They are also high in:
- fiber, at 9 grams per serving
- protein, at 9 grams per serving
- vitamins A, C, and K
- certain B vitamins
Green peas are a good source of plant-based protein, and eating them is an effective way for vegetarian and vegan people to boost their protein intake.
Peas and other legumes contain fiber, which supports good bacteria in the gut to ensure regular bowel movements and a healthy digestive tract.
They are also rich in saponins, which are plant compounds that may provide antioxidant and anticancer benefits.
How to eat peas
It can be easy to keep a bag of peas in the freezer and eventually use it to boost the nutritional profile of pasta dishes, risottos, and vegetable curries. Or, a person can make a refreshing pea and mint soup.
Garlic has a long history of use as a medicinal plant, with roots tracing all the way back to ancient China and Egypt.The main active compound in garlic is allicin, a plant compound that is largely responsible for garlic’s variety of health benefits.
Several studies have shown that garlic can regulate blood sugar as well as promote heart health.In one animal study, diabetic rats were given either garlic oil or diallyl trisulfide, a component of garlic. Both garlic compounds caused a decrease in blood sugar and improved insulin sensitivity.
Another study fed garlic to participants both with and without heart disease. Results showed that garlic was able to decrease total blood cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol in both groups.
Garlic may be useful in the prevention of cancer as well. One test-tube study demonstrated that allicin induced cell death in human liver cancer cells.However, further research is needed to better understand the potential anti-cancer effects of garlic.
Sweet potatoes are root vegetables that provide 103 calories and 0.17 grams of fat per medium potato, when it is baked with its skin.
Each potato also contains:
- much more than an adult’s daily requirement of vitamin A
- 25 percent of their vitamin C and B-6 requirements
- 12 percent of their potassium needs
- beta-carotene, which may improve eye health and fight cancer
Sweet potatoes may benefit people with diabetes. This is because they are low on the glycemic index scale and high in fiber, so they may help regulate blood sugar.
How to eat sweet potatoes
The easiest way to enjoy a sweet potato is to bake it in its skin and serve it with a source of protein, such as fish or tofu.
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