Posted on Jul 03, 2023, 6 p.m.
Vegetables are known to be good for your health but they don’t always make it to the dinner table. But they should, they are low-calorie options that are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. What’s more, is that some veggies have even better health benefits than others, in this article, we will take a look at some of the top veggies options that you should consider adding to your diet.
Carrots are common and generally available all year long. These veggies are rich in beta-carotene which can turn into vitamin A within our bodies. Carrots are an anti-aging staple because they contain a high antioxidant content which can help to keep your arteries clean lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, as well as help to reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Brussels sprouts are a member of the cruciferous vegetable family that look like tiny cabbages or cute little heads of lettuce. These tiny veggies contain a specific anti-aging antioxidant called kaempferol which helps to protect against oxidative damage to our cells, prevent chronic diseases, and enhance detoxification in the body.
Cabbage is one of the healthiest vegetables thanks to its outstanding nutrient profile. This cruciferous is versatile and easy to incorporate into your diet from stews to salads, soups, and slaws. It is especially rich in vitamins C and K, eating cabbage may help to lower the risks of developing certain diseases, improve digestion, boost the immune system, promote heart health, and fight inflammation.
Spinach is a chart-topper from the leafy green options due to its rather impressive nutrient profile. This veggie is also a cruciferous option that is heart-friendly, gives a boost to eye health, reduces blood pressure, and provides more than a good portion of fiber as well as antioxidant compounds that help to protect against chronic disease and cancer.
Kale is also well known for its impressive nutrient profile and health-promoting qualities. Much like other leafy greens, this low-calorie cruciferous is rich in antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and K, as well as heart-healthy flavonoids that are loaded with anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Broccoli contains sulforaphane compounds which may help to prevent the growth of cancer. Eating this cruciferous vegetable may also help to reduce the risk of developing chronic disease by protecting against oxidative stress. This heart-friendly veggie is rich in fiber and helps to boost muscle function, promote regularity and healthy digestion.
Green peas are considered to be a starchy vegetable and they have a greater amount of carbs and calories than other veggie options, but that doesn’t mean that they are not incredibly nutritious. These nutrient-dense options carry benefits that outweigh the cons, such as potent phytochemical antioxidants that fight inflammation and support eye health.
Green beans are fairly versatile and go great with high-quality lean cuts of meat or even in salads. These veggies are rich sources of protein that help to fill you up and keep you feeling full for longer to assist in weight management. They also have impressive fiber content which helps to support digestion and colon health, this may be why they are part of a low FODMAP diet recommended for those with IBS and other chronic tummy troubles. Green beans are a good source of vitamins and minerals, this heart-friendly option also contains no cholesterol and may support heart health by lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation.
Asparagus is primarily a springtime vegetable that is rich in several vitamins and minerals and is especially abundant with folate which may help to protect against neural tube defects, support liver function, fight inflammation, and reduce the risk of toxicity. This veggie is also rich in glutathione antioxidants that are believed to slow the aging process while its folate content works with B12 to help prevent cognitive decline.
Celery is an excellent low-calorie source of essential water-soluble vitamins, one stalk contains dozens of different kinds of phytonutrients that help to reduce the risks of developing chronic inflammation. This heart-friendly option is also rich in potent antioxidants that fight against free radical toxins that can lead to cellular damage. Celery is associated with nerve tissue regeneration and other health benefits to cognitive health and the respiratory system.
Cauliflower is another versatile nutrient powerhouse. You can eat it raw, steam it, rice it, broil it, throw it in a smoothie, or toss it on a salad and it comes in a variety of colours. This cruciferous is also rich in free radical fighting antioxidants like anthoxanthins, flavonoids, chlorophyll, quercetin, and coumaric acid that help to protect against damage and aging in our cells. It also helps to fight inflammation, supports the immune system, encourages bone health, and its rich fiber content supports weight management, as well as gut and heart health.
Beets are another heart-healthy option that is often overlooked. Beets are rich in dietary nitrates that help with blood pressure which may help to lower the risk of cardiovascular disorders. These nitrates also help to increase athletic performance, and endurance as it allows our mitochondria to generate energy and function more efficiently. But nitrate levels tend to only stay high for a few hours. Beets also help to improve digestion, aid in skin care, build immunity, boost brain health, improve circulation, and fight inflammation.
When filling your plate and eating healthy it should not be just about fruits and vegetables, it should be about fresh fruit and vegetables whenever possible as fresh veggies may contain the highest amounts of nutrients and bang for your buck. Mix them with other sources of protein and healthy carbs to make sure that you are getting complete nutrition at every meal. Remember that eating healthy does not have to be boring because there are so many options available which include a multitude of herbs and spices to explore that will enhance every meal with extra flavor and switch things up. Variety is the spice of life.
This article was written by Tamsyn Julie Webber at WHN.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
Content may be edited for style and length.
References/Sources/Materials provided by: