The 10 Healthiest Vegetables
All the good things you can think of are there in vegetables. They are full of nourishing vitamins and minerals, rich in protective antioxidants and loaded with colon-cleansing and cholesterol-removing fiber. They are low in sugar and calories and zero in bad fats. They come in attractive colors and can be very flavorful if cooked the right way.
Virtually all vegetables are healthy but the following ten vegetables top the list for nutritive and protective benefits.
1. Dark leafy green vegetables are so high in Vitamins B, C, E and K, and the minerals iron, folate, magnesium, potassium and calcium. They are also loaded with cancer-fighting carotenoid antioxidants. Eating dark leafy greens could be the wisest investment you could have for your health.
Whether for raw salads, soups, stews, casseroles or main dishes, try to incorporate kale, spinach, swiss chard, collard greens, parsley, red and green lettuce, turnips and mustard greens in your regular diet.
2. Cruciferous vegetables are chock full of fiber, folate, potassium, iron, calcium, Vitamin C and K. They are especially loaded with fiber to regulate bowel function. They are best eaten lightly steamed or stir-fried. They also come in an interesting crunchy texture and bland but flavorful taste. Take charge of your health by eating more broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
3. Carrots are densely packed with anti-aging and eye-protecting Vitamin A plus a host of other nutrients. Eat them raw by sneaking grated carrots into your sandwich, salads and pasta dishes. Most other dishes can be added with carrots as they blend well with almost all foods.
4. Tomatoes are widely known as containing lycopene which has been documented to protect against prostate cancer. They are also very high in Vitamin C which boosts immunity. You can up your intake of tomatoes by having a thick slice of it in your burger or by frequently whipping up tomato-based dishes.
5. Beans and peas are a big family of protein-rich and antioxidant loaded vegetables which everybody ought to have regularly. Whether they are dried, canned, ground into paste, toasted, cooked in soups, stews and casseroles, beans are muscle-building and yet non-fattening foods.
6. Allium foods such as garlic, onions, leek and scallions are even denser storehouses for antioxidants. They are also found to have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. What’s more, they give a punch of flavor to most any dish. They can be sneaked in small amounts in salads or sautéed to enhance the flavor of other dishes.
7. Bell peppers of whatever color and variety lend a spicy sweet note to many dishes and are bursting with minerals such as manganese and blood pressure-regulating potassium.
8. Sweet potatoes and yams are deliciously sweet and creamy vegetables which happen to be generously endowed with carotenoid antioxidants and Vitamin A. Baked, fried or added to casseroles and soups, they are versatile ingredients for cooking.
9. Asparagus has been touted to treat inflammation, banish depression and reduce weight. They are fiber-rich vegetables which are delightfully crunchy and tasty when steamed.
10. Squash are deliciously creamy and smooth vegetables which are good for soups, stews, casseroles and fries. They are loaded with Vitamins A, C and carotenoids for good eyesight, smooth skin and improved immunity.
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