Vegetables, which are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, are an essential part of any balanced diet. They’re also satisfying, tasty, and go well with salads, soups, sandwiches, and smoothies.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you may add a nutritional touch to recipes like pizza and pasta by piling on the veggies and trying out new or fascinating food combinations.
Although all veggies are nutritious, a few stand out for their high nutrient content and enormous health advantages.
Here are 14 of the healthiest vegetables on the market.
These leafy green ranks first among vegetables in terms of nutrient density. One cup (30 grams) of raw spinach has 16% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin A and 120% of the DV for vitamin K – all for only 7 calories.
Spinach is high in antioxidants, which may help lower your risk of disease. Dark leafy greens, such as spinach, are abundant in beta carotene and lutein, two antioxidants linked to a lower risk of cancer. Spinach may also boost heart health by lowering blood pressure.
Carrots have a high vitamin A content, with 1 cup (128 grams) delivering 119 percent of the recommended daily intake. Beta carotene, an antioxidant that gives them their brilliant orange color and may help prevent cancer, is also found in carrots. This chemical is converted into vitamin A in your body.
One research of over 57,000 adults found that eating at least 2–4 carrots per week was connected with a 17 percent lower risk of colon cancer in the long term. Carrots may also potentially lessen the risk of lung cancer, according to a review of 18 studies. Finally, these famous root vegetables are abundant in a variety of other essential elements, such as potassium and vitamins C and K.
Broccoli contains glucosinolate, a sulfur-containing plant component, as well as its derivative sulforaphane (8). Researchers have extensively examined sulforaphane’s capacity to protect against cancer in animal and test-tube research.
This cruciferous vegetable may also help avoid other types of chronic diseases. Broccoli sprouts also help reduce levels of many inflammatory markers, which have been linked to chronic illnesses, including heart disease. One cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli contains 77 percent of the DV for vitamin K, 90 percent of the DV for vitamin C, and a high amount of folate, potassium, and manganese.
For centuries, garlic has been utilized as a medicinal plant. Its main active ingredient is allicin, which has been demonstrated to help with sugar levels and heart health.
In a three-month study of 90 participants, those who consumed 1,600 mg of garlic powder per day had lower belly fat, blood pressure, and triglyceride levels than those who didn’t. Garlic powder supplementation also improved insulin resistance, which is linked to type 2 diabetes. Another study of 33 publications discovered that garlic lowers cholesterol and improves blood sugar control, which could help those with type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables that have the same beneficial plant compounds as broccoli. Kaempferol, an antioxidant found in Brussels sprouts, is especially efficient in reducing cell damage. This antioxidant possesses anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting characteristics.
This vegetable is also high in fiber, a nutrient that promotes regular bowel movement, cardiovascular health, and blood sugar management. Brussels sprouts are also high in nutrients. Each serving contains folate, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and K.
Kale, like other leafy greens, is well-known for its nutrient content and antioxidant levels. A cup of raw kale (21 grams) contains calcium, potassium, copper, and vitamins A, B, C, and K.
In one small trial, it was found that eating kale with a high-carb meal was more beneficial in reducing blood sugar than consuming a high-carb meal alone. Another study found that consuming kale juice may lower blood pressure, and levels of cholesterol and blood sugar.
Peas have more carbs and calories than other non-starchy vegetables and may influence blood sugar levels if consumed in high quantities.
Nonetheless, green peas are rather healthy. 1 cup (160 grams) provides 9 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein, vitamins A, C, and K, folate, riboflavin, thiamine, and niacin. Peas help digestive health by increasing the healthy bacteria in your gut and encouraging regular bowel motions.
Swiss chard contains few calories but a lot of vitamins and minerals. One cup (36 grams) has only 7 calories but provides roughly 1 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of protein, and plenty of magnesium, manganese, and vitamins A, C, and K.
Swiss chard is also rich in antioxidants and plant chemicals that promote health, such as betalains and flavonoids. In a previous study, Swiss chard extract lowered oxidative stress in the lungs induced by elevated blood sugar levels.
Beets are a colorful, useful root vegetable that is high in fiber, folate, and manganese while being low in calories. They’re also high in nitrates that are converted by your body into nitric oxide, a chemical that helps blood vessels relax.
Beet juice’s nitrates may help lower blood pressure levels. As a result, your risk of cardiovascular disease may be reduced. Beets and their juice have also been linked to better athletic performance and endurance.
Asparagus is high in vitamins and minerals, making it a great complement to any diet. Just half a cup (90 grams) of cooked asparagus contains 33 percent of the daily value for folate, as well as vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, and selenium.
Getting adequate folate from foods like asparagus is essential in preventing diseases such as neural tube development defects. Asparagus extract may also protect against liver and kidney damage by lowering oxidative stress.
Red cabbage is also a cruciferous vegetable high in antioxidants and therapeutic qualities. 1 cup (89 grams) of raw red cabbage includes 2 grams of fiber and 56% of the daily value of vitamin C. Red cabbage is also packed with anthocyanins, a type of plant component that contributes to its vibrant color and several health benefits.
Sweet potatoes are recognized for their bright orange color, sweetness, and numerous health benefits. A medium sweet potato has about 4 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein and is high in potassium, manganese, and vitamins B6 and C.
This root vegetable also contains a lot of beta carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A. One sweet potato has 132 percent of the daily value of beta carotene. In addition, beta carotene consumption has been related to a lower risk of cancer, such as lung cancer. Sweet potatoes may also be especially efficient at controlling blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
A single cup of cooked collard greens (130 grams) provides approximately 4 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and 25% of the daily value for calcium. Collard greens are one of the best plant sources of calcium, a mineral essential for muscular function, nerve transmission, hormone secretion, and bone health. Collard greens also contain a lot of antioxidants.
Cauliflower is well-known for its versatility as well as its high nutrient content. 1 cup (155 g) cooked has 3 g of fiber, 3 g of protein, and several other vital nutrients such as vitamins C and K, and folate.
Cauliflower is high in compounds like glucosinolates and isothiocyanates that combat cancer. This cruciferous vegetable is also frequently used as a low-carb, low-calorie substitute for rice, potatoes, and wheat. It might even help you lose weight. In a four-year study involving more than 133,000 adults, each daily serving of cauliflower was linked to a weight loss of 1.4 pounds (0.6 kg).
Why Choose a Plant-Based Lifestyle
The plant-based lifestyle is a healthy and ethical way of eating, which focuses on foods that are not animal-based. It has become a popular choice in today’s society because of its many health benefits. Many people choose to eat a plant-based lifestyle for ethical reasons, such as not wanting to harm animals and being concerned about the environmental impact of eating animals. The most common plant-based foods are vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and nuts.
If you want to switch to the plant-based lifestyle but are unsure how and where to start, contact us today at Pick Plants for Life! We provide trusted plant-based lifestyle consultation for everyone, wherever you are in the world.