Eating vegetables is the key to healthy living. Depending on your lifestyle and health goals, vegetables can play a crucial part in it and improve your overall well-being. They can help you fill the nutritional gaps by providing your body with essential nutrients and vitamins to keep you up and running.
While all the vegetables out there have some amazing benefits, the 15 vegetables we have included in our list are a must-have for any individual to bring their health back on track.
Many don’t recognize or appreciate the health benefits of cauliflower, but it is one of the few vegetables that is loaded with dietary fiber. It is important to add dietary fiber in your diet because it is not only essential for your gut health but the heart as well. Cauliflower helps prevent digestive issues while combating obesity. Cauliflower is from the cruciferous vegetable family that contains an antioxidant known as I3C (indole-3-carbinol). I3C has shown the potential to fight cancer-causing cells. Many health experts believe that cauliflower can play a major role in reducing cancers of the reproductive systems and breast in men and women.
#2 Alfalfa Sprouts
Alfalfa sprouts are loaded with a good amount of vitamin K and contain fewer calories only (1 cup alfalfa = 8 calories). One of the amazing things about alfalfa is that these sprouts boast numerous plant compounds, such as phytoestrogens, flavonoids, and saponins that contribute to good health. Doctors recommend patients suffering from kidney problems and heart conditions to include alfalfa in their daily diet as they can help reduce the symptoms while you recover. Alfalfa has antioxidant properties that can help you fight inflammation. Moreover, consuming a sprouted version will help you increase your protein intake.
Spinach is a great source of antioxidants, iron, vitamins, and iron. You can add spinach to your daily diet if you are vegan or do not consume meat. A cup only contains 7 calories. Spinach is extremely beneficial for our bone health, the production of new and healthy blood and its magnesium contents is helpful for proper nerve and muscle function.
Broccoli is a part of the cruciferous vegetable family and is incredibly healthy food to add to your daily diet. It contains vitamin K in good amounts, which is beneficial for healthy blood production. Moreover, it is also rich in vitamin C that acts as an antioxidant, fighting free radicals. Broccoli also contains a special compound called ‘sulforaphane,’ which is said to have shown amazing results in blocking tumor growth and reducing breast cancer cells.
Seaweed is an incredibly versatile and nutritious plant that offers numerous health benefits. For starters, it is filled with omega-3 fatty acids that are proven to show positive results in reducing the likelihood of heart attack and stroke, reducing the chance of abnormal heart rhythm, slowing down the development of plaque in arthritis, reducing triglyceride levels, and lowering blood pressure. This particular vegetable is rich in iodine, which is essential for thyroid function.
#6 Bell Peppers
Don’t just think that bell peppers are for adding color to your food. They are a good source of vitamins and minerals. Available in orange, green, yellow, and red varieties, bell peppers are rich in folate, B vitamins, beta-carotene, and different types of antioxidants like lutein, quercetin, and capsanthin, that play a crucial role in improving our eye health.
One of the best things about onions is that they taste good, whether eaten cooked or raw. Onion is a sulfur-rich vegetable that can help protect against cancer. Moreover, compounds like manganese, vitamin C and B-6 are also found in abundance in onions. They are beneficial for bone health and play a crucial role in blood sugar regulation.
Carrot is another vegetable that we love to eat raw. It contains beta-carotene that covers your daily recommended vitamin A intake. Vitamin A is essential for your eye health and provides you with enough nutrition to prevent vision loss. Further, there are several nutrients in carrots that boast cancer-fighting properties. According to researchers, carrot juice can help inhibit the growth of leukemia cells.
Beetroot is considered to be beneficial for diabetic patients as it contains alpha-lipoic acid. Alpha-lipoic acid is helpful in treating nerve conditions that arise due to diabetes. On the other hand, eating beetroot or drinking beetroot juice can significantly reduce blood pressure. The heart-healthy nitrates in beetroot also help in increasing exercise performance.
#10 Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are great for those who are into weight training as a medium potato can provide 0.17 grams of fat and 103 calories. Moreover, doctors also recommend sweet potatoes to diabetic patients as they are low on the glycemic index. And since they are rich in dietary fiber, sweet potatoes can help you improve your digestive health, ensuring proper bowel movements.
Peas are starchy, sweet vegetables that belong to the same family as legumes. They are high in protein, fiber, and vitamins A, B, C, and K. They are a great addition to your meat-free or dairy-free diet. The high amounts of fiber in peas help boost the health of good bacteria in your gut, ultimately improving your immune system. Peas are also rich in a plant-based compound known as ‘saponins,’ which is known for its anti-cancer and antioxidant properties.
Kale is a popular leafy green vegetable similar to spinach. It provides multiple health benefits, especially when it comes to your heart health. Patients with high cholesterol are advised by the doctors to add kale to their diet because it helps in increasing the amount of ‘good’ cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) and reducing the amount of ‘bad’ cholesterol. And consumption of kale juice is also beneficial in controlling the blood sugar levels in the body.
Garlic comes from the same family as onions. It has been used for centuries in medicine and cooking and is known for its potent medical properties. Garlic has a distinct flavor, mostly because of its sulfur compound. It acts as an excellent antibacterial agent that combats sickness, including the common cold.
Asparagus is known for its high fiber content and also contains lots of micronutrients like vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate. Pregnant women are advised to include asparagus in their daily diet because it triggers healthy pregnancy outcomes. Moreover, you can add asparagus to your weight loss diet.
Eggplant is a versatile vegetable available in different varieties. It is mainly known for its cardioprotective compounds that help in reducing the risk of heart disease. It could help with your weight loss journey and may have cancer-fighting benefits.
Including vegetables to your daily diet is critically important because they serve as the carriers of your daily recommended nutrient dosage. You can get all the essential nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and other healthy compounds from vegetables. The best thing about vegetables is that they can be prepared in different ways, whichever works best for your gastronomic senses.