Vegetables have long been regarded as healthy food, but which stand alone at the top as the healthiest vegetables and should make regular plate appearances? We’ve broken down the best of the best and presented them to you here…
Kale has emerged as one of the trendiest vegetables in recent years, and it’s not by accident. This is one green vegetable that has been largely overlooked, but now is getting the attention it deserves. A quick rundown of its nutrition profile reveals why it gets so much fanfare.
Like spinach, kale is a good source of phytonutrients and has an antioxidant effect on the body. And like spinach it also provide protein and fiber, containing roughly the same amount of fiber, but besting spinach by offering more protein.
And while both kale and spinach have massive amounts of Vitamin A, kale contains even more, meaning you can eat less kale and still get the same amount of this powerful vitamin.
Best ways to prepare it: Unless you’re using baby kale you’ll want to cook your kale before eating it to avoid stomach upset. It’s also a good idea to remove it from the stems, as those can be hard to digest.
Spinach has long been considered one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat, and it still remains near the top of the list.
You not only get fiber and protein when you opt for a serving of spinach, you’re getting phytonutrients that act as antioxidants once consumed, and go to work within the body to fight free radical damage.
Spinach is an exceptional source of both Vitamin A and Vitamin C, and provides an assortment of important minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron. Rather than take a synthetic multivitamin that the body has trouble absorbing, why not eat spinach and have your nutritional bases covered with a whole food that the body has no problem with and is craving?
Best ways to prepare it: Baby spinach tastes great as the base of a salad, but you can also heat up frozen organic spinach for use as a side, or as part of a main dish. Any form of spinach can be added to a green smoothie for an instant vitamin boost.
Broccoli is another vegetable with the status of being ultra healthy, and there’s a lot of research that backs up its reputation. It’s always nice when science lends its support to something we’ve always known intrinsically for years.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of broccoli is its noted ability to ward off cancer thanks to the sulforaphane it contains. It’s also good for your heart, and can help prevent heart disease. Cancer and heart disease are two of the leading causes of death, so it’s important to take steps to maintain your health now.
The fiber in broccoli is worth noting, as it helps the digestive system function properly, helps keep your cholesterol at a healthy level, and can even help keep your colon clean naturally.
Best ways to prepare it: There are tons of ways to get broccoli ready to eat, and one of the more delicious ways is to roast it with a little olive oil. Pair it with another vegetable on this list like beets of Brussels sprouts to boost the flavor and the nutrition.
Beets are becoming better known for the nutrition they provide, especially since antioxidants have been making so many health news headlines. There’s a powerful antioxidant known as betalains that is almost exclusive to beets.
Betalains are most notable for their ability to curb inflammation in the body, and as such they can help prevent cancer, keep your cardiovascular system functioning properly, and reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
In addition to the betalains beets contain, they are also a wonderful source of fiber, which helps maintain good blood pressure levels, and keeps the digestive system humming along.
Best ways to prepare it: Avoid the pickled beets you’ll find on store shelves and opt instead for fresh beets. Cut them up and place the cubes on a baking dish. Bake them in the oven until they’ve softened and you’re ready for a treat.
Cabbage is one vegetable that you’ll often see on diet plans for its ability to spur weight loss. But it has plenty of other healthy benefits to it that make it a vegetable you’ll want to add to your cart regularly.
A cruciferous vegetable, cabbage has anti-cancer properties, for men it can help prevent prostate cancer, and for women it has been shown to help ward off breast cancer, making it an especially valuable vegetable for those with a family history of these diseases.
The naturally low number of calories in cabbage, coupled with its low fat content is what makes it such a darling for those looking to get to a healthy weight. It’s a way to get fiber and vitamins without adding much to your total caloric intake for the day.
Best ways to prepare it: Making cabbage appetizing is the key to eating more of it. If you’ve had multiple instances of eating poorly cooked cabbage, you may want to give it another chance in a proper recipe. You want it soft enough to be easily chewed up, but no so soft as to make it mushy and bland. Accompanying spices and seasonings make all the difference.
The cleansing effect of asparagus is what earns it a spot on our list of healthiest veggies. This is a well-rounded vegetable that brings many important vitamins to the body, all while helping it purge itself of destructive free radicals we all take in.
The glutathione in asparagus is what helps the body detox, and it’s an antioxidant that specifically goes after cancer-causing substances in the body, and helps it on a cellular level.
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