Eating more vegetables is one of the best diet choices you can make. Vegetables are, by nature, some of the most nutritious foods.
Apart from having a low calorie-count, vegetables have a high content of minerals, vitamins, and fiber. It is because of this that vegetables have been fronted as possible solutions for preventing many of the chronic diseases.
But just what are the best vegetables?
The first quality of a good vegetable is one that is tasty and which you find delicious.
In fact, the best vegetables are also those that promote greater health benefits. It is always good to include a variety of vegetables in your diet, rather than sticking to only one.
The following are the best vegetables to include in your diet:
Best Vegetables for Good Health
Spinach is arguably one of the best vegetables given the many nutrients it contains. Eating some 30 grams of this leafy green will provide you with your daily requirement of vitamin A and K.
Like other leafy greens, spinach also contains a high level of antioxidants which help reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Research studies have also found spinach and other leafy green vegetables to contain high amounts of lutein and beta-carotene. These two are antioxidants that help reduce the risk of you getting cancer.
In a 2015 study, spinach was proven to have the ability to improve heart health by lowering blood pressure.
As one of the best cruciferous vegetables, broccoli contains above-average amounts of glucosinolate and sulforaphane, which are compounds that contain sulfur.
Sulforaphane, is beneficial to your health, in the sense that it provides cancer protection. This was shown in a preliminary 2010 study in which broccoli prevented the growth of a tumor in mice.
In addition to that, a 2009 study discovered that broccoli has a high content of selenium, zinc, iron, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. Selenium and the vitamins are key antioxidants which have been proven to protect the body against heart disease. That is in addition to helping boost your immunity levels.
Carrots are perhaps the best source vitamin A. In just 128 grams of carrots; you will get up to 148 percent of your daily vitamin A requirement.
But that’s not all. Carrots contain high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium.
In a 2006 study, carrots were proven to contain high amounts of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which makes the vegetable orange.
Beta-carotene has been shown to have the ability to prevent the onset of prostate cancer. According to a 1986 study, smokers who ate carrots had diminished chances of ever getting lung cancer.
For centuries, garlic has acted as a trusted medicinal plant, especially as far back as Ancient Egypt and China.
This was shown in a 2010 study which showed the central part garlic played before the invention of antibiotics.
The health benefits of garlic emanate from allicin, the major active chemical in garlic. In a 2014 study, allicin was proven to be bioactive and, therefore, beneficial for medicinal purposes. An earlier study on the effects of garlic on cancer cells, it was proven that allicin has the ability to cause the death of these cells.
Garlic also has the ability to regulate blood sugar and promoting good heart health. That was the subject of a 2005 preliminary study, which showed that garlic has the ability to decrease blood sugar levels and improving the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
Eating garlic is also known to reduce the overall levels of cholesterol in the blood. Garlic is, however, great when it comes to increasing the levels of good cholesterol in the blood.
Kale is one of the nutrient-dense leafy greens that also has a high antioxidant content.
It is one of the best vegetables when it comes to getting nutrients such as copper, calcium, potassium, and the B vitamins.Kale is known to have the ability to supply your daily requirement of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
This leafy green is also great for promoting better heart health.
According to the results of a 2008 study, drinking kale juice has the ability to reduce the back LDL cholesterol while increasing the good HDL cholesterol.
That’s beside increasing the antioxidant levels in the body, which helps improve heart health. In 2015, a study was done to find out the effects of kale juice on blood sugar as well as blood pressure.
6. Brussels sprouts
As one of the vegetables in the cruciferous family, Brussels sprouts have almost-similar healthy compounds.
It is one of the best vegetables that could help supply potassium, manganese, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
These vegetables have also been shown to contain the antioxidant kaempferol, which works to stop the cells from getting damaged. A study was done in 2013 to find out the effects of kaempferol on free radicals, and the results were very positive.
This antioxidant was proven to have the ability to protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.
Consuming Brussels sprouts has also been shown to help the body get rid of toxins better. In fact, eating Brussels sprouts has been shown to enhance the levels of enzymes required to control detoxification by up to 30 percent.
Thus Brussels sprouts could be useful when it comes to reducing the likelihood of developing colorectal cancer.
7. Green Peas
Because of their nature, peas have a relatively high content of calories and carbohydrates. Therefore, eating green peas in large amounts could have an impact on your blood sugar levels. But that doesn’t mean that these vegetables contain no nutrients.
In fact, a single cup of green peas has been shown to contain adequate proportions of proteins, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, and niacin.
Since they have a high fiber content, green peas are known to promote heart health by increasing the number of good bacteria in the gut and inducing regular movements of the bowels.
As a favorite spice, ginger root can be used both in desserts and dishes.
Ginger is also known to be a source of anti-inflammatory compounds, which treat disorders such as gout, lupus, and arthritis.
9. Swiss chard
This is one of the best vegetables, given the fact that it contains very minimal calories.
It, however, has a very high content of critical minerals and vitamins. One cup of Swiss chard is known to provide only seven calories but fiber 1 gram, protein 1 gram, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, and manganese.
This vegetable is so beneficial that it has been shown to have the ability to reduce blood sugar levels and preventing damage to cells due to the effects of free radicals.
Preliminary studies have also shown that eating chard can help protect the kidneys and liver from the devastating damage caused by diabetes.
Taking only half a cup of asparagus will provide you with one-third of the folate you need in a day. As a nutrient-dense vegetable, it also contains loads of riboflavin, vitamin K, thiamin, and selenium.
Thus asparagus has been shown to prevent disease and birth defects in newborn children due to the high folate content. It also helps boost metabolism and liver function besides fighting liver toxicity.
11. Red Cabbage
Here is one of the vegetables belonging to the cruciferous family.
Apart from having antioxidants, it has quite some properties that are beneficial to your health. In just one cup of red cabbage, you will get lots of fiber and vitamin C.
The reason it is red is its high anthocyanin content. In a preliminary study done in 2012, red cabbage was shown to have the effect of reducing the levels of cholesterol in the blood.
This helps prevent damage to the liver and heart. Red cabbage is known to have anti-inflammatory effects, which is one of the ways it prevents damage to the liver.
No matter which vegetables you choose to include in your diet, it is clear that they have some health benefits. They can help fight disease and provide minerals and other essential nutrients.
However, the list provided above doesn’t contain all the possible vegetables you could eat.
To get all the benefits that vegetables have to offer, make sure you select them carefully. The best benefits are, therefore, those which provide an array of nutrients and enhance your health. Choose the ones that best work for you.