Eating the same thing every day can get extremely boring, especially when it comes to vegetables. Finding something healthy that you enjoy can be difficult, though, which is why some people might stick to the same thing.
We’ve compiled a list of the 15 healthiest vegetables for those who want to find something else to add to their diet. Take a look at these options and see if there’s something you can add to your next dinner.
Spinach is so healthy it’s almost cliche to mention it, but it tops our list of the healthiest vegetables for several reasons. Spinach has some of the widest varieties and highest content of nutrients as any vegetable out there.
A cup of spinach is packed with vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, B vitamins, zinc, protein and more. While there can be some debate for a lot of vegetables, some consider spinach to be the world’s healthiest vegetable. It is - at least - the healthiest vegetable that you’ll commonly see at your table.
We’re going to be mentioning green, leafy vegetables a lot throughout this list, but we wanted to get started with what could be the healthiest of them all: spinach.
Kale only falls slightly behind spinach on our list, but you can make the argument that it should be number one. Dark-green, leafy vegetables are some of the healthiest vegetables you can eat, and a kale and spinach salad will put your body in an excellent position to succeed.
One serving of kale can satisfy your entire daily needs for the vitamins C, A, and K. You will also get a lot of B vitamins and minerals like calcium, copper, and potassium.
Like spinach, kale is jam-packed with antioxidants which promote heart health and help lower your cholesterol. Juicing kale can be even more beneficial since it breaks down the vitamins and nutrients before they enter your body. Next time you need a healthy pick-me-up, try a spinach and kale smoothie.
3. Brussels Sprouts
Like spinach, Brussels sprouts are a vegetable that might have your kids cringing. The health benefits are too numerous to ignore, though, and it’s worth including in your weekly meal cycle for its vitamin and mineral content.
A serving of this vegetable will give you plenty of vitamin A, C, K, manganese, potassium, and folate along with some other nutrients. It also helps rid your body of toxins, which can help both your short and long-term health.
One of the more unique properties that Brussels sprouts have is kaempferol, which can help protect your cells against damage. This along with other antioxidants are a fantastic reason to include Brussels sprouts in your diet.
4. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is one of the more obscure vegetables that’s picking up steam in the health food community because of its nutritional content and its ability to lower blood sugar.
Those who have diabetes will see particularly powerful benefits by eating swiss chard. One study showed that the vegetable was able to reverse some of the diabetic effects in rats.
On top of that, swiss chard is full of vitamins like A, C, and K along with plenty of fiber and protein. In fact, this is one of the more protein-packed vegetables on this list. Not everyone will have a taste for this vegetable right away, but it’s worth adding to your diet if you want to help lower your blood sugar.
Broccoli is one of the most popular vegetables on this list, and its health benefits are the driving factor behind its popularity. Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables when it comes to heart health, and can help prevent diseases through its antioxidant profile.
In fact, a study with mice showed that sulforaphane - a component of broccoli - reduced the number and size of breast cancer cells.
As you can expect, broccoli and broccoli sprouts are full of nutrients as well. A serving of this vegetable gives you over 100% of the daily requirements of both vitamin C and K. You will also be able to get a lot of folate, potassium, and manganese from eating broccoli on a regular basis.
Green vegetables aren’t the only powerful source of nutrients. Beets are packed with nitrates and vitamins and might be one of the better-tasting vegetables we’ve listed.
Like most of the other vegetables on this list, beets give you the bulk of your required nutrients for the day without many calories. They can also help fight the risks of developing diseases like heart disease, dementia, and diabetes.
Bright-colored vegetables are notoriously healthy since they’re rich in antioxidants. They also contain potassium which will assist in flushing your system of excess sodium.
Speaking of sodium, beets contain more sodium than a lot of the other vegetables we’ve included. Still, this isn’t enough to consider them unhealthy. So long as you limit your sodium intake in other places, beets will be a fantastic addition to your diet.
Carrots are a notoriously healthy vegetable, with over 400% of your vitamin A requirements in a single serving. Like beets, carrots are a vibrantly colored vegetable, which means they’re full of antioxidants.
There’s also a chance that eating carrots will reduce your risk of several cancers. Studies have shown that eating carrots once per week reduced the risk of prostate cancer in men.
Similarly, smokers who eat carrots are at a lower risk of developing lung cancer. Carrots aren’t the only vegetable that has shown these results, but they’re still one of the more beneficial options we have.
Of course, carrots are also rich in several vitamins, most notable K and C. They also have a substantial amount of potassium in them.
Asparagus is another delicious vegetable that goes well with all kinds of dishes. There’s hardly any better vegetable complement to a good steak than asparagus, and it’s certainly among the healthiest vegetables you can choose as well.
As you can expect, asparagus is rich in several nutrients like vitamin K, selenium, and folate. Folate is particularly important for pregnant women, which is why it’s one of the primary components in prenatal vitamins.
Getting folate from your diet will always be more beneficial than getting it through supplements, and asparagus can help with that. When you combine this element with the other nutritional benefits and the fantastic taste of asparagus, it becomes one of our top picks for healthy vegetables to buy.
9. Collard Greens
Collard greens are another strong vegetable selection that goes well with several dishes. This is one of the more fiber-rich greens on the list and has four grams of protein in a single cup. Collard greens are also a great place to get your calcium requirements for the day, especially if you mix them with other veggies.
Like most of the other vegetables on our list, collard greens are packed with antioxidants. These will lower your risk of developing several diseases, especially glaucoma in the case of collard greens specifically.
Adding some collard greens to your vegetable routine is a great way to mix things up and make sure you’re getting enough calcium in your diet.
Watercress is one of the more obscure vegetables on this list, but that’s why we created this for you. You might overlook watercress as an option, but it’s a fantastic way to bring variety and spice to your vegetable diet.
This vegetable is technically considered a weed, but that doesn’t take away from its health properties.
One cup of watercress will give you 22% of your vitamin A, 24% of your vitamin C, and a whopping 106% of your vitamin K. You can also get a good amount of calcium, fiber, and manganese from eating watercress.
Adding a cup of this obscure vegetable to your salad is a great way to add variety and a bit of spice. You might find that you enjoy it more than you thought you would.
Peas might be one of the most popular vegetables on this list, as they’re a staple of the American diet. Whether you enjoy them in pod form or just like to cook some frozen peas for an easy vegetable, you will get a surprising amount of nutrients from these common vegetables.
A cup of green peas will give you 7% of your daily iron requirement, 12% of your folate requirement, 15% of your thiamine requirement, 34% of your vitamin A for the day, 13% of your vitamin C, and 6% of your phosphorus needs.
As you can see, you’ll be getting a lot of what you need when you eat even frozen peas. Even tasty treats like wasabi peas will give you a lot of these same benefits.
Peas are an easy and delicious vegetable and a great addition to any meal.
12. Red Cabbage
Red cabbage is another excellent vegetable you might not be eating already. Like many of the other vegetables in the cruciferous category, red cabbage has plenty of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C to promote your health.
Such antioxidants can help lower your cholesterol and reduce inflammation, which is ideal for athletes and those who want to quickly get over injuries.
Red cabbage is also delicious, and one of the more obscure options that you might not have on your shopping list. Pick up some red cabbage the next time you’re at the store and see if you like it.
13. Bell Peppers
Although most people consider bell peppers to be a vegetable, they actually fall into the fruit category. Since they’re widely considered vegetables, though, we thought we’d include them in this list anyway.
Bell peppers have several health benefits in general, but we’re focusing more heavily on the red, orange, and yellow variations of the pepper rather than green bell peppers. One medium-sized red bell pepper offers 253% of your daily vitamin C requirement, and the yellow variation will give you a whopping 569%.
You’ll also receive a healthy amount of vitamin B6, potassium, folate, manganese, and copper from red and yellow bell peppers. These vegetables work well in salads and as a compliment to the rest of your meal. You can even cook healthy stuffed peppers for an easy, delicious meal that makes meal preparation simple.
Garlic is technically part of the onion family, and one of the more frequently added vegetables to any dish. On top of that, there’s a rich and storied history of using garlic as a medicinal vegetable, dating back to ancient Egypt and China.
The healing properties of garlic need to be explored by researchers a bit more, but it’s another substantial source of vitamins and minerals. An ounce of garlic will give you plenty of vitamin C, B6, manganese, fiber, and selenium.
There might even be more advantages to eating garlic, but the claims still have to be researched a bit more.
Regardless, garlic is an easy addition to any dish. For something that adds so much flavor, garlic has some surprising health benefits.
Ginger is another flavorful addition to sever dishes - including desserts - that has a substantial amount of health benefits. Like garlic, there is a lengthy history of people using ginger as a natural healing supplement.
One of the primary benefits of ginger is its ability to reduce nausea. One study showed that it was able to reduce nausea in pregnant women significantly more than the placebo group.
Ginger can also reduce inflammation, which aides sever condition and help athletes recover from normal wear and tear.
Incorporating More Vegetables
As you can see, there are several options when it comes to the healthiest vegetables on the planet. You have several to choose from - even more than we’ve included on this list - so you don’t have to worry about what to prepare for your next meal.
Vegetables are an extremely important element of our diets. Sure, supplements will help fill some of the gaps you miss, but they aren’t as beneficial as getting these nutrients through your food.
With so many options, you don’t have to like everything. You might hate spinach, for example, but don’t have as much of a problem with kale.
Make sure to incorporate some of these veggies into your diet for the best results. They will help vary your cooking portfolio and might open the door to foods you didn’t know you would enjoy.
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