We all know that vegetables are good for our health. Most are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber while being low on calories. Some vegetables are exceptional, though, due to their additional proven health benefits, like anti-inflammatory properties or their ability to reduce the risk of illness and disease. These are just 5 nutritious vegetables that stand out from the rest!
One cup of raw spinach contains only about 7 calories. It contains vitamin A, vitamin K, and loads of antioxidants. It has been proven to lower your risk of cancer and chronic diseases, specifically blood pressure. (Link, 2017) Throw some in with a salad or wilt it into a delicious soup.
Kale contains plenty of B vitamins, potassium, calcium, and copper, along with your entire daily amount of vitamins A, C, and K. Kale is also high in antioxidants. It helps to lower bad cholesterol, decrease blood pressure, and reduce blood sugars. (Link, 2017) Kale has little flavor so it’s easily hidden in your morning smoothie.
A cruciferous vegetable, broccoli is shown to have protective effects against cancer. It also helps to prevent against other types of chronic diseases as well, specifically those related to the heart. Broccoli is full of nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and potassium. (Link, 2017) Enjoy it raw with a little dressing or baked with a little salt and parmesan.
Garlic has a long history as a medicinal plant. It has been shown to promote heart health by lowering triglyceride levels and helping to regulate blood sugar. (Link, 2017) And it’s easy to incorporate garlic into your diet because a little tastes great on everything!
5. Brussels Sprouts
Similar to broccoli, Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable and contain the same nutritious compounds. They contain antioxidants that prevent damage to cells and enhance detoxification. They contain large amounts of vitamin K, vitamin C, folate magnesium, and potassium. (Link, 2017)
Brussels sprouts have been making a strong comeback recently due to their nutritional value. There are many ways to cook and serve them outside of the traditional boiled method. Grill them with a little salt and balsamic or bake them with some garlic, cheese, and breadcrumbs.
Summer is such a great time to take advantage if these delicious and nutritious vegetables. Remember to make your way to local farmers markets to get these and other vegetables at the peak of their flavor.
Maisey Covington, RN, BSN
Wellness Navigator, Duncan Regional Hospital
Link, Rachel. (2017, May 14). The 14 Healthiest Vegetables on Earth. Retrieved from https://authoritynutrition.com/14-healthiest-vegetables-on-earth/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=standard&__s=qeqru1cjqps74qp6rvdn
12 Powerhouse Vegetables You Should Be Eating. Digital Image. WebMD. July 28, 2016. http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-powerhouse-vegetables
Kale! Digital Image. Dancing the Land. http://www.dancingtheland.com/kale.html
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Pecans, and Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe. Digital Image. Serious Eats. http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/11/roasted-brussels-sprouts-bacon-pecans-maple-balsamic-recipe.html
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe. Digital Image. Steamy Kitchen. http://steamykitchen.com/27757-roasted-brussels-sprouts-with-sweet-chili-sauce-recipe-video.html