16 August 2017
Here are 10 of the healthiest vegetables available that you should try to include in your daily diet
Containing just 4 calories per stalk, asparagus are an excellent source of vitamin K, thiamine, selenium and riboflavin. These tasty stalks are also a great source of folate, which offers protection against diseases and can help prevent neural tube birth defects during pregnancy.
Beets are good sources of vitamin C, folate, potassium, fiber, antioxidants and nitrates. Nitrates are converted into nitric oxide in the body, which helps with blood flow and blood pressure. This means consumption of beets may help boost stamina with improved blood flow, and help lower blood pressure. Beets also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoid phytonutrients that are beneficial for eye health.
3. BEET GREENS
The leafy tops of beet roots are equally nutritious, packed with vitamin K, which is linked to lowered risk of getting type 2 Diabetes. Beet greens also contain vitamins A and C, as well as substantial amounts of calcium and magnesium – both are essential for bone health.
Regarded as one of nature’s superstars, broccoli is a great source of sulforaphane, which has the ability to help lower the risk of cancers. This cruciferous vegetable is also a great source of fiber that supports digestive health and helps to keep your cholesterol at a healthy level.
5. BRUSSEL SPROUTS
Dense in nutrients, each serving provides a good amount of multiple vitamins and minerals including vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, mangansese, folate and potassium. Like broccoli, brussel sprouts are a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, and contains an organic compound called glucosinolate sinigrin which may have cancer-fighting properties. It also contains kaempferol, an antioxidant that has been found to protect against free radicals and protect our cells.
Another powerful cruciferous vegetable, kale is packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, iron and folate, as well as lutein which is beneficial for eye health. A 2008 study conducted with 32 men also discovered that daily consumption of kale juice for 12 weeks helped to raise their HDL cholesterol by 27% and lower LDL cholesterol by 10%.
Tiny but mighty, a study in the International Journal of Cancer found that daily consumption of green peas along with other legumes lowered the risk of stomach cancer. One cup (160g) of cooked green peas contains 9g of fiber, 9g of protein, along with vitamins A, C and K, riboflavin, thiamine, folate and niacin. Peas are also high in fiber, which make aid with digestion and bowel movement.
A cup (35g) of raw spinach provides 56% of your daily vitamin A needs, and your entire daily Vitamin K and Lutein requirement – all for just 7 calories. A 2015 study has also found spinach consumption to be beneficial for heart health and may lower blood pressure.
9. SWISS CHARD
Highly dense in nutrients, swiss chards contain the carotenoids beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, as well as vitamin A, all of which support and protect eye health. It also packs a multitude of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, K and C, as well as potassium, magnesium, calcium and copper.
10. WATER CRESS
Hailed as the latest superfood, watercress achieved a perfect nutrition score based on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index, which calculates a food’s nutritional value divided by its calories. This leafy green contains lutein and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals that help prevent eye problems such as cataracts. It is also a great source of vitamins A and C, and contains isothiocyanates - compounds that help fight against cancer.
Consuming enough greens in our everyday diet can be difficult with our busy schedules. Consider filling in nutritional gaps by complementing your daily diet with green supplements.
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