Last week I posted The Top 15 Healthiest Fruits well what about vegetables? We can’t really forget about those? I present you with….
1. Collard Greens: widely consumed in the Southern US for many years, this leafy green vegetable packs a lot of nutrient value. Collard Greens have high levels of calcium, Vitamin E, and beta-carotene. In addition to these nutrients, it also boasts high selenium content. Collard greens can be had throughout the year but most consider them to be best between January to April.
2. Sweet Potatoes: the anti-oxidant properties of sweet potatoes can help to rid the body of free radicals linked to many chronic illnesses including diabetes and colon cancer. They are also thought to be able to lessen the effects of asthma and arthritis due to their anti-inflammatory tendencies. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of iron, calcium and fiber, and best of all they can be used in a number of recipes.
3. Broccoli: like so many vegetables out there, this one is also great protecting your body from the ravishes of cancer. They are attractive enough to enhance any dish but their uses go far beyond aesthetics. With high folic acid levels, it is useful in preventing birth defects. In addition it is great for getting enough calcium and vitamin C in your diet.
4. Onions: this unassuming bulb actually offers more health benefits than you may think. They help to lower blood sugar levels in addition to promoting good cardiovascular health. It has been proven that adding onions to your diet can reduce your risk of developing certain cancers and contribute to gastrointestinal health.
5. Carrots: ask anyone to name a vegetable, and most of them will say ‘carrot’ right off the bat. There’s a reason why this vegetable is so popular. Apart from being one of the most commonly used, it is the best source of the pro-vitamin A carotenes. They are also known to help strengthen the vision, in particular night vision. Carrots can also be used to regulate blood sugar levels and are good for the health of the colon.
6. Spinach: while most people make a face at the thought of eating this vegetable, but spinach actually protects us from a number of illnesses like arthritis, heart disease and osteoporosis. Studies have shown that spinach contains a minimum of 13 flavonoid compounds. Serious illnesses like ovarian and prostate cancer can also be helped by consumption of spinach.
7. Kale: this vegetable has a multitude of benefits for the body. Like every other vegetable it contains important vitamins, but has more dietary value per calorie than most vegetables. Kale is known for its detoxing ability, as well as its proven capacity for reducing the risk of cancer, especially of the ovaries. Consuming adequate amounts of this vegetable can also help to keep lungs healthy. Maybe the best thing about kale is that it can easily be grown in home gardens.
8. Eggplant: studies have indicated that eggplant may have a protective effect on the brain. The fact that they are low in calories makes it a popular food among dieters and health conscious individuals. This vegetable has high levels of copper, potassium and fiber. Eggplants positive effect on cardiovascular health is well documented.
9. Cucumbers: widely acknowledged for its soothing effect on the skin, cucumber is popular not only for eating but skincare products. It has a positive overall effect on the body, including the ligaments, bones and muscles, and is also essential for a healthy complexion due to its hydrating properties. Cucumbers are able to help lower blood pressure if consumed in sufficient quantities.
10. Asparagus: aside from promoting healthy skin, asparagus also contains fiber and vitamin B6. It is a good food for pregnant women to consume due its high levels of folate, which also promotes heart health. Another advantage is that it is low in sodium, but contains potassium, and helps to maintain a healthy large intestine.
What is your favorite vegetable?