Vegetables contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and fiber so they present a lot of health benefits to the body.  There are so many vegetables that you can consume but this article will list the most healthy vegetables that you can include as part of your balanced diet.

Spinach

Spinach is a green leafy vegetable and is known to be rich in iron. But aside from iron, it is also rich in calcium and antioxidants. A cup of spinach only contains 7 calories, but it can provide an average adult’s daily requirement for Vitamin K. It also contains high amounts of Vitamin A, C, magnesium, and folate. Vitamin K, in particular, is essential for stronger bones and it improves the absorption of calcium. You can enjoy spinach in salads, soups, and smoothies.

Kale

Kale belongs to the family of cruciferous vegetables. A cup of kale contains 7 calories and high amounts of Vitamin C, A, and K. It can also benefit people who suffer from high cholesterol. One study shows that consumption of 150mL of kale smoothie can result in a 10% reduction of bad cholesterol.  It can also help stabilize blood pressure and sugar levels.

Broccoli

Broccoli is a relative to cabbage and kale. A bowl of broccoli only contains 55 calories, but it provides your full daily requirement for Vitamin K. It also contains twice the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C for healthier immune system function. Broccoli is also considered as a superfood and it can reduce the risk of developing cancer due to the compounds sulforaphane. Animal studies noted that this compound can reduce the size as well as a number of breast cancer cells in the body.

Peas

Peas are starchy vegetables belonging to the legume family. Once cooked, a cup of peas only contains 134 calories. They also contain a high amount of fiber and protein as well as Vitamins A, C, and K. Moreover, it also contains certain B vitamins. Because they contain high amounts of protein, they are used as substitutes for meat. They also contain high amounts of saponins, which is a known antioxidant. Pea based protein is an important ingredient for many new vegan dishes as well as plant-based milk.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are root vegetables that contain 103 calories per cup.  Each potato contains Vitamin A, C, and B6. It is also rich in beta-carotene that can improve eye health and antioxidants to fight off against cancer. This root vegetable is also good for people with diabetes because it has a low glycemic index.

Beets

Beets contain high amounts of antioxidants due to its color. It also contains high amounts of potassium and folate. It is also high in heart-healthy nitrates thus it has heart-protective functions.  Beets are best served in salads or in smoothies.

Carrots

Carrots contain high amounts of beta-carotene. A cup of carrots only contain 52 calories, but regular consumption may help maintain good eyesight. Carrots also contain high amounts of antioxidants that can fight off cancer. Reports show that carrot juice can inhibit the growth of leukemia cancer cells.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are technically fruits, but they are still considered vegetables.  They are rich in potassium and Vitamin C. Moreover, they also contain lycopene – powerful antioxidants that also play a vital role in cancer prevention. Tomatoes also contain lutein and zeaxanthin for good eyesight.

Other Healthy Vegetables

There are so many vegetables that are beneficial for your health. Make sure that you include garlic, onions, alfalfa sprouts, bell peppers, cauliflower, and seaweed in your diet. You can also consume fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and kimchi as they contain beneficial microorganisms for better gut health.

Inspired by www.medicalnewstoday.com

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