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Powerhouse Vegetables You Should Be Eating

May9th 2020

The modern world challenges our bodies from every imaginable perspective, especially now with the COVID-19 pandemic. A well-balanced diet alone may not be enough to achieve optimal health. Our society has become increasingly aware of the serious impact of soil depletion on our food sources and the rapid nutrient loss occurring during transportation from farm to plate. While a plant-based diet remains the superior choice, there are essential vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, legumes and spices we can include in our dietary choices to support and enhance the function of our immune system.

There are 18 essential vegetables that will boost our vitality, sleep, energy and well-being. We will introduce the first nine vital vegetables in this email. Next week we will cover the most nutrient-dense fruits, with a low glycemic level (here is your candy and cake in healthy form!) Finally, in week three we will present the remaining nine essential vegetables.

 

Asparagus

WHY IT’S GOOD FOR YOU:

Four asparagus spears contain 22% of your recommended daily amount of folic acid, which is especially important for pregnant women since it was prevent neural tube defects and premature birth.

NUTRITION:

The amount of nutrition packed into a single spear makes asparagus one of the healthiest vegetables.

Artichoke

WHY IT’S GOOD FOR YOU:

Don’t let this veggie’s thorny appearance scare you off- it happens to be one of the most antioxidant-rich vegetables available. Artichokes are high in calcium, vitamin K and vision-promoting vitamin A.

NUTRITION:

Artichokes are high in gut-friendly fiber and promote health gut bacteria. 

Avocado

WHY IT’S GOOD FOR YOU:

Half an avocado contains 14 grams of healthy monounsaturated fat. Experts say substituting fats for some carbohydrates can support weight loss by keeping hunger in check.

NUTRITION:

Its not just fat that makes avocados healthy. One avocado also has close to 14 grams of filling fiber.

Beets

WHY IT’S GOOD FOR YOU:

Beets’ deep purple or red color comes from betalains, a class of pigments that also work as inflammation-lowering antioxidants. Though beets can be higher in sodium than other vegetables, they are also full of potassium, which can offset the effects.

NUTRITION:

One cup of beets contains less than 60 calories, and their bright pigment means they’re packed with nutrients. 

Bok choy

WHY IT’S GOOD FOR YOU:

Known as Chinese cabbage, bok choy is high in vision-supportive vitamin A. It’s also a cruciferous vegetable, which means it’s high in fiber and linked to a lower risk of certain cancers, such as colorectal, lung and breast cancer.

NUTRITION:

Bok choy has been shown to help reduce inflammation, which is at the root of many health problems. 

Broccoli

WHY IT’S GOOD FOR YOU:

Broccoli is extremely rich in cancer-fighting properties. Its also high in fiber and very low in calories- one cup of broccoli has just slightly over 80 calories and a negligible amount of fat.

NUTRITION:

Its high in vitamin K, B6 and C; fiber; folate; potassium; and countless other nutrients. Is there anything broccoli can’t do. 

Brussels Sprouts

WHY IT’S GOOD FOR YOU:

As a member of the family that includes broccoli and collards, Brussels sprouts are also effective at lowering cholesterol and fighting cancer. Just one cup contains well over a day’s worth of vitamin C, which is important for bone and skin strength.

NUTRITION:

Every bright green vegetable is packed with nutrition and fiber, but Brussels sprouts are especially healthy.

Carrots

WHY IT’S GOOD FOR YOU:

Carrots may taste sweet, but they’re actually very low in sugar. They’re high in antioxidants like beta-carotene and lycopene, the latter of which has been linked to a lower risk of certain cancers.

NUTRITION:

Carrots are high in vitamin K, which is important for bone health, and other antioxidants, like all brightly colored produce.

Cauliflower

WHY IT’S GOOD FOR YOU:

Cauliflower is highly fibrous and surprisingly high in vitamin C. The combination of water content and fiber makes cauliflower a good vegetable for people with digestion problems. It also boasts more folate than broccoli and is known to have low pesticide residue levels.

NUTRITION:

The orange and purple varieties of cauliflower are also nutritious.

 

Consider introducing these delicious and nutritious vegetables into your dietary choices!

Until next week… For your good health!

The Editors of Time. Time 100 Healthiest Foods to Satisfy Your Hunger. Time Inc., 2017.