Remember when you were a kid, and the Healthiest Vegetables were the ones you wanted to avoid the most? Now you’re all grown up and you’ve realized these crunchy cruciferous cuties may be the best thing to happen to your diet since whole-grain bread! Luckily, the healthiest vegetables also happen to be some of the tastiest vegetables… but which are truly the healthiest, and which can you continue to wrinkle your nose at? I can help… here are the 9 healthiest vegetables to add to your diet, my dear.
1. Broccoli and Cauliflower
Whether you munch them raw, stir-fry them, or steam them, these popular cruciferous delights look like tiny trees and rate among the healthiest vegetables. They’re packed with phytonutrients, potassium, calcium, iron, folic acid and vitamins C and K. Not a fan, but want to reap the benefits? Try them with a little low-cal, low-fat ranch dressing.
2. Leafy Greens (like Kale and Spinach)
Ask for seconds of salad! Most leafy greens, like spinach and kale, are their healthiest raw (like in salads) but they’re also good cooked in soups or baked in quiches. Why are they so good for you? Popeye could tell you they build strong muscles, and give you a boost of energy, with iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium and vitamins B, C, E and K.
3. Brussels Sprouts
These round little greens also belong to the cruciferous family, but they rate an entry of their own because (a) I’m fond of them and (b) they’re so good cooked with a little butter.
Are they a fruit or a vegetable or something else? It depends who you ask, but either way, tomatoes are versatile, tasty, easy to grow, and loaded with good-for-you vitamins and other nutrients (like lycopene). Add them to a salad or just eat the fresh grape tomatoes by the handful… yum!
5. Red Bell Peppers
More tangy and savory than their yellow, orange or green counterparts, red bell peppers are also more nutritious, landing them squarely in the healthiest vegetables category. Why are they so good for you? Because they’re chock full of fiber, potassium, manganese and vitamins A, B, C and K. what a resume!
Sure, they make you cry, but they’re worth it! Onions are one of the healthiest vegetables, one of the few natural antibiotics and proven immune system boosters. A close relative, the garlic, also helps ward off vampires… right? *wink
Putting cucumber slices over your eyes can help reduce puffiness and can be quite a pick-me-up, but did you know they’re also one of the healthiest vegetables? They’re also quite popular with kids, if you’re looking for something they might try and enjoy…
Bugs Bunny was on to something! Carrots help prevent cancer and can help your eyesight with their carotenoids and vitamin A, and they’re also loaded with fiber, potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins B, C and K. They’re bland when cooked (it also leeches out the fiber), but they’re so good raw!
9. Sweet Potatoes
The humble sweet potato is good for more than just pies — enjoy them in soups or baked on their own, and get a healthy helping of carotenoids, potassium, iron, fiber and vitamins A, B6, and C.
Don’t all of these healthiest vegetables sound so good? I admit I’m still not keen on kale and I’m a little bashful about broccoli, but I’m willing to try just about any of the others! Which of these healthy veggies will you try first? Or do you already have a favorite here on my list? Do tell!
Top Image Source: weheartit.com