The following nutrient-rich vegetables are considered some of the top choices when it comes to being the healthiest. Each offers a long list of benefits including helping you feel more energetic, fight disease and even lose weight. So – go ahead, fill your plate and supercharge your health. We’re even including a tasty (and easy) recipe or cooking suggestion to try with each vegetable listed.
This hearty vegetable is loaded with folate. Studies suggest that folate, a B vitamin, helps prevent high blood pressure.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound of fresh asparagus
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
Lightly salt and pepper to taste (optional)
1/4 cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and cook, constantly stirring for about 5 minutes or until tender. Mix in the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Place the asparagus in a serving dish, and top with Parmesan cheese.
Ruby red beets are loaded with nutrients and fiber and are a major source of nitrates that help control your blood pressure.
Cooking suggestion: Wrap each beet in foil and bake in the oven at 350F until tender. Roasting beets enhances their natural sweetness.
You can also eat the often overlooked leafy tops on beets which are packed with vitamin K. This vitamin has been linked to lowering the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Just one cup of the leafy beet tops provides almost twice your daily requirement of vitamin K.
Cooking suggestion: Sauté a bunch of beet greens and sliced garlic in some olive oil as a healthy side dish. You can also chop the greens up and add them to pasta dishes, soup, etc.
Brimming with nutrients, including vitamin K, vitamin C, and beta-carotene, kale is often referred to as the ultimate superfood. Few people appreciate the strong flavor of kale, but the good news is that if this sounds like you, “baby” kale leaves taste more like spinach.
Cooking suggestion: Add it to salads, pasta dishes, or use it to replace lettuce on sandwiches and in wraps.
This popular green has wholesome amounts of manganese and vitamins A, C and K. Eating just 1.5 cups of green, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale a day may reduce your chances of getting type 2 diabetes.
Cooking suggestion: Work spinach into your daily meal plans by adding it to casseroles, blending it into your smoothies, adding it to wraps/sandwiches or scrambled eggs.
This old-school Southern favorite boasts a wealth of nutritional benefits, including noteworthy amounts of folate, beta-carotene, and vitamins C and K.
Cooking suggestion: Quickly blanch the greens in boiling water, chop them up and toss them into your favorite whole grain salads.
Red Bell Pepper
While it’s actually a fruit we’re adding red bell peppers to the list because most people think it’s a vegetable and it’s too important not to list. Just one medium-sized pepper delivers more than twice the daily requirement of vitamin C and healthy levels of beta-carotene and B vitamins.
Cooking suggestion: Cut the tops off of the red peppers, clean out the seeds and membranes, then roast until tender. Finish off by filling the pepper with a hearty whole grain salad.
One of Mother Nature’s rock stars, broccoli is a major source of natural plant compounds that have been shown to help lower the risk of some cancers. In addition, broccoli is brimming with vitamin C and K.
Cooking suggestion: Steam broccoli florets or add them to frittatas, smoothies, or your favorite stir-fries.
Brussels sprouts contain more glucosinolates (compounds that detoxify our bodies and help fight cancer) than any other vegetable.
Cooking suggestion: As a tasty side dish, slice each one into quarters, add some chopped onion and sauté them in about a tablespoon of olive oil until tender.
Just one cup of peas provides a remarkable 6 grams of fiber, which helps you feel satisfied longer, aids digestion and helps lower cholesterol levels.
Cooking suggestion: You can add peas to just about anything, including potato salads, dips, soups, pasta and rice dishes.
For significantly better health, incorporate this vibrant variety of nutrient-rich super vegetables into your healthy eating plan. Strive to include 5 servings every day. The amount of a serving will depend on the vegetable. A good rule of thumb is to consider one cup of leafy greens as a single serving and a half a cup of chopped veggies as a single serving.