Top 5 of most healthy vegetables
Written by: Editors
Vegetables are super healthy and are packed with nutrients that do wonders for your body. Experts say that eating a lot of vegetables even reduces the chance of serious conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Although all vegetables are healthy, several stand out for their supply of nutrients. This article focuses on the five healthiest vegetables and their health benefits.
1. Broccoli: anti-cancer effects
Broccoli belongs to the cabbage family, just like kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. It’s perhaps one of the healthiest vegetables. In fact, this vegetable is even considered a superfood.
Broccoli is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, but it is best known for its cancer-fighting properties. According to researchers, this is due to its high sulforaphane content, an antioxidant that gives broccoli its slightly bitter taste. It has been shown that sulforaphane protects against various types of cancer including colon cancer and lung cancer. So be sure to include broccoli in your diet more often.
2. Bell pepper: bursting with colour and Vitamin C
You probably have it in your fridge: a sleeve pack of bell peppers. Every pack contains one of each of the colours, red, orange, yellow or green. They are perfect for adding a dash of colour to your salad, pizza or pasta. But even more importantly, (red) bell peppers are one of the richest sources of Vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system. Bell peppers also provide eye-healthy Vitamin A and have an excellent amount of fibre, which helps to maintain digestive health.
3. Onion: improves gut health
Let's talk about digestion! Do you eat onions regularly? If not, you should. All members of the onion family (shallots, spring onions and leeks) are very high in fibre, which means they play a crucial role in the proper functioning of our intestines.
What’s more, onion is also rich in quercetin, a strong antioxidant with many benefits in terms of cardiovascular health. One small onion contains 5 to 10 times more quercetin than other vegetables, making it a good ally in the fight against cardiovascular disease.
4. Avocado: full of healthy fats
Avocados are immensely popular, and they are available in large supply in supermarkets. Avocados are one of the few fruits (yes, technically they're a fruit, not a veggie) that are packed with healthy unsaturated fats, specifically monounsaturated fats. And monounsaturated fats are known to support the heart, brain, eyes, and more. Avocados are also a source of vitamins C, E, K, and B6, as well as magnesium and potassium.
However, while avocados are nutritious, they are quite calorie dense as they are high in unsaturated fat, so don’t go overboard with them.
5. Spinach: a powerhouse veggie
Remember how Popeye squeezed a can of spinach into his mouth and instantly developed extra muscles and super strength? While it might not make you grow muscles on the spot like Popeye, spinach is at the top of the list for one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables.
Like other leafy greens, spinach is chock full of iron, magnesium, potassium, folic acid and various vitamins B. In addition, spinach is a rich source of chlorophyll and carotenoid, substances that improve eye health and protect against cancer and inflammation.
Vary your veggies
Although all vegetables mentioned above are super healthy, it’s important to eat a varied diet of vegetables to maximise their nutrient potential. Not one vegetable contains all the nutrients you need, so incorporate a rainbow of vegetables (not just the five mentioned above) into your plate!
In fact, vegetables are so healthy that you can eat more than the two recommended servings a day. Eat as much as you want of them, they're delicious and healthy.