Vegetables are beautiful inside and out. Their different shapes and colors make for a tasty and super, good-for-you rainbow on your plate. Each vegetable has its own flavor and nutrient profile, and some are higher in essential vitamins and minerals than others. To help you get the most out of your culinary vegetable adventures, here’s our rundown of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. Add some to your plate and activate your superhuman powers!
Kale is a hot commodity these days and for good reason. This leafy green is positively overflowing with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. One 100g serving contains two times your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C, three times your Vitamin A, and ten times your Vitamin K1, with large amounts of Vitamin B6, potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper and manganese. This power plant also contains fiber and protein.
Prep tip: massage some torn kale leaves in a little olive oil to tenderize the tough leaves and make it salad-ready! You can also enjoy it in our Kale Ricotta Ravioli.
Not only do broccoli florets act as tiny mops that soak up any delicious sauce you put in their general vicinity, but adding more of them to your diet can also help you slash your chances of getting cancer by as much as half. It’s also a great source of calcium, potassium, Vitamin C and beta-carotene. Translation? Broccoli helps strengthen your bones, blood, eyes and brain!
Prep tip: dip raw broccoli florets in hummus for a nutritious snack, or lightly steam them and toss with a bit of coconut oil and your favorite herbs and spices for a healthy side dish. You can also enjoy it in our Orange Mango Chicken.
Another excellent delivery vessel for your favorite veggie dip, carrots are loaded with nutrients that do wonders for your eyes, skin and hair. They’re also great for strengthening your cardiovascular system because they’re rich in antioxidant Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
Prep tip: eat them raw as part of a colorful crudité plate with your favorite healthy dip, or toss them in a little olive oil and your favorite herbs and roast them for richer flavor.
These little green nuggets look like miniature cabbages, but don’t let their small size fool you – they contain tons of folic acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, fiber, protein, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids. They’re antioxidant rich, meaning they may help protect you from several cancers, and they also help strengthen your blood and bones.
Prep tip: you don’t have to boil the life out of them. Instead, try chopping them up raw and add them to your next salad with an extra nutritious crunch! You can also enjoy them in our Red Wine and Braised Beef Polenta.
Squash comes in seemingly endless shapes and sizes, but the summer varieties (zucchini, for example) in particular are extra good for you due to their rich Vitamin C and beta-carotene content. They’re also a good source of potassium, magnesium and fiber. Did you know that potassium can help offset sodium’s harmful effects on your blood pressure? Now you do.
Prep tip: cut a summer squash of your choice in half, brush it with olive oil and your favorite herbs and spices, and grill it on the BBQ for a few minutes on each side.
Get creative! These vegetables are versatile and can be prepared in many ways. Adding more of them to your diet sure to be fun and delicious! In a pinch? Get your fill of nutritious veg with our Gluten-Free Chicken Chorizo Chili, Chicken and Harrisa Chickpeas or Roasted Vegetable Lasagna.
Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more nutritious tips and exclusive giveaways!