7 Super-Vegetables To Improve Your HealthOctober 4 2017
Eating more vegetables is the single most important dietary change needed to reduce the risk of major chronic diseases such as some cancers, heart disease, and hypertension. It also means lowering energy intake, thus a lower risk of obesity, as vegetables have a very high nutrient density and are low in kilojoules.
All vegetables are essentially good for us, but these 7 vegetables are in a league of their own when it comes to promoting health and preventing disease.
Excellent source of vitamins C, E, K, folate and dietary fibre. Contains B vitamins, magnesium, iron, calcium and zinc. Broccoli has sulphur-containing compounds, such as isothiocyanates, that may reduce the risk of developing cancer. These beneficial chemicals are in higher concentrations in broccoli sprouts, so a small serve offers the same benefits as a large serve of broccoli.
Enjoy Broccoli in soups,
Enjoy Broccoli in soups, stir-fries, and salads.
Contains vitamin C, B6, thiamine, folate, potassium, dietary fibre and fructo-oligosaccharides (a prebiotic), also a rich source of the flavonoid, quercetin, and anthocyanin pigments. Red onions have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, beneficial for heart health. It is best eaten raw for its health benefits, red onion is fabulous sliced thinly in salads with tomatoes and cucumber, with an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing, or chopped finely with capers and cubed salmon, with a squeeze of lime juice for a delicious salmon tartare.
It is best eaten raw for its health benefits, red onion is fabulous sliced thinly in salads with tomatoes and cucumber, with an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing, or chopped finely with capers and cubed salmon, with a squeeze of lime juice for a delicious salmon tartare.
Very high in vitamin K and a good source of vitamins A, C and folate. It also contains lutein, offering a protection against age-related macular degeneration in the eye, the leading cause of blindness in people over 50. Folate is important to prevent neural-tube defects, such as spina bifida.
For meals, add baby spinach leaves in a salad, tossed with chopped walnuts, orange slices, sliced mushrooms and vinaigrette dressing.
High in folate and packed with carotenoids that give it strong antioxidant properties, beetroot provides carbohydrate, is an excellent source of dietary fibre and contains a natural nitrate compound called betaine. It promotes synthesis of mood-enhancing serotonin and shown to decrease blood pressure. Drinking beetroot juice increases endurance in athletes by reducing the amount of oxygen used during exercise.
For a fresh and
For a fresh and colourful salad, toss wedges of cooked beetroot with blanched snow peas, red onion slices, baby spinach leaves and a splash of olive oil and vinegar.
An underrated vegetable, it is low in kilojoules and a good source of vitamins K, B6, folate and dietary fibre.
It contains phytochemicals called Phthalides that some studies show decrease stress hormones levels, so reducing stiffness in arteries muscle walls, increasing blood flow.
Celery is a great flavour enhancer in soups and casseroles. Crunchy in salads or as a healthy snack filled with cottage cheese and chives or a smear of peanut butter.
It has three times more than the vitamin C of an orange, an excellent source of beta-carotene and one of the best sources of other carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin and, to a lesser extent, lycopene). It is more nutritious than green capsicum as it has anti-cancer properties that blocks the formation of cancer-causing agents called nitrosamines.
If you want to try red capsicum, cut off the top, scoop out seeds, slice lengthwise and serve raw as a healthy snack with low-fat dips. Delicious brushed with olive oil and garlic, then roasted in the oven or stuffed with a mixture of rice and herbs.
One of the highest sources of beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A, as well as other carotenoids, such as alpha-carotenoid, beta-cryptoxanthin and lutein. It also contains other protective phytochemicals and a good source of dietary fibre and potassium.
Carrots are a convenient and nutritious snack to eat raw, although it is also a good idea to cook it to make them taste sweeter.