|The 10 Most Important Vegetables to Include in your Diet|
|Vegetables - Vegetables 2011|
|Written by Frank Mangano|
|Tuesday, 18 January 2011 02:59|
Eating vegetables is one of the best things that you can do to your body. Vegetables are not only rich sources of vitamins and minerals that maintain and promote health, but some vegetables have also been found to reduce the risk of developing certain diseases. Recent scientific findings say that eating vegetables will not only help you trim some weight and help you stay in good shape but they can also serve as an effective means of preventing diseases including cancer and heart disease.
Though majority of vegetables are good for the health, a few offers more nutritional value than others.
Including vegetables in your daily diet will benefit you in more ways than one. And it’s always important to remember that vegetables are best eaten steamed or stir-fried. The short exposure to heat helps in retaining more nutrients as possible. Organically grown vegetables are definitely way better since they have not been treated with and exposed to any potentially harmful pesticides and fertilizers.
Here are ten of the most important veggies that you should include in your diet:
Spinach and other Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables include lettuce, parsley, spinach, collard greens, chard and kale. They are low in calorie and are often eaten by people who wants to restrict their diet to a few calories in order to lose weight. Despite the low-calorie content, green leafy vegetables do not fall short of the essential vitamins and minerals. They are high in dietary fiber, low in fat, and rich in magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and folic acid. These are also a rich source of disease-fighting phytochemicals like beta-carotene, lutein and other forms of carotene. Green leafy vegetables are also best for people with diabetic conditions because of its low sugar and high magnesium content. Eating green leafy vegetables can also help promote bone health through their vitamin K content that stimulates the production of osteocalcin in the bones.
It is best eaten with beef but it can also be served steamed along with other nutritious vegetables. Broccoli is rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. It is loaded with antioxidants that helps prevent the onset of serious health conditions like cancer and cardiovascular disease. Broccoli contains folic acid that helps in preventing birth defects in babies. The vegetable contains a few of the highest levels of vitamin C and A than any other food ingredient. Some of the antioxidants found in broccoli includes vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene. These three strong antioxidants were found by numerous scientific studies to reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease. People with anemia can also benefit from broccoli's high levels of vitamin C and E. The vegetable can be eaten raw, steamed, added to soup or used in other dishes.
Another leafy green that is a more affordable alternative for broccoli is cauliflower. Like any other vegetable, it is a rich source of vitamin C. It also contains vitamin B-complex, vitamin A, vitamin E, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, iron and protein. And it is able to offer all these nutrients with less sodium than other food sources. Cauliflower also has no fat and cholesterol. Studies have shown that the antioxidants in cauliflower can reduce the risk of developing hypertension, heart disease and cancer. Due to its bland flavor, cauliflower can be added to any dish to boost its nutritional value and act as a nutritious extender.
Brussels Sprouts are free of cholesterol, low in sodium and fat and are rich in dietary fiber. These contain high levels of several nutrients with antioxidant properties like vitamin C and glucosinolates. They have been proven to hold powerful health benefits in preventing diseases like cancer and heart disease. Brussels sprouts are also rich sources of folic acid important in pregnant women and vitamin D. They are best cooked through steaming since this prevents the release of sulfur odors caused by overcooking.
Peppers come in four colors. The flavor may vary depending on the variant but bell peppers are some of the richest sources of nutrients in the planet. They contain vitamin A and vitamin C, and they are also rich in beta-carotene. Studies show that beta-carotene is one of the most potent antioxidants from a natural source. These are good sources of folic acid as well as of fiber that helps in lowering blood cholesterol and. The benefits of peppers in lowering blood cholesterol directly influence a person's risk of developing heart disease. Peppers can also lower the risk of colon cancer by preventing harmful toxins to come in contact with colon cells. A study has found that the antioxidants in bells peppers can also lower colon cancer risk.
The vitamin A content of sweet potatoes ia important for eye a health. It is rich in potassium and it facilitates muscle contraction and helps kidney and heart function. Sweet potatoes are also rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, calcium, vitamin B6, fiber and copper.
Carrots are considered to be the richest source of beta-carotene, a potent antioxidant and a precursor for vitamin A absorption. Studies show that the antioxidant property of beta-carotene can reduce the risk of developing some types of cancer. Eating carrots is also a good way to promote skin health and improve eyesight. The fiber present in carrots also helps in cleansing and detoxifying the intestinal tract and protects the body against colon cancer. Furthermore, it can also aid in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases by lowering blood cholesterol levels.
Soybean is a good alternative to meat as a source of protein due to its low calorie and fat content. A cup of soybean offers more than 50 percent of the daily recommended value for protein – and it only contains 300 calories and less than 3 grams of saturated fat. Substituting soybean for meats can effectively lower blood cholesterol levels without depriving the body of its much needed protein requirement.
Asparagus has been found to reduce the acidity of the blood through its high alkaline content. The phytochemicals in asparagus can also prevent and alleviate the symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis. Asparagus can serve as an effective laxative and help promote normal bowel movement. And like other vegetables, asparagus is a rich source of antioxidant that fights against cancer and other dreaded diseases.
Kale has been subjected to numerous studies to investigate its benefits in the prevention of cancer and most of them are focused on kale's anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant nutrients. Cancer is strongly linked to the oxidation and inflammation of cells. And for kale lovers, the vegetable presents a plethora of health benefits. Studies found that eating kale can reduce the risk of prostate, ovarian, colon, breast and bladder cancer.
Beets are rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals that promote better health and contain strong antioxidants like lutein and carotenoids. It contains phosphorous, copper, iron, magnesium, vitamin C and dietary fiber and is low in calorie compared to other vegetables.
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