When looking for the right kinds of food to eat, remember to choose the ones that have been proven for their health benefits. This way, not only do you satisfy your need for food, you also get the right nutritional benefits from them.
Here are six of the top vegetables which are considered to be good for the health:
Asparagus is popular as a dish than as a medicinal plant. For more than two thousand years however asparagus is regarded to have healing properties. Some of the species of asparagus are specifically used as medicine. But nonetheless, asparagus as a whole is beneficial to health.
The byproducts of the oxidative process of our body cells are called free radicals. There are also external free radicals that are so tiny they can easily enter our body. Free radicals destroy healthy cells in our body. When healthy cells are destroyed, evidences of aging occur. There will be more diseases since the body organs cannot anymore function properly, and the physical looks will be more matured since many of the skin cells are depleting. But when asparagus is eaten regularly, the vegetable is loaded with phytonutrients that acts as antioxidants. Aside from the traditional antioxidant contained in asparagus, such as vitamin C, A, E, manganese and zinc, asparagus is also loaded with the proteins: cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine; all these are formed into what is popularly called glutathione. Glutathione is such a powerful antioxidant that asparagus is ranked among the highest antioxidant vegetables.
Bell pepper may only be treated by others as ornaments in several dishes, yet it is packed with varieties of vitamins and minerals which are necessary for one’s health. Aside from the vitamin C and vitamin A, bell peppers are also rich in B vitamins, such as thiamin or B1, riboflavin or B2, niacin or B3, pantothenic acid or B and pyridoxine or B6. B-vitamins play a large role in the metabolism of body cells. Although B vitamins are distinct from each other, all of them promote healthy muscle tissue, hair and skin. They are necessary in keeping an improved function of the nervous systems and the immune system. B vitamins are also necessary in the proper growth of cells, especially the red blood cells which is an important vehicle of the cells fuel. B vitamins are also associated in the prevention of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and pancreatic cancer. Bell peppers are also rich in E and K.
A cup of raw bell peppers can already provide 7.2 percent of the required daily vitamin E. Bell peppers are also rich in minerals, such as molybdenum, potassium and manganese. Folate, which is necessary for the production of red blood cells and is also important to prevent build-up of heart-disease causing homocysteine, and fiber, can also, be received from bell peppers.
Do not take a carrot for granted – ever. This seemingly unassuming vegetable, with its vibrant orange hue, is a powerhouse of nutrients which can do wonders for your body. To start with, carrots contain vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C and E plus a handful of minerals such as magnesium, thiamine, folic acid, sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and copper. The beautiful glowing color of the carrot is due to its high levels of beta-carotene.
The carotene content in carrots is very high, and carotene is a very potent antioxidant. So if you are in the lookout for foods that boast of high antioxidant content, carrots should be a part of your list. The phytochemicals in carrots are said to be the ones responsible for the carrot’s ability to reduce the risk of stroke and cancer, and in slowing down the process of aging.
Carrots have been known for their ability to keep the skin and the eyes healthy, and you may have not heard this fact: carrots can actually keep your heart healthy too! A study conducted by a team of researchers from the Netherlands have found out that eating foods that are dark orange or yellow in color protects the heart than eating foods that are colored white, purple, red or green does. Furthermore, the researchers revealed that of all the orange and yellow colored foods available, the carrots offer the best form of protection to the heart.
The carrot’s ability to protect the heart is attributed to its high antioxidant content as well as to falcarinol. These substances prevent the clumping of red blood cells and promote better circulation to ensure the healthy pumping mechanism of the heart.
Cauliflower is very rich in vitamins and minerals that can help boost the body’s immune system. Just 107 grams of raw cauliflower can already provide the body with 85.9 percent of the daily value for vitamin C and 20.7 percent of vitamin K needs. Cauliflower is also very rich in B vitamins that can help strengthen the immune system. For minerals, cauliflower is a very good source of potassium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. It also provides the body with choline, tryptophan, fiber and protein for only 26 calories. With these vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C, the body is well protected from any foreign invaders that may challenge the integrity of the immune system.
A cup of pumpkin can already provide the body with 22.9 percent of the daily requirement of fiber. Dietary fiber has several health benefits. First, it helps in supporting the bowel movement. Next, it maintains having normal cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and with this eliminates the extra weight that has been put on by the body. With fiber, dietary cholesterol can be absorbed slowly by the body since fiber binds to the bile acids, where instead of bringing the cholesterol back to the liver to be stored, it is eliminated instead. Dietary fiber has the capacity to normalize the blood sugar levels, thereby preventing the development of diabetes. With fiber, two things happen: there is delay in the transfer of food from the stomach to the small intestine, which means, there is delay in the absorption of glucose. Fiber also has the capability to increase the sensitivity of insulin. Therefore, the more sugar is absorbed by the cell, the less sugar is in the blood. Pumpkin’s high fiber content can greatly benefit one’s health.
Aside from protecting us from skin, stomach and breast cancer, studies have also found that it can also help fight the development of ovarian and prostate cancer. According to a report published in the Journal of Nutrition, spinach has carotenoid which enables prostate cancer cells to destroy themselves and then further inhibit the reproduction of these cancerous cells. Remember that cancer is caused by normal cells which had started to reproduce abnormally until its growth could no longer be controlled.
Aside from carotenoids, spinach has also been said to possess another strong antioxidant known as kaempferol. This substance stops cancerous cells from forming. Women who regularly consumed foods rich in kaempferol had been found to have lesser ovarian cancer risk. Other sources of kaempferol include blueberries, broccoli, curly kale, grapes, citrus, apples and onions.