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Brussels sprouts pack in the fiber, which prevents constipation, feeds beneficial bacteria in the gut, and manages blood sugar levels. The vitamin C in Brussels sprouts boost immune function, keep skin healthy, and fight iron-deficiency anemia by improving iron absorption. Vitamin K in them keeps bones strong while their omega-3 fatty acid content prevents cognitive decline.
The potassium content of beet greens removes excess sodium in the body to relieve high blood pressure. It also reduces calcium-loss through urine and maintains calcium levels in it to prevent osteoporosis and the occurrence of kidney stones. Vitamin C and E in beet greens prevent age-related vision loss and skin problems.
Garlic can potentially lower cholesterol, with some studies recording a 12% dip in total cholesterol while others peg this at 4–6%. However, the effect seems to be short-lived and not firmly established. Incorporate garlic into your meals as part of a holistic diet along with other antioxidants.
Celery is a nutritious vegetable with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It protects against stomach ulcers, eases fever, and helps manage blood sugar, cholesterol, and high blood pressure. It can soothe an upset stomach, improve sexual health in men, ease arthritis, boost memory and mood, and even protect against Parkinson’s disease.
Bitter melon can help reduce blood sugar levels, cut insulin resistance, and improve your glycemic control. It can also fight oxidative stress and inflammation associated with diabetes and protect from diabetes-related complications to the eye, kidney, and nerves. It also fights cardiovascular risks that diabetics are often prone to.
When it comes to vitamin C rich vegetables, green chilies may top the list but you’ll find other options in cruciferous vegetables, green leafy vegetables, green peas, and kohlrabi. And don’t forget turnips, okra, sweet potatoes, and even regular potatoes. Herbs like parsley and thyme also help pack it in.
Vitamin E and vegetables may not be synonymous, but leafy greens like spinach, beet greens, and turnip greens are a great way to get in the nutrient. Asparagus, broccoli, squash, and sweet potatoes are crowd pleasers that can help. And don’t forget herbs like basil, oregano, or parsley which contain the vitamin too!
Vegetables may not be the obvious choice when it comes to protein. But veggies like edamame, green leafy vegetables, potatoes, hubbard squash, and sweet corn have over 5 gm of protein per cup. Artichokes, asparagus, mushrooms, beets, and cruciferous vegetables have between 2.9 and 5 gm to the cup.
Vitamin K, the clotting vitamin, is present in leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, collard greens, turnip greens, and Swiss chard in abundance. But did you know even scallion, celery, asparagus, and carrots have good amounts of the nutrient? Not to mention brassica veggies like broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.
Vitamin A is crucial for many of our body functions. A well-balanced diet with veggie options such as chard, collard greens, and spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots can provide you with enough vitamin A to get through the day. Lettuce, turnip greens, and sweet peppers can also help you chalk up the numbers.
Fruit and vegetables have respectable levels of zinc you can use to chalk up the numbers. Avocados, spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, corn, and green peas make a delicious meal. Zinc-rich fruit like pomegranate, dried figs, dried apricot, and berries can liven up a meal. Or take a walk on the wild side and experiment with some unique tasting durian!
Nutrient-rich asparagus offers you vitamin K to help with blood clotting, folate which is vital during pregnancy, and B vitamins that improve energy levels and cognitive function. It can also help tackle type 2 diabetes, lower blood pressure, modulate cholesterol metabolism and is great for gut health and immunity – what’s not to love?
Calcium is vital for keeping your bones and teeth healthy. If you want sources other than dairy, turn to veggies like rhubarb, spinach, and turnip and mustard greens to add to your calcium intake. Edamame, collard greens, kale, and Chinese cabbage are also good options for a shot of calcium.
Vegetable sources of iron are abundant! Opt for spinach, mushroom, and broccoli for fairly good quantities of iron. Green peas, acorn squash, leeks, potatoes, asparagus, and leeks also add up. Increase your iron-count further with vitamin-C-rich foods like tomatoes that aid iron absorption.
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