Whereas most vegetables are low in calories and high in nutrition, these top 10 healthiest vegetables are a lot better than others. So start adding at least five choices a day from this list of the healthiest vegetables.
1. Cruciferous Vegetables are filled with anti-ageing, cancer fighting, immune boosting phytonutrients, plus vitamin C and K, potassium, calcium, iron and folic acid. These vegetables are most nutritious eaten raw, lightly steamed or stir-fried: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Green and Red Cabbage.
2. Carrots help protect against cancer and improve eyesight with high levels of carotenoids and vitamin A, They are a good source of vitamins B, C and K, fibre (when raw), potassium, magnesium and folate. Grate them into salads or eat baby raw carrots as a snack.
3. Dark green leafy vegetables can be lightly steamed or used in healthy soups, chillies, casseroles and stir-fries or eaten raw in salads and on sandwiches. They are high in iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, carotenoids and vitamins, B, C, E and K: Kale, Spinach, Greens, Parsley, Red and Green Lettuce.
4. Tomatoes are very high in lycopene, carotenoids and vitamin C and are good on sandwiches as raw snacks and in salads, soups and pasta sauce.
5. Beans and Peas are much higher in protein than other vegetables. Whether they are dried (lentils), canned (kidney beans), lightly steamed (soybeans), or eaten raw (peas), beans also contain fibre, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. Beans can be added to soups, salads, pasta sauce, chilli or eaten on their own. The list includes Peas, Lentils, Soya Beans, Lima Beans, Kidney Beans.
6. Asparagus is a great source of potassium, fibre, vitamins A, C, K, and B complex. Lightly steam.
7. Allium foods, like garlic and onions, are best known for their natural antibiotic properties and can help boost immunity, reduce inflammation and fight infection. These foods are healthiest eaten raw in salads but are also great flavouring for many dishes: Leeks, Onions, Shallots, Scallions, Garlic.
8. Sweet potatoes are rich in carotenoids, vitamins A, B6, C, potassium, iron and fibre and are delicious when baked and eaten plain (without butter) or used in soups, casseroles or stir-fries.
9. Peppers are great sources of potassium, manganese, fibre and vitamins A, B, C and K and can be added to salads and healthy stir-fries: Green peppers, Yellow peppers, Orange peppers, Red Peppers.
10. Summer and winter squash are rich in carotenoids, vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium and fibre. Squash can be added to casseroles, soups, stir-fries or served alone.
You can enjoy most of the ten listed vegetables in salads or as snacks, lightly steamed as a side or main dish and added to soups or stir-fries.