Let’s begin by saying that all vegetables are good for your wellbeing in some way or another, yet there are ten that are simply a cut above the rest when it comes to health and weight loss. These vegetables are densely packed with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients your body needs to function optimally and achieve maximum wellness, so why aren’t they in your kitchen?
The first four on this list are broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and green and red cabbage. These nutritional nuggets belong to the Cruciferous family of vegetables, which are sources of phytonutrients called isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates helps your body get rid of possible carcinogens and prevent healthy cells from turning cancerous. According to a study conducted at Harbour UCLA Medical Centre, men and women ages 50 to 74 who ate lots of broccoli were half as likely to develop colorectal cancer as those who didn’t eat broccoli at all.
Next, kale is another cruciferous vegetable, but it’s so good it deserves its own paragraph! Kale is widely considered to be one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables around, as it is a powerhouse of disease-fighting phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. Just one serving of the stuff gives you 684% of your daily recommended value of vitamin K, which assists in normal blood-clotting, and kale may also promote bone wellness by reducing bone loss and decreasing the risk of fractures.
Beans and peas are an essential part of this list, especially if you’re a vegetarian. These are known as legumes and are rich sources of protein and fibre, which Dr Michael Lam argues lowers your cholesterol and reduces your risk of heart disease. However, beans and peas do not contain all the essential amino acids of proteins so you should use them alongside other plant proteins that have the amino acids they lack, such as whole grains.
Carrots and Sweet potatoes are a valuable staple in your kitchen, because the beta-carotene, a fat-soluble nutrient called a carotenoid, that gives sweet potatoes and carrots their vibrant orange colour is converted by your body into vitamin A. Vitamin A promotes and protects your eye and skin wellness, as well as your immune system and one serving of either vegetable provides well over 100% of your daily recommended allowance of the vitamin.
Finally, keep garlic in the kitchen cupboard for flavour as well as health benefits. Garlic is a member of the Alliums family, alongside onions, leeks, shallots and scallions, which makes garlic a powerful antioxidant that may help fight cancer-causing free radicals, and according to the University of Maryland Medical Centre website, helps slow down hardening of the arteries that leads to heart disease.