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10 of the healthiest vegetables you should know about

Vegetables are an important part of losing weight and staying healthy. But there are so many vegetables, and some are healthier than others. So, here’s 10 of the healthiest vegetables you should know about!

Research suggests that diets rich in vegetables reduce the risk of cancer and other illnesses. Most vegetables are also low in calories and provide a lot of volume, which is great for weight loss. A lot of volume makes you feel full and you won’t be hungry, and since they are all low in calories you won’t gain weight either.

Below is a list of 10 of the healthiest vegetables, along with simple recipes that might make eating these veggies more enjoyable. These veggies are all nutrient-dense and low-carb, which all contribute to effective weight loss.

Kale

green kaleKale is truly a super food, with its rich vitamins, antioxidants and healthy fats. Kale is also super-rich in vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C.

Its antioxidants can help protect against cancers, while helping boost your immune system. Kale also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats that your body needs.

Kale also has anti-inflammatory abilities that help with diseases like arthritis and auto-immune diseases.

Sauteed kale

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch kale, thick ribs removed and leaves roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • Water and salt

Instructions

  • Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to skillet and put on medium heat.
  • Add and stir the diced onion until light brown.
  • Add and stir the minced garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the chopped kale, ¼ cup water, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
  • Cook and toss the kale until the kale is tender, about 5 to 7 minutes, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet.

Tip: There’s lots of flavour in the brown bits. If the water is already gone, add a little bit, and scrub with a spatula.

Spinach

healthiest vegetables spinachSpinach is packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and magnesium.

Folate helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, and magnesium is beneficial for blood pressure, helping prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Studies have shown that spinach also helps with your brain function and memory.

Spinach omelette

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup baby spinach, washed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil)

Instructions

  • In a bowl beat the eggs. The eggs will be fluffier if you beat them vigorously. This incorporates more air into the eggs.
  • Add a tablespoon of oil to skillet and put on medium heat.
  • Add and stir the spinach for a minute. It will shrink considerably, and that is ok.
  • Add the beaten eggs and cook until partially set.
  • Flip with a spatula, and continue cooking 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Fold one half of the omelet onto the other.

Tip: The trick for a good omelet is to beat the eggs vigorously to incorporate more air, and to use medium heat when you cook the omelet.

Broccoli

Healthiest Vegetables broccoliBroccoli is one of the healthiest cruciferous vegetables. It has twice as much vitamin C as an orange and almost as much calcium as whole milk.

Broccoli contains a powerful mineral called selenium, which is said to have strong anti-cancer properties.

Roasted broccoli

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of broccoli with stem
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • Mix olive oil and minced garlic in a small container.
  • Cut each broccoli vertically into 4 large pieces (each piece containing the florets and the stem) and lay them on a baking tray. The cut surface should be facing upwards.
  • Coat the surface of each broccoli piece with the oil and garlic mixture, and sprinkle the surface lightly with salt.
  • Put in oven and roast for 15-20 minutes until nicely browned.
  • Take out of oven and sprinkle with pepper.

Cauliflower

Healthiest vegetables - cauliflowerCauliflower is another cruciferous vegetable high in nutrition and said to have cancer-fighting properties.

In just 1 cup, it delivers 77% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C. It also provides a healthy amount of fibre, potassium and folic acid.

Cauliflower may be beneficial in boosting cognitive function, learning ability and memory.

Mashed cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt

Instructions

  • Fill a large pot with a steamer basket with just enough water so that the water touches the bottom of the steamer basket.
  • Place cauliflower pieces on the steamer basket, and close the lid.
  • Put pot on high heat and let boil for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is very tender.
  • Drain well, remove the steamer basket, add butter and mash the cauliflower.

Asparagus

Healthiest vegetables - asparagusAsparagus contains a good balance of nutrients, and is a great source of vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium and folate.

A 5 oz serving contains 60% of the daily recommended amount of folic acid, which, among other things, helps prevent birth defects.

Asparagus can also be used as a natural diuretic to increase urination for a healthy body fluid balance. It’s also effective against urinary tract infections and similar conditions.

Sauteed asparagus

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Cut off the bottom 1 inch of the asparagus.
  • Put olive oil and butter on a skillet and set to medium-high heat.
  • Add the garlic and the asparagus spears.
  • Cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until asparagus is tender.
  • Move to plate, and sprinkle salt and pepper.

Brussel sprouts

Healthiest vegetables - Brussels sproutsBrussels sprouts are high in fibre, and are excellent for the digestive tract and lowering the risk of colon cancer.

They are high in folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin K and beta-carotene, and they also contain a cancer-fighting compound called isothiocyanates, which helps to reduce the risk of breast, bladder, lung and prostate cancer.

Roasted brussel sprouts

Ingredients

  • 1 and a half pounds of brussel sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Cut off stems of brussel sprouts and peel off outer or bruised leaves.
  • Cut each brussel sprout into half.
  • Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil.
  • Pour them on a baking pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until brown on the outside.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper.

Peppers

Healthiest vegetables - peppersAll peppers, whether green, red, yellow or orange, hot or not, are rich in nutrients and antioxidants.

Antioxidants are important as they fight free radicals in your body, which helps to prevent and/or reverse diseases.

Peppers are rich in vitamin A which helps your eyesight, and vitamin C which helps boost your immune system.

Hot peppers, such as jalapenos, contain a compound called capsaicin, which may have even higher antioxidant properties. Capsaicin has also shown to help with weight loss, by curbing appetite and increasing metabolism.

Stuffed bell peppers

Ingredients

  • 4 large bell peppers, any colour
  • 1 lb of lean ground lamb or beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 jar (8-10 oz) of pitted kalamata olives, diced
  • 1 large bunch of swiss chard roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Except for the bell peppers mix all the ingredients in a bowl
  • Cut off top of peppers and remove the seeds inside.
  • Stuff the peppers with the mixture.
  • Place on deep baking dish, add 1 cup of water into the baking dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 90 minutes.

Beet greens

Healthiest vegetables - beet greensBeet greens are even healthier than the beet root! 1 cup of beet greens contains 220% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A.

Beta-carotene in vitamin A is an important antioxidant that fights against free radicals in the body. Beet greens also contain more iron than spinach, along with lots of magnesium, potassium, copper and vitamin B6.

Easy beet root/greens recipe for your next meal

Ingredients

  • 2 beets with beet greens
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Remove the beet greens from the beet root
  • Rinse the beet root and greens
  • Place beet roots in a baking dish
  • Cover baking dish and bake beet roots for 45-60 minutes until tender
  • Take out of oven, and peel the skin off the beet roots and cut into pieces.
  • Add 2 tablespoons oil to skillet and heat to medium heat.
  • Add the garlic and onion, and cook for a minute.
  • Tear the beet greens into 2 to 3 inch pieces, and add them to the skillet.
  • Cook and stir until greens are wilted and tender.
  • Season with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

Healthiest vegetables - celeryCelery

Celery is great source of vitamin C and vitamin K. It is also rich in potassium and sodium. Celery is a diuretic food, which helps to release excess fluid from your body.

Celery contains a compound called pthalides, that can help lower blood pressure, and a compound called luteolin, which can combat brain inflammation.

Celery is an ideal vegetable for juicing, due to its high water content.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes have a wide range of nutrients, but the most amazing compound is lycopene.

Healthiest vegetables - tomatoesNo other fruit or vegetable has as high a concentration of lycopene as tomatoes. Lycopene is a potent antioxidant that has powerful anti-cancerous effects, particularly against prostate cancer. Research suggests lycopene may also dramatically reduce your risk of stroke and osteoporosis.

Tomatoes also contain a good amount of fibre, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium.

Tomato & egg

Ingredients

  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 eggs

Instructions

  • Remove core from each tomato.
  • Slice tomatoes into 1 inch thickness.
  • Add oil to skillet and heat to medium heat.
  • Lay tomato slices onto skillet and fry until the surface is brown.
  • Turn the tomatoes over with spatula and fry the other side until brown.
  • Mash the tomatoes as much as possible with the spatula.
  • Reduce heat to low heat.
  • Add eggs to skillet, and mix eggs up
  • Cook while stirring until eggs are cooked as desired.

Juicing – Another Way to Get Your Veggies

Healthiest vegetables - juicingIf you really can’t get yourself to eat vegetables, juicing is an excellent way to get the nutrients contained in vegetables.

Even if you enjoy eating vegetables, juicing is a good way to ensure you get every last nutrient contained in vegetables, as cooking destroys some of the nutrients.

It’s also an easy way to get your recommended 5 fruit and veg a day.

 

Credit: fastslimbody.com.


Categorised in: ,
20 Jan
2014
AUTHOR:
 
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