10 Vegetables with fantastic health benefits
Vegetables are the number one food that you should eat to keep your body healthy and to ward off disease. Everyone knows that, and people have been trying to get their kids to eat more vegetables for a long time, but still, there is a surprising number of people who do not eat enough veggies in their diet. Vegetables give you fibre, they build up your immune system and they help to fight diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. If you are one of the many people who don’t eat vegetables, then read on, and you will find out what you are missing by not eating these ten vegetables with amazing health benefits.
1. Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are certainly not everyone’s favourite vegetable, but you shouldn’t underestimate their amazing health benefits. Brussels sprouts contain more cancer fighting ingredients than any other cruciferous vegetable. They contain compounds called glucosinolates, which are anti-carcinogenic and can actually destroy cancerous cells in the body.
Kale is thought by many people to be the number one leafy green vegetable, for nutrition. It provides you with calcium, for healthy bones and teeth, and it is a great source of vitamins A, C and K, as well as potassium and folates. If you eat enough vegetables, you would never need to buy multivitamins again!
Onions contain vitamins and minerals too, but they have one very special ingredient that helps to prevent strokes a well. The compounds in question are called thiosulfinates, and these naturally thin the blood and help to stop blood clots forming. There is also another compound in onions, called quercetin, which has been shown to relax the blood vessels, which will also reduce the risk of strokes.
Broccoli is one of the antioxidant heroes of the vegetable world. We need antioxidants in our diet to fight the cell damage that free radicals can induce, which can cause inflammation, cancer and premature ageing. Broccoli is also a very good source of folic acid, which helps to prevent birth defects in unborn children.
5. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are especially high in vitamin A, which helps to keep your eyes healthy and it’s also good for your skin, hair and nails. This orange vegetable is also a good source of potassium, which is one of the greatest all round healthy minerals. Potassium promotes the healthy functioning of the heart and kidneys, it regulates blood pressure, and it also helps the muscles to function properly.
You can add raw spinach to salads, or cook it at as a vegetable, and yes, spinach really does improve the strength of the muscles. Spinach is a great source of iron and it’s packed full of vitamin C and A, as well folates and calcium. Studies have proven that eating spinach improves the efficiency of muscles, though not in the instant way that it did for Popeye.
The fact that carrots are good for your eyes is no myth either. Carrots contain beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A and that helps to stop age related macular degeneration in later life. They also really do improve the vision and make it easier to see in the dark.
8. Bell peppers
Bell peppers get a mention here too, because of their exceptionally high vitamin C content. As well as being a delicious, sweet, addition to cooking and salads, they will also boost your immune system and help protect you against disease. Just a single bell pepper would provide you with twice your daily recommended amount of vitamin C.
Mushrooms have been found to have some pretty amazing cancer fighting properties. Whether you eat the standard button mushroom, or some of the more exotic varieties, they will all improve your immune system and help you fight off stomach cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer. In one Chinese study, it was found that women who ate mushrooms regularly had 64% less of a chance of developing breast cancer.
The humble cabbage should not be ignored either. It’s high in fibre and low in calories, so it’s a great vegetable to add to your meals, especially, if you are trying to lose some weight. It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals too. Like all the vegetables that we have mentioned here, the secret to enjoying cabbage at its best and to get the most nutritional value from it, is to not to overcook it. In days gone by, grandma would have left the cabbage boiling for ages, and that’s when you end up with the stodgy green dollop on your plate that you hated when you were a child. Just cook it very lightly and it will taste a lot better and you will retain much more of the goodness too.