We absolutely love veggies here and we do have our reasons. And once you read this list of veggies and why you must have them, we are sure you’ll agree.
Here are 10 anytime vegetables that are easy to cook, delicious, add colour to any meal and most importantly – provide you with the best of nutrition required in our daily lives. Here they are: 10 vegetables with extraordinary benefits.
Broccoli – A member of the cabbage family, broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C – providing 245% of your recommended daily allowance per 1 cup serving! – as well as vitamin K and vitamin A. A multi-talented little vegetable, broccoli is thought to have excellent anti-cancer properties. Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked, but recent studies suggest that if you do plan on cooking it, steaming is the best way to preserve all of the vegetables various enzymes and nutrients.
Brussel sprouts – Another member of the cabbage family, Brussels sprouts are also much touted for their cancer-fighting properties. However, Brussels sprouts in particular are often touted for their fiber, containing 4 grams of equal parts soluble and insoluble fiber. In addition, these teeny tiny cabbages are also thought to provide significant cardiovascular benefits and help reduce the risk of osteoarthritis, a degenerative form of arthritis that often occurs with aging.
Cabbage – The head of the cabbage family, cabbage provides all of the health benefits of broccoli and Brussels sprouts. When juiced and had over 10 days, cabbage can dramatically speed up the healing process for peptic ulcers! When cooking cabbage it’s important to note that slicing, cutting or chewing activates myrosinase enzymes, which aid the release of anti-carcinogenic glucosinolates. Although these enzymes are denatured when you cook cabbage, you can preserve them by slicing or chopping the cabbage and then letting it sit for 10-15 minutes before lightly cooking, steaming or sauteing for 5 minutes.
Cauliflower – Guess what? This one’s another member of the cabbage family, with just one real distinction – it lacks the chlorophyll necessary to give it the vibrant green hue of its relatives. But if there’s one advantage cauliflower does have, it’s that it is so very adaptable. And, new research shows that if you sprinkle your cauliflower with the spice turmeric, you can reduce the severity of prostate cancer, both in terms of tumor growth and metastasis.
Spinach – Spinach is a great source of vitamin K and vitamin A, as well as folate, magnesium and iron. In terms of specific health benefits, the various compounds in spinach are thought to help reduce the risk of several types of cancer, including tumors of the stomach, prostate, and skin, and also act as an anti-inflammatory to reduce the severity of symptoms associated with asthma, arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Add spinach to soups or casseroles to provide bulk or simply cook on its own, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and black pepper.
Asparagus – In addition to being easy to prepare – steamed, grilled, oven roasted… the choice is yours! – asparagus packs a whopping 114% of recommended daily allowance (RDA) per 1 cup serving of vitamin K, which is important for bone health, and nearly 66% RDA of folate, which helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.
Aragula – A fixture of many-a-bistro salad, arugula is an excellent source of folate and vitamin C as well as a good source of calcium. Although arugula is typically mildly flavored, larger leaf varieties can have a more peppery, almost hot taste than the smaller, softer leaf variety, so choose your arugula accordingly! Arugula is typically best served in a salad with olives, hard-boiled eggs, onions and salty cheeses and is most flavorful when paired with lemon juice or vinaigrettes with a strong acid content, such as aged red wine.
Cucumber – A member of the squash family, cucumber’s high water content makes it a refreshing (and hydrating) addition to summer menus. Although mainly comprised of water, cucumber is also a good source of vitamin C and silica, which is important for connective tissue health and also does wonders for the skin (both when ingested or applied topically to reduce swelling or redness). In addition, the skin of the cucumber is a great source of fiber, potassium and magnesium.
Mushrooms – With a low sodium and fat content and high levels of fiber and riboflavin, niacin, potassium and riboflavin, mushrooms are an excellent way to add bulk to a meal without dramatically changing the nutrition content of foods. When shopping for mushrooms, they should be dry and firm and, if open, should have gills that are intact and appear fresh. Mushrooms can be served raw, added to salads or sauteed, grilled or broiled for inclusion in any number of dishes.
Zucchini – Zucchinis are an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese and a good source of dietary fiber, magnesium, vitamin A, potassium, copper, folate, phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids, protein and several B vitamins. When shopping for zucchini, look for those that resemble a cucumber in size and shape and have a smooth, thin skin that is either green or yellow in color. To enjoy, cut in half, drizzle with oil, salt and pepper and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. If you prefer your zucchini raw, consider chopping juliennes and serve as part of a vegetable platter or add grated to salads, sandwiches and other summer salads.