Hi friends… today I want to give you a quick rundown of the top ten most nutritious vegetables you can eat. Everyone (especially me) is always blabbering in your ear about how important it is to eat your vegetables. Use this list to eat the most nutritious vegetables whenever possible, and you will accomplish a lot more nutrient intake and health through your vegetable-eating endeavors! Also, getting more nutrients through less food means more room for chocolate afterwards.:)
(¹These ratings were created by nutrition guru Dr. Joel Fuhrman, in the form of his Aggregate Nutrient Density Index, or ANDI, scoring system. This rating system is now used in Whole Foods grocery stores nationwide. See bottom for print reference.)
List of The Top 10 Nutritious Vegetables For Healthy Life in 2021
1. Leafy Greens
At the top of the list of nutrient-rich vegetables are members of the leafy green family. This includes kale, watercress, and collard, mustard, and turnip greens. They all possess an equal amount of nutrients as the next, and they do wonders for your body! It is highly important to eat from this list of greens several times a week. Cooking the greens lightly still preserves at least 80% of the nutrients and makes them tastier and easier to digest.
2. Bok Choy
Call it a cousin of the leafy green family, Bok Choy contains about 80% as many nutrients as the greens listed above, and is exceptionally tasty. It can be served chopped and cold, as in a bok choy salad, or used in stir-fry and plenty of other dishes.
My personal favorite, spinach takes the bronze medal in the nutrient competition. Spinach is packed with vitamin C. It is loaded with carotenoids, like beta carotene and lutein, that are known for significantly reducing the risk of certain cancers, prostate in particular. Spinach is also antioxidant rich. Best of all, it tastes great! Ever had a spinach salad? I find them to be heartier and more satisfying than lettuce-based salads. Spinach, by percentage, is one of the most protein-packed vegetables available. Therefore, when you eat it, it satisfies the belly!
The chard family, swiss chard and rainbow chard, don’t seem to be as popular as other vegetables on this list. I personally shied away from them for a while because I was confused as to how they could be incorporated into meals and what not. Chard contains one of the most well-rounded spectrums of antioxidants, and also does a fantastic job of controlling blood sugar levels. The red color often found in the stem and veins of the chard leaf is evidence of betalain, the same detoxifying and antioxidant-packed phytonutrient that gives beets their color. In cooking, use chard much the same way as you might use bok choy. Don’t throw away the stem! Chop it up to sauté, or lightly steam with the leaves in a colander, and serve in a salad or as a side dish. For flavoring, I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos in place of soy sauce, as it contains far less sodium and tastes exactly the same!
5. Brussels Sprouts
Ugh! Doesn’t the name just conjure up memories of being bent over a plate as an adolescent, trying to scrape a few more bites in so that you could get up and run far away from the dinner table, with no plan to ever return? Well, now that we are all older and “mature”, I ask you to reunite with this shunned vegetable and begin receiving all of its dietary benefits. Brussels sprouts, like cabbage, have cholesterol-lowering properties. Brussels sprouts can be cooked and served in a wide variety of ways, and I encourage you to grow your culinary skills by purchasing some during your next supermarket trip! Remember that brussels sprouts, like most vegetables, maintain more nutrients when steamed or lightly sauteed.
Or, as one of my chef buddies calls it, spicy lettuce! Arugula is one of the best naturally tasting leafy greens available. Its flavor is very unique and is often used to liven up salads and entrees. On top of being so delicious and culinary-friendly, arugula is loaded with vitamins C, A, and K. It contains a ton of iron, and like all cruciferous vegetables, is cancer-preventing as well. If you are unfamiliar with arugula, this is the new addition to your diet that I suggest you begin with. The taste will surprise you!
Radishes are another vegetable that is not often consumed, mainly due to a lack of familiarity with its benefits and how it should be eaten. Radishes are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants that promote cellular repair and detoxification. Radishes can be eaten raw, or they can be cooked and added to stir-fry or casserole. They are quite filling, yet contain very little calories. Therefore, radishes can assist in promoting weight loss. The leaves of the radish plant, known as radish “tops”, are super nutrient-dense, and should be included in the dish whenever possible. Lightly steam and add to soup and other dishes, and the slightly bitter flavor will blend well with other ingredients, while adding vital health benefits!
8. Bean Sprouts
When in “sprout form”, the nutrient content of beans is raised significantly. They are known for their impressive amino acid content, as well as the staple vitamins A and C. Bean sprouts are helpful in lowering LDL cholesterol, and they contain nourishing protein for the hair, skin, and nails. Bean sprouts are inexpensive, and can be added to almost any dish. They can also be eaten raw. Get ya sprout on, folks!
9 . Cabbage
Cabbage is one of nature’s best detoxifiers. It lowers cholesterol and improves digestion. It is sometimes referred to as “nature’s broom”, for it sweeps the digestive tract as it passes through, moving along debris and toxins that are stuck in the intestines. Gross to think about, yet outstanding for your insides. Chop it up and add to salads and you will never even notice it. Or, make healthy cole slaw using nonfat yogurt in place of the mayo!
10. Romaine lettuce
Probably one of the most highly consumed vegetables on this list, romaine lettuce brings up the rear at #10. It is important to purchase this lettuce over iceberg when shopping, it is the far superior of the two. Loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, romaine lettuce does wonders towards boosting your immune system. The phytonutrients, evident by the green color of romaine, pack a powerful punch when fighting off foreign invaders to the body, such as free radicals. It is very low in calories, yet also very filling, therefore romaine lettuce is a wonderful way to achieve weight loss goals without going hungry. Eat a large salad made with romaine before dinner and you won’t feel the need to eat much afterwards..this is one of the most effective methods that I have used to prevent overeating.
Don’t worry too much about the benefits of each type of vegetable, or about trying to include all of these vegetables in your diet as once. As with many things, better results are achieved when you take small steps and do not overwhelm yourself. Make it your goal to buy one new vegetable each time you go to the grocery store. You will stretch your palate, training your taste buds to enjoy a wider range of foods. Eating a wide variety of vegetables ensures that you will receive all of the vital nutrients necessary for a healthy body!
Thanks so much for reading, and by all means, leave any thoughts in the comment section below.
To the BEST of health,