It is no secret that vegetables are among the healthiest foods we can consume as human beings. Along with these healthy foods comes a list of the most nutrient dense, weight loss aiding vegetables you have to add to your shopping chart the next time you hit the grocery store.
This leafy green tops the chart as one of the healthiest vegetables, thanks to its impressive nutrient profile. One cup (30 grams) of raw spinach provides 56% of your daily vitamin A needs plus your entire daily vitamin K requirement — all for just 7 calories.
Carrots are especially high in beta-carotene, which can turn into vitamin A in the body. Their high antioxidant content may help reduce the risk of lung and prostate cancer.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that contains sulforaphane, a compound that may prevent cancer growth. Eating broccoli may also help reduce the risk of chronic disease by protecting against oxidative stress.
Studies show that garlic may help lower blood triglyceride levels. Some studies have also found that it could decrease blood sugar levels and may have an anti-cancer effect, although more research is needed.
Brussels sprouts contain an antioxidant called kaempferol, which may protect against oxidative damage to cells and prevent chronic disease. They may also help enhance detoxification in the body.
Kale is high in vitamins A, C and K as well as antioxidants. Studies show that drinking kale juice could reduce blood pressure and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol.
Green peas contain a good amount of fiber, which helps support digestive health. They also contain plant compounds called saponins, which may have anti-cancer effects.
Some animal studies show that Swiss chard could protect against the negative effects of diabetes and may decrease blood sugar levels.
Studies show that ginger could reduce nausea and alleviate inflammation. Ginger supplements may also help decrease blood sugar.
Asparagus is especially high in folate, which may help prevent neural tube birth defects. Test-tube studies have also found that asparagus can support liver function and reduce the risk of toxicity.
Red cabbage contains a good amount of fiber, vitamin C and anthocyanins. Certain studies show that it may decrease blood cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart and liver damage.
Sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene, which may decrease the risk of some types of cancer. White sweet potatoes could also help reduce blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Collard greens are high in calcium, which could reduce the risk of osteoporosis. The regular intake of collard greens has also been associated with a reduced risk of glaucoma and prostate cancer.