Most nutritious vegetables

We are led to believe from a very young age that vegetables are extremely important to our health and well-being. With that said, you should aim to eat the right ones as not all vegetables are created equal. The most nutritious vegetables are typically loaded with vitamins, minerals and nutrients and some even have anti-aging properties. Scientific research claims that we should aim to eat at least five servings of nutritious vegetables a day and this, in turn, should help you to stay in shape, young and healthy. Vegetables are also known to protect against heart disease and cancer. In addition to vegetables, you should also eat fruit, and the recommended daily intake for both should be somewhere between five and nine per day. However, in reality the vast majority of people are eating under three nutritious fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.

So which vegetables are the most nutritious ones?

Spinach is known to contain a wide variety of vitamins and essential nutrients. Spinach will provide you with a high level of vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, manganese, magnesium, iron, calcium and certain flavonoids and carotenoids. You should always eat spinach when the leaves are dark green and fresh, and look to avoid the ones that have wilted or yellow leaves. You can store spinach in the refrigerator, but ensure that you don’t wash it beforehand. The water on the leaves and the refrigeration process can actually cause spinach to spoil. However, you must ensure that it is thoroughly washed before eating. You can add raw spinach to salads, or you may choose to steam spinach or even add it to a casserole.

Broccoli is related to cauliflower, cabbage and kale and is extremely high in vitamins C, K and A. It also contains high levels of folate, potassium, manganese and tryptophan. Broccoli is additionally a great source of magnesium, phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B2 and B6 and is also known to contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. When purchasing broccoli avoid the ones that have tops that have turned yellow or are beginning to wilt. Broccoli should always appear totally green and in order to get the most nutrients out of it you should either eat it raw or steam it lightly.

Carrots contain many nutrients such as vitamins C, vitamin K, manganese, potassium and are also known as a rich source of carotenoids. When choosing carrots they should always be a deep orange color and should also be firm. It is vitally important that if carrots are not specifically organically grown that they should always be peeled prior to eating. If a carrot is organically grown it can simply be scrubbed with a vegetable brush. You should also cut off the green tops prior to refrigeration as this will stop them from wilting. The green part of the carrot is also known to draw away moisture from the roots. Carrots can be eaten raw as a snack or even grated or sliced into a salad. You may also choose to steam your carrots, and carrot juice is known as an extremely refreshing and healthy drink.

Sweet potatoes mainly appear on our dinner plates at Thanksgiving. However, they are a superb vegetable that can be eaten all year round. Sweet potatoes are extremely high in vitamins A and C and are a great source of vitamin B6, potassium, copper, manganese and iron. When purchasing sweet potatoes, ensure that they are free of bruises and cracks. You should never refrigerate sweet potatoes, but be sure to store them in a cool and dark place. You are able to bake, steam or boil sweet potatoes and they are often made into a desert such a sweet potato pie.

Beets are known to be a fantastic source of manganese, potassium, folate, iron, copper, phosphorus, vitamin C and dietary fiber. Beet greens also contain certain nutrients such as cartenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. For the most nutritious beets you should aim to buy small or medium-sized ones. They should never be shriveled and always smooth to touch. To store beets you should cut off the greens and leave them unwashed in your refrigerator, but always ensure that you wash them before eating. Beets can actually be frozen after cooking and are often eaten raw in salads. They can additionally be steamed, sautéed or roasted.

Tomatoes are often considered a fruit, but they should definitely not be left off this list. Tomatoes contain in excess of 20 different vitamins and minerals. They will provide an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K and also contain potassium, manganese, chromium, molebdenum and vitamins B1 and B6. They additionally provide a great source of copper, iron, folate and many other essential nutrients. Tomatoes are especially known for their lycopene content, which is a fantastic antioxidant and it also contains certain anti-cancer properties. Tomatoes are typically eaten raw in sandwiches or salads, but they can also be made into sauces and are often added to soups.

Last updated on Nov 9th, 2010 and filed under Nutritional Information. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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