10 of the Healthiest Vegetables You Can Eat

Move this antioxidant-rich produce to the top of your shopping list.

Adapted by Alyssa Jung From Cut Your Cholesterol and Foods That Harm | Foods that Heal
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    Onions

    You'll get the most out of this veggie's cancer-fighting antioxidants by eating it raw; cooking onions at a high heat significantly reduces the benefits of phytochemicals that protect against lung and prostate cancer. Try combining chopped raw onions with tomatoes, avocado, and jalapeño peppers for a blood sugar–friendly chip dip. Finish with a splash of lime juice.

    Corn

    On the cob or off, just make sure you eat your corn cooked! A study in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry found that the longer corn was cooked, the higher the level of antioxidants like lutein, which combats blindness in older adults. Try this recipe for coconut grilled corn.

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    Peas

    Tiny but mighty, one study in the International Journal of Cancer found that daily consumption of green peas along with other legumes lowered the risk of stomach cancer. Try a brown rice risotto with lemon and green peas.

    Kale

    This veggie's curly green leaves are chock full of vitamin C, an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering levels of LDL, or "bad" cholesterol. Try one of these easy kale recipes.

    Broccoli

    Broccoli is full of cancer-fighting antioxidants. One study found men who ate 5 servings or more per week of cruciferous veggies (broccoli's one of them!) were half as likely to develop bladder cancers over a 10-year period as men who rarely ate them. Enjoy with some broccoli cheddar soup.

    Red bell pepper

    One medium pepper is light on calories (only 32!) but heavy on vitamin C, providing 150 percent of your recommended daily value and warding off atherosclerosis, which can lead to heart disease. Try one of these recipes for stuffed peppers.

    Spinach

    Spinach is packed with carotenoids—antioxidants that promote healthy eyes and help prevent macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults. Cooking the green helps make lutein (a carotenoid) more absorbable by your body. Try this spinach and goat cheese omelet.

    Alfalfa sprouts

    This tiny powerhouse is rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that protects against lung cancer and helps maintain healthy skin, hair, nails, gums, glands, bones, and teeth. It's also a good source of vitamin E, which may help prevent heart attacks, stokes, and lower the risk of death from bladder cancer. Try this chicken, avocado, alfalfa sprouts sandwich.

    Brussels sprouts

    These balls of antioxidants can help detoxify cancer-causing free radicals, and with 80 percent of your daily vitamin C in just 1/2 cup, also help fight heart disease and ward off cataracts. Try sautéing them with a little bacon or olive oil and mustard for a smoky kick.

    Beets

    Roasted or pickled, this root vegetable contains high levels of antioxidants that fight cancer, as well as lutein, which protects the eyes. Don't throw out those leaves! Beet greens are the most nutritious part of the vegetable and can be cooked like any other dark leafy green. Try one of these recipes where beets are the star.

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    Your Comments

    • taylor2008

      The person who wrote this article has not a clue! They are right about spinach, kale and broccoli….but corn is an inflammatory. Corn is a garbage vegetable! Fact!

      • tony

        The fact is we’re not going to know for sure the damage caused by GMO crops for 10-20 years. I have been researching for several years trying to get balanced info from both sides. Every time I find someone or some group defending GMO crops they have some stake in the game. Just recently I was reading an article from a scientist that actually was convincing. so I looked him up. Turns out he worked years earlier for Dow Chemical. Truthfully I don’t see how they could be good for anyone. I work in the green industry. I have used Roundup for years. I always heard how safe it was but now they are finding out it wasn’t as safe as once thought. (This is typical with most chemicals over the last 80+ years) NOW think about Roundup ready crops. Roundup ready means they can spray over the crops, killing the weeds but not the GMO crop. Do you think that the crop absorbs the chemical? They will tell you that it breaks down before we ingest it????? as far as BT (a natural insecticide for worms) many people including myself use it in our veg gardens HOWEVER its not infused into the molecular structure of our heirloom crops.
        That being said I AM NOT AN EXPERT in this field . I am going by the little I know and my gut (no pun intended)
        I host a gardening and landscape show and am looking for knowledgeable guests to debate this on the air from both sides. any suggestions would be much appreciated

    • summer

      summer

    • Anthony

      If someone is defending GMOs they are working for “Big Food”? You’re all way too paranoid. First off, organic food is redundant. Organic is a marketing term more than scientific one when applied to food. You’re all so caught up in the anti “GMO” marketing that you don’t even realize it is marketing. Sure, you’ll probably get better tasting and higher quality stuff at a farmer’s market, but you will be doing more harm to the environment in the end. Pesticides are needed to grow organic food as well and to do so more natural pesticides need to be used because they aren’t refined. So if your problem is pesticides then you should be buying and eating regular food.

      Just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean it is automatically good. Science Based Medicine is a good place to start for people wanting to learn more. If you’ve already picked your side and there’s no convincing you, then you clearly don’t care about the science, the environment, or your overall health. You just want to push your “it’s unnatural therefor it’s bad!” agenda.

      • taylor2008

        Sorry but its a fact that the GMOs are causing problems. People used to eat the wheat, corn, barley and other grains with little to no problems. Today they are genetically modified and people are having nothing but health problems.
        I couldnt figure out why my asthma and allergies were so bad over the past 15 years. My doctor was prescribing me pills and steriods to bring the inflamation down. I had it with that crap. I researched things for the past 7 years and its the wheat and other grains that are the problem. I stopped eating anything with wheat and laid off most of the other grains. My allergies and asthma are WAY better! Sorry to say but doctors are a joke. They can only prescribe pills and do surgery. I had to do my own research to help myself! What am I paying them for?! Same with me nasal polyps. I was given that same prednisone to shrink them. I stopped the pred and cut WAY down on the other meds by finding out what caused it and slowly irradicate it.
        I helped my moms diverticulitis and my fiances colitis. Its amazing what you can do to your body when you figure out whats causing it. Doctors dont care what the true cause is. They just want to push pills.

    • Linden

      The negativity that we shoot out at each other will kill us before GMOs. Get a bunch of seeds and dirt and grow your own vegetables. We need to stop beating people up about what they eat. Educate peacefully, inform peacefully and calm down.

      • https://www.youtube.com/user/MicroniqueTOPovr9000 MiCRONiQUE

        I saw this post weeks back, and had to comment today, one of the best I’ve seen ever.

    • Ceden

      I only buy corn from a local Organic farm. Non-GMO us important for my family

      • Heidi

        Me too, Cedan!

      • Anthony

        Care to explain why?

    • Guest

      corn is not a vegetable, it’s a grain

    • nyaya

      The mis information is amazing. Corn is a grain but it can also be eaten like a vegetable. It is all not GMO certainly not outside USA. Even in the US it is not GMO. There is nothing wrong with GMOs only reduced intelligence people who dont know the science scaremonger people. Corn has very good chemicals naturally occurring called Xanthins etc which have good anti cancer properties. Like all foods eat in moderation as it can cause tummy upsets. there is no other cause for concern in corn so eat it. Silly people who dont know any science should not talk about things they know nothing about. BTW I dont belong to any company that has anything to do with GMOs but need to tell the truth

      • JDC

        Nyaya please provide your credentials that make you an expert with respect to the health and safety of genetically engineered anything. Seriously go get yourself a glyphosate urine test and come back and tell us that all is well. For those of you that have lived many years and eaten corn all your life (daily). Surely you must realize that GMO corn has not been on the market all of your 60 or 70 years. It is likely that you consumed very healthy corn the first 50 years of your life. If you want to eat corn – get heirloom seeds and grow your own. The GMO corn also has been affiliated with BT toxins. Please look it up. This is in addition to other GMO crops that are sprayed with the herbicide Roundup. Label it all and if you want GMOs then buy and consume them. Do not however tell people that they are safe. That is irresponsible because the fact is that you do not know that they are!

        • Heidi

          Amen!!

        • Cecelia

          Well said

      • Heidi

        Nothing wrong with GMOs, really? You must work for Monsanto or another company that manufactures/ grows GMOs.

      • Karen Reese

        Please don’t hide behind a faux name and insult the contributors. If you are aware of farms that are producing non-GMO corn, post it. But it is not merely the uniformed who believe corn is high on the list of genetically engineered.

    • Mt_greco

      I will no longer eat corn in any form – fresh or frozen.  It is all GMO – and i don’t trust it.

      • tom

        I eat corn almost daily and popcorn too! I am
        72 years old and a vegetarian for the past 32 years. I am the most healthy
        person that I know.

        • Admiral America

          You might change your mind about corn after eating it for another 10 years. 90% of it in the USA is genetically modified to have pesticides, or pesticide resistant bacteria in it. This is the brave new 2000′s, and not the innocent 1990′s of clean corn. Definitely not good for the digestive system! Good luck on your dark GMO corn journey!

        • Karen Reese

          Tom, I agree with Mt_greco, It is extremely difficult to find corn (and sugar) that is not genetically modified. Your diet of corn (and other vegetables) was a great one prior to 20 years ago, but steadily the supply is changing to GMO.

      • JoeS7

        Good, because corn isn’t even a vegetable. It’s a grain and an extremely unhealthy one at that.

        • tthomas1809

          Corn is a vegie or it can be converted to a grain or yes even a fruit. If you eat it as its grown, its a vegie.

      • rhyf

        Why. Whats wrong with corn?

      • tthomas1809

        Very little corn is gmo and most of that is field corn.

      • Tom Peppermint

        Big Corn hasn’t gotten to you yet. Congratulations!