10 of the Healthiest Vegetables You Can Eat
No list of healthiest vegetables would be complete without these nutritious powerhouses.
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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. Learn why you should never double dip, though.
On the cob or off, it’s all good! 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. Here’s why you actually don’t need to cook corn on the cob.
Standing out even among all the leafy greens, this is one of the healthiest vegetables in your supermarket. Kale’s curly green leaves are chock full of vitamin C, an antioxidant that may lower levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. While you’re eating your leafy greens, avoid these 8 worst eating habits for your cholesterol.
Broccoli is full of cancer-fighting antioxidants. One study found men who ate five servings or more per week of cruciferous veggies (including these green vegetables) were half as likely to develop bladder cancers over a ten-year period as men who rarely ate them. Don’t miss these other 13 things your bladder wishes it could tell you.
Red bell pepper
One medium pepper is light on calories (just 32 per pepper) but heavy on vitamin C, providing 150 percent of the recommended daily value. The antioxidant is known to help ward off atherosclerosis, which can lead to heart disease. Talk about healthiest vegetables. Check out these other 10 foods with more vitamin C than an orange.
Spinach is packed with carotenoids—antioxidants that promote healthy eyes and help prevent macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults. (Don’t miss these other 39 ways to protect your eyes.) Cooking these green vegetables helps make lutein (a carotenoid) more absorbable by your body. Find out what else can happen if you don’t eat your fruits and vegetables.
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 and strokes, and lower the risk of death from bladder cancer. Get more of the healthiest vegetables and less of these foods cancer doctors try never to eat.
The antioxidants in these green vegetables 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 (unlike these foods that heart doctors never, ever eat) and ward off cataracts. Try sautéing your brussels sprouts with a little bacon or olive oil and mustard for a smoky kick. It can’t hurt to work some of these most nutritious foods in the world into your diet as well.
Roasted or pickled, this root vegetable contains high levels of antioxidants that fight cancer, as well as lutein, which protects the eyes. But don’t throw out those leaves! Beet greens are the most nutritious part of the vegetable and can be cooked like other dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach, mustard greens, and kale. Learn why beats are just one of 12 foods that nutritionists eat every day.