10 of the Healthiest Vegetables You Can Eat

No list of healthiest vegetables would be complete without these nutritious powerhouses.

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Onions

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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. (Find out how many times men should ejaculate for even more prostate cancer protection.) 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.

Corn

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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.

Peas

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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. Add these other 30 foods proven to prevent cancer to your diet, too.

Kale

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This is one of the healthiest green vegetables in your supermarket. Kale'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. While you're eating your leafy greens, avoid these 8 worst eating habits for your cholesterol.

Broccoli

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Broccoli is full of cancer-fighting antioxidants. One study found men who ate 5 servings or more per week of cruciferous veggies (including these green vegetables!) were half as likely to develop bladder cancers over a 10-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

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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. Check out these other 10 foods with more vitamin C than an orange.

Spinach

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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.

Alfalfa sprouts

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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. Get more of the green vegetable and less of these foods cancer doctors try never to eat.

Brussels sprouts

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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 heart doctors never eat) and ward off cataracts. Try sautéing them with a little bacon or olive oil and mustard for a smoky kick.

Beets

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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 other dark leafy green vegetables. Learn why they're one of 12 foods nutritionists eat every day.

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