Research has consistently shown that people who eat at least 5 servings of vegetables a day have the lowest risk of many diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
Eating plenty of vegetables may be one of the simplest ways to improve health and well-being. All vegetables contain healthful vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre, but some stand out for their exceptional benefits. Specific vegetables may offer more health advantages to certain people, depending on their diets, overall health, and nutritional needs.
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The most healthful vegetables are spinach, kale, broccoli, peas, sweet potatoes, beets, carrot, fermented vegetables, tomatoes, garlic, seaweed cauliflower, and so many of them.
The American heart association recommends eating 25 g of dietary fibre each day to promote heart and gut health.
Cauliflower: Cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables contain an antioxidant called indole-3-carbinol. Research has linked this compound with cancer-combatting effects in animals. And like broccoli, cauliflower contains another compound that may help combat cancer
Seaweed: also known as sea vegetables are versatile and nutritious plants that provide several health benefits. Common types of seaweed include:
Seaweed is one of the few plant-based sources of the omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid. These are essential for health and are mostly present in meat and dairy.
Each type of seaweed has a slightly different nutritional profile, but they are typically rich in iodine, which is an essential nutrient for thyroid function.
Note: Eating a variety of sea vegetables can provide the body with several important antioxidants to reduce cellular damage.
Onions and other Allium vegetables, including garlic, contain sulphur compounds. Review studies suggest that these compounds may help protect against cancer. Onion can be incorporated into soups, stews, stir-fries, and curries. To get the most from their antioxidants, eat them raw — in sandwiches, salads, and dips such as guacamole.
Fermented vegetables: Fermented vegetables provide all the nutrients of their unfermented counterparts as well as healthful doses of probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are present in the body and in some foods and supplements. Some researchers believe that they can improve gut health.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, probiotics may help with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. They may also prevent infection- or antibiotic-induced diarrhoea.
Some good vegetables for fermentation include:
cabbage, as sauerkraut
cucumbers, as pickles
People eat fermented vegetables in salads, sandwiches, or as a side dish.
Sweet potatoes: may be a good option for people with diabetes. This is because they are low on the glycemic index and rich in fibre, so they may help regulate blood sugar. For a simple meal, bake a sweet potato in its skin and serve it with a source of protein, such as fish or tofu.
Broccoli: is an incredibly healthful vegetable that belongs to the same family as cabbage, kale, and cauliflower. These are all cruciferous vegetables.
According to the National Cancer Institute, animal research has found that certain chemicals, called indoles and isothiocyanates, in cruciferous vegetables may inhibit the development of cancer in several organs, including the bladder, breasts, liver, and stomach. These compounds may protect cells from DNA damage, inactivate cancer-causing agents, and have anti-inflammatory effects. However, research in humans has been mixed.
Note: Broccoli is very versatile. People can roast it, steam it, fry it, blend it into soups, or enjoy it warm in salads.