Choosing A Diet Of The Healthiest Vegetables

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Most of us need to eat more veggies, but where do we start? What are the best vegetables for healthy living? Read on to find out.

• Health: Diet • Health: Food & Nutrition • Health: Superfoods

Choosing to eat healthier is a choice many people from around the world are opting for today. Their ideas of what is "healthy" and what isn't may vary. What one swears by another tries to avoid altogether.

Looking for the perfect balance of healthy that tastes delicious and is good for you can be difficult to say the least. Here are a few vegetables that fit that bill. They are what nutritionists have named "superfoods" and should be part of your diet if you want to eat healthier.

Broccoli can give you 100 percent of your body’s vitamin K and 200 percent of your body’s vitamin C requirements by eating only one medium-sized stalk. These two vitamins are necessary nutrients for bone-building. It has also been found that the same size amount can help fight off many types of cancers. When you steam or boil broccoli you can keep about 66 percent of its vitamin C. If you microwave it you can keep around 90 percent.

If you’re staying away from potatoes because you've heard the starch is bad for you, you may be missing out the cell-building folate found in them. Eating one red potato will give you 66 micrograms. This is about the same as eating broccoli or spinach. Sweet potatoes are also great for you. They have vitamin A which aids your body in fighting cancer and building its immune system. There is a fat-resistant starch in potatoes that can help you burn up to 25 percent of the fat from each meal if you cool the potato first.

If you’ve heard they are rich in fat so you shouldn’t eat them, you’d be half right and half wrong. They are rich in fat, but they’re healthy, satisfying fats. They have been proven to reduce your cholesterol by more than 20 percent. Eating only one avocado can also give your body 40 percent of the folate and 50 percent of the fiber daily requirement. This can help reduce the risk of heart disease. You eat salads because they’re healthy, right? If you want to absorb key nutrients in that salad, such as beta-carotene, you can increase the rate of absorption of these key nutrients by up to five times the regular amount by adding an avocado to your salad.

Even those not raised "back in the day" know who Popeye the Sailor Man is, and they know how important he thought spinach was. He wasn't wrong. It may not give you those bulked-up arms, but it does contain lutein and zeaxanthin. These are two strong immune-boosting antioxidants good for eye health. If you have cancer concerns, you’ll be glad to know that spinach has been found to be the greatest cancer-fighting agent of all vegetables and fruits. One advantage to spinach as a health benefit is that it’s almost flavorless. You can even add it to your favorite smoothie and you won’t taste it.

Legumes (peas, beans and lentils)
Eating these foods four times each week could help you reduce your risk of breast cancer as well as reduce your risk of heart disease by over 20 percent. There are so many different kinds of beans and they can be cooked in so many different ways. They never become “boring.” Legumes contain antioxidants. When you’re looking for beans, remember that the darker it is, the more antioxidants are in it. As a matter of fact, you’ll find around 40 times the amount of antioxidants in black bean hulls over white bean hulls.

While there are other foods "superfoods" out there, adding these vegetables to your diet is a great place to start. For more on this topic, read up on superfoods.