Vegetables are a staple of any healthy diet. Vegetables are chock full of nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants. However, there are some vegetables that are especially healthy compared to the others. We'll start off by giving you a few tips on spotting the best veggies to put in your diet. Then we will go over some specific vegetables and the health benefits they will provide. Lastly, we will go over some of our own dishes that contain a ton of these vegetabes.
How to Use Veggies in Your Diet
Those who want to eat healthier often get discouraged when their diets don't produce the intended results. However, upon closer examination many of these diets commit some basic mistakes that hinder any sort of weight loss or health gains. Below are a few things to keep in mind when designing a great diet:
- The Brighter the Better- Studies have shown that vegetables that are brighter in color are often healthier and full of more nutrients. While paler vegetables still have some benefits they do not stack up to their brighter counterparts. It should be noted that some vegetables that aren't bright can still be healthy. Dark leafy greens in particular are packed with vitamins and should be used in any diet. In fact, greens that are lighter are also often not as healthy.
- Pre-Packaged Vegetables- In general fresh vegetables will always be superior to vegetables that come in a can or package. This because packaged vegetables are often processed which removes some of the nutrients that will provide the most benefits. Fresh vegetables are often cheaper than the packaged variety, so there really is no reason not to go for the fresher choice every time.
- In Season vs. Out of Season- Adding on to the previous point, vegetables that are out of season are often not fresh. Even if a vegetable is refrigerated and kept in the produce section it will lose some of its nutrient content over time. There is some great information online about vegetables and when they are in season. If you want to get the most nutrition out of your produce you must ensure that it is in season.
- Preparation- The way a vegetable is prepared will often determine its vitamin and nutrient content. Most vegetables are healthiest when they are consumed raw. However, the taste and texture of raw vegetables can be unappealing to many. If you want to cook your vegetables make sure you are steaming or boiling them. Once they are done cooking you can use the leftover water to get all the nutrients that were drained out of the vegetables. If you are making a soup you could use the water as a broth, or use it salad dressings, gravy, and other sauces.
5 Healthiest Vegetables
While almost all vegetables are healthy, some are certainly healthier than others. Below is a list of five of the healthiest vegetables that are essential in any healthy diet.
- Kale- Consumption of Kale has become a popular trend among health enthusiasts around the world, and for good reason. Kale is packed full of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. Kale can be used raw in salads or soups and can also be cooked to add a little bit of flavor. Make sure that you buy organic kale if possible, as there will be pesticide residue on most commercial kale products.
- Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts- The reason these two vegetables occupy the same spot is because they are both part of the incredibly healthy cruciferous family of vegetables. These vegetables are rich in antioxidants and have been shown to prevent numerous cancers. Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts are also high in fiber which will make you feel full faster, a great tool for those looking to lose a little weight. These vegetables are great steamed, boiled, and even sauteéd.
- Avocados- Another great vegetable choice is the Avocado, which provides numerous health benefits. Avocados are another vegetable that are rich in fiber content and will help you control your appetite. Avocados also contain healthy unsaturated fats, which help increase vitamin intake. Lastly, Avocados inhibit the creation of inflammation agents in your body. This can help reduce pain in the joints and back. Avocados go great in salads and sauces.
- Garlic and Onions- These vegetables, part of the allium family, are often praised for their antibiotic properties. Adding these to a dish will boost your immune system significantly. They will also greatly reduce inflammation to prevent pain and aching from occurring. If you are sick and fighting off infections garlic or onions can both boost antibodies that will help you heal quickly. These vegetables are actually healthiest when raw in salads or dips. However, they are still great additions when cooked to provide their unique flavors.
- Tomatoes- Tomatoes are great because they provide a ton of lycopene, which has been shown to fight cancer cells and other illnesses. Tomatoes also provide tons of Vitamin C and other antioxidants. Like many other vegetables on this list, tomatoes also are very high in fiber content. Tomatoes go great in soups, sauces, or salsas.
This is only a couple of the healthy choices that vegetables can provide to your diet. Makes sure to experiment and find which work for you! If you need some help getting started, check out some of our very own dishes below that feature some of these healthy vegetables:
Classic French Onion Soup
This classic take on a French onion soup features tons of onion, and is also made with a vegetable stock full of other nutritious veggies. This is a great way to add some vegetable heavy dishes into your diet.
Garden Broccoli Soup
Broccoli is the star of this dish, but onions and vegetable stock are also present. This soup is chock full of all the vitamins and nutrients you could possibly need.
Tomato Delight Soup
This tomato soup is great for providing Vitamin C, and is also made with vegetable stock, vegetable oil, and onions. This dish is sure to satisfy your hunger and make you healthier at the same time.
These are only a few of the vegetable dishes that we currently offer. Be sure to check out the rest of our menu on our site. Happy eating!