The air around us gets more and more polluted every day, increasing the necessity of consuming green vegetables. Most, if not all varieties of green vegetables contain the daily requirement of essential vitamins and minerals. There are even some foods that contain more protein, calcium, and other substances than milk, meat, or any other type of food. The best thing about all vegetables is that they have fiber, are low to no fat, cholesterol-free, and are packed with antioxidants that have numerous health benefits such as lessen the risk of diseases.
Greatest Green Vegetables
Certain vegetables are easier to work with than others, depending on availability within a given region. Try all of them, though, if you want to try a different taste and cycle all the good stuff through your body. The following are our recommendations for some of the best veggies with nutrient horsepowers you should be able to find at any local market or in your backyard.
On the whole, microgreens are small vegetables that are harvested just a few weeks after planting, about 1 to 3 inches growth. These microgreens are not only rich in powerful nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants compared to mature plants or their mature counterparts, but they also have a variety of flavors and textures that differ according to species. The greens can be used in salads, soup, sandwiches, baked products, pasta dishes, or anywhere your regular greens go.
Swiss chard is a lush, colorful green often used in cooking in the Mediterranean region. Like spinach, chard is a relative of the beet plant, and it’s growing in popularity. In addition to being low in calories, Swiss chard plants contain many essential vitamins and minerals. One animal study showed that chard extract reverses the effects of diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels and preventing cell damage from disease-causing free radicals.
As a low-calorie vegetable that contains more iron than beef, more omega 3 fatty acids than oil, and more calcium than milk, kale is number one on any list of super-green foods. Just like any super green leafy vegetable, baby kale is jam-packed with fiber, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, as well as a great source of vitamins. Several studies showed that consuming kale juice can lower blood pressure and improve blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels.
There is only one drawback: raw kale has a bitter taste, which deters most people, including adults. Kale is somewhat difficult to place because of its eerie dark green color, but once you get past that, it is awesome. Make crispy kale chips or dry kale leaf and reserve all the goodness by lightly sauteing or steaming the leaf to reduce bitterness.
Vitamin A, C, and K are plentiful in these healthy little green leaves. One study found that eating Collard greens more than one serving per week can lower the risk of glaucoma, an eye disease that can lead to blindness, by 57%. and even lessens the risk of prostate cancer. Despite their toughness, collard greens can withstand long cooking processes.
In addition to having the most foliage of any green, spinach contains tons of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. The impressive health benefits of spinach include: improving eyesight, enhancing cognition and concentration, treating macular degeneration, preserving liver function, maintaining blood pressure, increasing metabolism, and weight loss. What’s more, this vegetable tastes so good without an inclination to hesitate. Eaten raw, you can fulfill your daily vitamin K requirement. Spinach can also be eaten in salads, juice, smoothies, or cooked in a soup, lasagna, or pasta.
It looks like a flower rather than a leaf when it’s raw and a tree stalk when it’s cut into pieces. This member of the cruciferous family contains lots of antioxidants, fiber, and other compounds that reduce many health issues such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases. Contrary to many leafy greens broccoli has a mild flavor, and is suitable to be cooked in a variety of dishes, from soup to salad, and can also be used as a substitute for meat. A traditional broccoli broth is also quite tasty per se. If your child will not eat this as a side dish, you can always do this as a stuffing ingredient to get those green calories.
One of the popular vegetables to combat free radicals with antioxidants, fight aging, decrease breast cancer, and detoxify the body and system. In addition to having all sorts of vitamins and minerals, it contains iron and fiber. Artichokes are widely available in many grocery stores as either fresh vegetables or pickles. Their dehydrated form is also widely available, which can be used as a tea or an infusion. The heart of the artichoke can be steamed, baked, boiled, or stir-fried. Whatever they are prepared in, they taste great and are good for your health too.
This famous all-purpose leafy vegetable and aquatic plant contain more iron than spinach, more folate than bananas, more amounts of vitamin C than an orange, and essentially more calcium than milk. Also, watercress contains cancer-preventive phytonutrients, vitamin B6, A, B12, magnesium, phosphorus, and tons of fiber. Intake of watercress may be beneficial in cancer prevention, maintaining healthy bones, healthy pregnancy, reducing stress, and preventing colds and flu. Because of its bitter and slightly spicy flavor, watercress pairs well with foods of neutral flavor.
In the same way, like many other green foods, arugula also prevents diabetes, improves eyesight, and promotes weight loss as it aids digestion and weight loss. It has high levels of nitrates or nitric oxide which increase muscle blood flow. You can use arugula as a salad or pasta topping because of its strong peppery flavor. Another way to use arugula is to use it dry or crushed as an herb and spice atop many other dishes.
Green bean casserole, the star of Thanksgiving dinner, is the dish that has both the extreme of people loving and hating it. If prepared correctly: cut, slice, blanch, or steam, the sweet flavor of a green bean can be added to any stir fry, bake, or steam dish. On the plus side, green beans contain essential vitamins like A, C, B, K, and protein, folic acid, and minerals. Please note that, like any bean, green beans contain small quantities of lectin and phytates, which might cause mineral deficiency if consumed in large quantities. If you want to prevent this, make sure they are cooked at high temperatures and/or wash/soak them for a longer period.
An excellent source for a dose of vitamin C, protein, iron, calcium, and other nutrients, this young version of soybean is a complete steal for vegetarians and vegans. Edamame is really tasty; you can eat them alone as an appetizer, or with soup, salad, or as an entree. It’s a popular appetizer in Japanese cuisine.
In many countries, okra is used to control sugar levels because it is packed with lots of vitamins like A, B, C, E, and K. It has been used exclusively for its seeds to cure diabetes in Turkey, where Okra is considered a panacea for diabetes. Additionally, okra is often used as a natural anti-stress, anti-fatigue, and immune booster. On the plus side, it tastes quite good when boiled, steamed, roasted, and in a salad, BBQ, and baked rolls.
As cute as the tiny baby cabbage is, its beneficial values are just as abundant. These vegetables are filled with vitamins C and K, along with folate, manganese, magnesium, B6, and omega 3 fatty acids. Moreover, it is good for heart health, diabetes, lessening the risk of cancers, prevent damage to cells, and boosts immunity. The same as other cabbages, Brussels works wonders to help you lose weight, and they are easy to prepare just like those. Bake, steam, boil, or roast vegetables whole, cut in half, or shredded.
This is one of those vegetables that is more likely to show up in your favorite restaurant other than on your plate. A cucumber’s high level of antioxidants and water content makes it a good ingredient for skincare products designed to help slow down aging and retain moisture. Additionally, it can also help reduce cancer risks, support your brain, relieve pain, and reduce weight. Although it’s best to eat them raw, you can also pickle them, stir-fry them, roast them, or use them as a water infusion or dish garnish.
An important vegetable in the cuisine of Japan and other East-South-East Asian countries. The leaves of the perilla are known to help boost the immune system to fight flu, allergies, or fever. They also relieve canker sores, asthma, nausea, and other symptoms. Besides being used as an herbal tea, like mint or basil, perilla can also be fermented (kimchi), served as a wrapper, steamed, sauteed, poached, filled, etc.
The versatility of asparagus is unmatched. Baked, roasted, chunked in soups, salads, casseroles, and so forth, these sticks are great! Asparagus is packed with nutrients including vitamins A, C, E, and K, along with fiber, folate, and chromium. They help keep blood sugar levels stable. It also helps to regulate the body’s blood, and urinating more asparagus helps to cleanse the body.
A local salad bar is unlikely to have grape leaves, but an international market may carry them or maybe your backyard. These aren’t just leaves of tasty fruits; they are instead one of the healthiest dark green veggies that you can consume day in and day out. Aside from being full of fiber, vitamin A, C, E, K, calcium, and iron, grape leaves are a natural anti-inflammatory. Throughout the years, grape leaves are used for treating diarrhea, canker sores, heavy menstruation, hepatitis, diabetes, and stomach aches. You can use them as a wrapper, stuff them, make herbal teas from them, or dry them for infusion.
Growing Organic Vegetables
On the list, you can see that all vegetables are good for both your mind and body if they’re grown naturally and without pesticides. The traditional growing process regularly uses lots of chemical plant foods, pesticides, and other chemicals that may lessen the vegetables’ nutritional punch, as well as endanger your health if consumed in large quantities.
So it is always recommended to consume fresh organically grown vegetables from trusted sources to preserve as much of their nutritional profile as possible. It is also a great idea to grow your little batch of herbs or easy vegetables in your backyard if you have the time and resources. Make sure to use only organic or natural feed as well as an appropriate pesticide to ensure the final results are worth the effort.
Cooking Green Vegetables In A Healthy Way
The best way to make your greens taste delicious is to cook them a certain way to preserve their nutrient density. To start with, leafy vegetables and herbs should be eaten raw, in salads with a healthy dressing. Want to change their taste? Pickle, make kimchi, or can them.
Green vegetables that have been cooked for a long time will certainly lose their impressive nutrient profile. That is why steaming is the preferred method for cooking any vegetables that need cooking. It’s also good to roast and stir-fry, but make sure you use high heat vegetable oil.
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