With all that is available to choose from, what are our best bets for health? When in doubt, it's always a good idea to stick with bright red or dark green vegetables. Vegetables should be the cornerstone of every meal you eat. Filling half of your plate with veggies is one of the key ways you can get your daily intake, stay full and keep your weight at bay. But which veggies are a lot fiber which helps keep you fuller longer, curbing your appetite? Here are some nutritional “powerhouses” to enjoy.
1. Swiss Chard: This dark green leafy green is a great source of the antioxidant duo lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants are particularly good for your eyes. There are different varieties of Swiss chard, but whether you choose the one with multicolored or white stems, both are part of a healthy diet. Aside from antioxidants, these greens are also high in vitamin K, which as mentioned helps reduce risk of diabetes along with maintaining bone health. Vitamin K deficiency has been associated with an increased risk for bone fracture.
2. Beets: Beets are high in vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, B, and C, calcium, iron, potassium, and protein. Beet roots are a great source of nitrates, therefore a great food for keeping blood pressure regulated. The fiber in these red veggies are another plus, keeping you fuller longer. It is easy to forget about beet’s leafy tops, but before you toss them in the garbage, you may want to know that these greens are high in Vitamin K. Vitamin K has been shown to reduce our risk of type II diabetes. One more reason to eat beets this season.
3. Brussel Sprouts: Cruciferous vegetables like brussel sprouts may not have been your childhood nemesis, but these members of the cabbage family like cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts can help you fight off cancer. An antioxidant called sulforaphane is released when chewing these veggies, and has been documented as having a protective effect on the cells of the body. Brussel sprouts have about 3 grams of protein per cup.
4. Bok Choy: This popular Asian green is rich in calcium and a good source of iron, magnesium and very high in vitamin A and C. Eating it with cold-pressed sesame oil and garlic are delicious and help with full absorption of the vitamins.
5. Savoy Cabbage: Cabbage is a fantastic green, very high in vitamins C and K. Try purple cabbage for a shot of color in a salad, or add shredded savoy cabbage to a stir fry. For something different, look for real, fermented sauerkraut at farmer’s markets and health-food stores. Since it’s fermented, you’ll get even more of the abundant nutrients in the cabbage.