Wonder Vegetables for your Health.

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By God’s Grace nature has given us all the possible amenities to keep ourselves healthy and fit. Eating vegetables every day is very important for health.

They provide essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients like antioxidants. Studies consistently show that people who eat the most vegetables have the lowest risk of many diseases, including cancer and heart disease.

Spinach is one of the healthiest vegetables.

  • It is said that One cup (30 grams) of raw spinach provides around 56% of your daily vitamin A needs and also your entire daily vitamin K requirement plus a great source of calcium, vitamins, iron, and antioxidants.
  • Spinach also provides a good amount of iron for energy and healthy blood, and a good level of magnesium for muscle and nerve function.
  • Some reports that spinach leaves lower blood pressure and benefit heart health. Also, it is to be noted that dark green leafy vegetables like spinach are high in beta-carotene and lutein, two types of antioxidants that have been associated with a decreased risk of cancer

Carrots are rich in Vitamin A.

  • It provides  428% of the daily recommended value in just one cup (128 grams)
  • They contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant that gives carrots their vibrant orange colour and could help in cancer prevention.
  • Carrots are also high in vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium Also some studies showed that eating carrots may reduce the risk of lung cancer in smokers as well.
  • Compared to those who ate carrots at least once a week, smokers who did not eat carrots had a three times greater risk of developing lung cancer. As nutrients in carrots have cancer-fighting properties.
  • A 2011 study reports that carrot juice extract inhibits the growth of leukemia cells.
  • carrots work well in casseroles and soups, and they provide great health benefits when eaten raw with a dip.

Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables

Broccoli is rich in a sulfur-containing plant compound known as glucosinolate, as well as sulforaphane, a by-product of glucosinolate.

  • Sulforaphane has been shown to have a protective effect against cancer
  • It is a top source of natural plant chemicals shown to help lower the risk of some cancers.
  • Each cup gives you plenty of vitamins C and K.
  • Broccoli is an incredibly healthful vegetable belongs to the same family as cabbage, kale, and cauliflower. 
  • In an animal study, sulforaphane reduces the size and number of breast cancer cells while also blocking tumor growth in mice Eating broccoli may help prevent other types of chronic disease, too.
  • A 2010 animal study showed that consuming broccoli sprouts could protect the heart from disease-causing oxidative stress.
  • In addition to its ability to prevent disease, broccoli is also loaded with nutrients.
  • A cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli provides 116% of your daily vitamin K needs, 135% of the daily vitamin C  and a good amount of manganese and potassium and folate.

Garlic has been used as a  medicinal plant, with roots tracing all the way back to ancient China and Egypt.

  • The main active compound in garlic is allicin, a plant-based compound that is largely responsible for garlic’s variety of health benefits such as garlic can regulate blood sugar as well as promote heart health.
  • In an animal study, diabetic rats were given either garlic oil and diallyl trisulfide, a component of garlic.
  • Both garlic compounds caused a decrease in blood sugar and improved insulin sensitivity.
  • In a different study where garlic was being fed to participants both with and without heart disease.
  • And the outcome showed that garlic was able to decrease total blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol in both groups.
  • Even a test-tube study demonstrated that allicin induced cell death in human liver cancer cells.
  • But further research is needed to better understand the potential anti-cancer effects of garlic.
  • According to a lab-based study from 2012, a compound in garlic, called diallyl sulphide, may be more effective than two popular antibiotics for fighting the Campylobacter bacterium
  • Do we know that hating garlic reduces its health benefits, so it is best to eat garlic raw form?

Brussels sprouts are also a  member of the cruciferous family of vegetables.

  • Brussels sprouts contain kaempferol, an antioxidant that is effective in preventing damage to cells.
  • These mini cabbages provide around 160 percent the daily value for vitamin C, they are a good source of potassium and are low in calories as it is just 56 calories per half cup.
  • Please be aware of the smell which less than appetizing when overcooked, so try to avoid boiling them.
  • The sulfurous scent is due to an organic compound called glucosinolate sinigrin, which has cancer-fighting properties.
  • In a study, it is found that kaempferol protected against free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells.
  • Brussels sprout consumption can help in detoxification as well.
  • A study  showed that eating Brussels sprouts led to a 15–30% increase in some of the enzymes that control detoxification, which reduce the risk of colorectal cancer 

Peas are regarded as a starchy vegetable.

  • If they have a higher amount of carbs and calories than non-starchy vegetables and may impact blood sugar levels when eaten in large amounts.
  • One cup (160 grams) of cooked green peas contains 9 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein and vitamins A, C and K, niacin and folate, riboflavin, thiamine, etc
  • They are high in fiber so it supports digestive health by enhancing the beneficial bacteria in your gut and promoting regular bowel movements.
  • Peas are rich in fiber and protein, that they can help replace animal protein on your menu every once in a while.
  • In addition, peas are rich in saponins, plant compounds known for their anti-cancer effects.
  • Research shows that saponins help fight cancer by reducing tumor growth and inducing cell death in cancer cells
  • Try to steam  peas and serve them with new potatoes or toss them into salads or pasta dishes

Ginger root is used as a spice in everything from vegetable dishes to desserts.

  • In ancient times ginger has also been used as a natural remedy for the motion sickness.
  • Several studies have confirmed the beneficial effects of ginger on nausea. In a review comprised of 12 studies and nearly 1,300 pregnant women, ginger significantly reduced nausea compared to a placebo
  • Ginger also contains potent anti-inflammatory properties, which can be helpful in treating inflammation-related disorders like arthritis, lupus or gout.
  • In one study, participants with osteoarthritis who were treated with a concentrated ginger extract experienced reduced knee pain and relief from other symptoms.
  • Some researches suggest that ginger could aid in the treatment of diabetes as well.
  • In the year  2015, a  study looked at the effects of ginger supplements on diabetes. After 12 weeks, ginger was found to be effective in decreasing blood sugar levels

Asparagus

Asparagus is rich in several vitamins and is an excellent source of vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting plus helps in build strong bones. It’s also a good source of riboflavin.

  • Asparagus also supplies inulin, a type of carbohydrate that supports the growth of health-promoting bacteria in the colon.
  • Only half a cup of asparagus provides one-third of your daily folate needs. This amount also provides plenty of selenium, thiamin, vitamin K and riboflavin
  • Adequate folate from sources like asparagus can prevent neural tube birth defects during pregnancy.
  • Asparagus is can be consumed as grilled, roasted or steamed.

Sweet potatoes

They are known for their vibrant orange color and impressive health benefits. They are  rich in beta-carotene, which gives it its orange colour

  • A Medium sized sweet potato contains 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein and a good amount of vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium and manganese. It’s also high in beta-carotene Beta-carotene consumption linked to a significant decrease in the risk of certain types of cancer.
  • Even so, we know that specific types of sweet potatoes also contain additional benefits? Like Caiapo is a type of white sweet potato that has an anti-diabetic effect. It has been shown in a study, people with diabetes were given 4 grams of Caiapo daily over a period of  12 weeks, leading to a reduction in both blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels.
  • We can chop sweet potatoes into soups, stew and chilli.

Collard greens are a very nutrient-rich vegetable.

  • One cup (190 grams) of cooked collard greens contains 4 grams of protein, 5 grams of fibre, and 27% of your daily calcium needs.
  • collard greens are one of the best plant sources of calcium available.
  • Collard greens are also high in antioxidants and could even reduce your risk of developing certain diseases.
  • A  study found that eating more than one serving of collard greens per week was associated with a 57% decreased risk of glaucoma, a condition that can lead to blindness.
  • Another study showed that a high intake of  collard greens may decrease the risk of prostate cancer

Sweet bell peppers are commonly available in red, yellow, or orange varieties.

  • A cup of chopped red bell peppers gives 0.434 milligrams of vitamin B-6,39 calories,190 milligrams of vitamin C, folate, beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A.
  • Antioxidants present in bell peppers are quercetin, capsanthin, and lutein (in the green variety), which protects vision.
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Cauliflower

It is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of folate according to the registered dietitian Karen Collins.

  • One cup of chopped cauliflower contains 27 calories, plenty of vitamin C, Vitamin K, and fiber
  • Cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables contain an antioxidant called indole-3-carbinol (I3C) which may reduce cancers of the breast and reproductive systems.
  • cauliflower contains another potential anticancer compound: sulforaphane.
  • Instead of serving ordinary mashed potatoes, steam cauliflower and mash it with potatoes

Cucumber is very low in calories.  

  • And also, a good source of vitamin K, which may reduce bone loss and decrease the risk of bone fractures.
  • They also contain around 95 percent water, which makes them very hydrating.
  • A  slice of cucumber adds to a glass of water or even it can be tossed as a chopped cucumber in a salad or as normal salads.

Beetroot

Beets are low in calories and high in fiber like a  cup of beets contains 58 calories, along with 442 milligrams of potassium,148 micrograms of folate.

  • Beets are a good source of folate, which benefits women of childbearing age.
  • They also have phytochemicals that play a role in reducing inflammation and decreasing heart disease.
  • Beets contain an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid, which are helpful for diabetic neuropathy.
  • Roasting beets brings out their natural sweetness, they also taste great in salads, sandwiches, etc

Kale is a very popular leafy green vegetable

It is a nutrient-packed with vitamins A, C, potassium, iron, and folate, plus the phytochemical lutein, which helps with eyesight,

  • It provides around 7 calories per cup of raw leaves.
  • Kale also provides calcium in a significant amount and in a form that the body can absorb.
  • Kale benefit people with high cholesterol.
  • In a study which  reports that men with high cholesterol who drank 150 ml of kale juice per day for 12 weeks experienced:
  • a 27 percent increase in high-density lipoprotein, or HDL
  • a 10 percent reduction in low-density lipoprotein or LDL
  • Other research suggests that kale juice reduces blood pressure, blood cholesterol etc
  • Kale makes a great pizza topping. Or add chopped fresh or frozen kale to the soup, or stir-frying.

Tomatoes

A  cup of chopped raw tomatoes contains: 32 calories,427 milligrams of potassium,24.7 milligrams of vitamin C

  • Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant that may play a role in cancer prevention. 
  • lycopene can help prevent prostate cancer. The beta-carotene in tomatoes also has anticancer effects.
  • Other potent antioxidants in tomatoes, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, that protect vision.
  • Yellow tomatoes have the lowest calories and green tomatoes are highest in vitamin C and orange are highest in vitamin A and folate.
  • The common red tomato is low sodium but highest in potassium.
  • People can eat tomatoes in raw form, but cooking them releases more lycopene.

Fermented, or pickled, vegetables provide all the nutrients of their unfermented counterparts, as well as probiotics.

  • Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are present in the body and in some foods and supplements which can improve gut health.
  • the National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health stated that probiotics help with the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Some good vegetables for fermentation include: carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, to make sauerkraut, cucumbers etc
  • People eat fermented vegetables in salads and sandwiches etc

We know that our body responds according to the change in season say summer, spring, monsoon, autumn, and winter depending on particular weather patterns and daylight hours. It is important for us to know the seasonal fruits and vegetables to get accustomed to it. The food list varies according to the hemisphere.

  • During winter– mushrooms, cabbages, turnip, winter squash, potatoes, beets, carrots, leafy vegetables, asparagus, green beans, radish, cauliflowers, spinach, and mustard greens.
  •  During Summer
  • mushrooms, eggplant, corn, cucumbers, bell peppers, green peas, pumpkin, bottle guard, celery, bitter guard, apricots, bananas, zucchini, asparagus, artichokes, lettuce, etc.
  • During Monsoon
  • the vegetables like pumpkins, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, sweet potatoes, corn, eggplant, cauliflower.

So overall in order to stay fit we must consume and add 3 to 4 servings of veggies every day. Eating a good amount of vegetables per day is important. They are not only nutritious but also offer protection against diabetes, obesity, heart disease and even certain types of cancers.
Vegetables are also rich in fiber, which can help you to feel full. The viscous fibre found many in vegetables, are particularly effective at reducing appetite

Since veggies are power packed with nutrients so we must not forget to include in the daily diet.
One can eat veggies in a variety of forms like frozen, juiced, though freshly picked, ripe vegetables are still the best options.

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