Dark leafy greens get all the glory. And it’s true; they’re fantastic for your health. But the truth is if you stick with just kale, spinach, and collard greens, you’re missing out on a world of other super healthy veggies.
In fact, some of the healthiest vegetables you can eat aren’t leafy at all.
The world’s healthiest vegetables
So go ahead and keep eating those dark leafy greens. But don’t ignore the rest of the veggies in the produce aisle. Following are six of the healthiest vegetables you can get your hands on.
1. Alfalfa sprouts:
With their light nutty flavor and satisfying crunch, alfalfa sprouts are the perfect addition to any sandwich, salad or taco. And while they taste mild, they’re bold where it counts.
Alfalfa sprouts are loaded with potent antioxidants. And that means they can help you combat cancer, fight chronic diseases, and slow aging.
Their vitamin K content not only can help you turn back the clock it supports your bone health and reduces your risk of osteoporosis. And their high levels of vitamin E mean they can help prevent heart attack and strokes.
Root to stem, beets are great for your health. Animal studies have shown that beets help reduce the chronic inflammation linked to heart disease, dementia, cancer, and more.
Plus, their nitrates help relax blood vessels and boost circulation. Which means they support heart health, promote healthy blood pressure and even protect your brain.
And while I said earlier some of the healthiest veggies aren’t leafy greens at all, it turns out beet tops do count as a leafy green. So be sure you don’t just chuck them into the bin. Serve them up the same way you would kale or spinach.
No list of the healthiest vegetables would be complete without broccoli on it. Because no matter how you slice it (or steam it, or stir-fry it) these green stalks are brimming with benefits.
A single cup of broccoli has the same amount of vitamin C as an orange. Plus this powerhouse contains loads of fiber, vitamin K, iron, and potassium.
Broccoli can help improve digestion, support vision health, protect against diabetes, boost brain health and lower your risk for colon cancer. And as a regular on your menu broccoli can help reduce cholesterol and support heart health too.
Okay, so technically microgreens ARE leafy greens. But they aren’t the kind you’re used to eating. And experts say these baby versions of the big leafy greens you typically serve manage to pack in even more benefits than their big brothers do.
According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the nutrients in the baby versions are super-concentrated. In fact, they may contain as much as 40 times the amount found in their full-grown counterparts.
When buying microgreens, look for ones harvested less than two weeks after germination. If you have any trouble finding them in the grocery store, try your local Farmer’s market. Use them in sandwiches, salads, or as a topping for soups.
The humble onion is overflowing with essential nutrients. In fact, according to a study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, onions are one of the “most significant sources of antioxidants” in the world.
Eat more onions to reduce your risk of cancer, protect your prostate, support heart health and fight high blood pressure.
You’ll get more bang for your buck if you eat your onions raw. Try adding them to sandwiches and salads or chopping them up and sprinkling them on top of a bowl of soup.
6. Bell peppers:
No matter whether it’s red, yellow, green or orange the bell pepper has earned a well-deserved spot on the list of healthiest vegetables. The phytochemicals and carotenoids that give the peppers their gorgeous colors happen to be potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatories as well.
Bell peppers are also an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin the power pair that supports eagle-eyed vision. And their B6 content could help ward off depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
Munched on raw with hummus, sliced into a salad, or cooked into sauces and stir-fries, bell peppers are far more than just a pretty pop of color.