This article covers 5 most nutritious vegetables, recommended by experts as a nutrition package. Vegetables are a major part of a healthy diet, as they’re packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. There is a huge number of vegetable types to choose from. Moreover, most of the common population, more commonly eats the less healthy vegetables in good amounts, like potatoes in fried form. After reading this article, you will better know at least the 5 most nutritious vegetables.
Most Nutritious Vegetables, Experts recommend
1. Spinach, the most nutritious vegetable.
Spinach, the leafy green vegetable is always the best to consider if you are looking for a most nutritious vegetable. A single cup (30 gm) of raw spinach provides 16% of Daily Value (DV) of vitamin A and a whopping 120% of DV for vitamin K. To make it even better, a cup provides only 7 calories as it is mostly made of water.
Spinach is also rich in antioxidants, which may help reduce the risk of diseases. One study found that dark leafy greens like spinach are high in both beta carotene and lutein, which are the two antioxidants that are associated with a decreased risk of cancer. Another study suggested that spinach may improve heart health by helping reduce blood pressure.
Apart from being a good source of vitamin A & K, it also contains iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium as well as vitamin C, E and B. In short, it’s full of vitamins and minerals essential for blood clotting, bone metabolism and a strong immune system. The antioxidants ensure anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties.
Watercress is equally good as a most nutritious vegetable. It is at the top of the list of most nutrient-dense vegetables per calorie. Watercress is at number one rank on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables List with a nutrient density score of 100/100. Nutrient density score compares the nutrients a food contains to the calories it provides. Watercress is an extremely nutrient-dense food at just 4 calories per cup.
It’s very rich in vitamin C, however it will retain more of its vitamin C in raw form. Apart from being rich in vitamin C, watercress is also rich in vitamin K, important for blood clotting and bone density, beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin A is not only important for healthy vision but also for keeping organs functional by supporting cell division.
Watercress contains the antioxidant phenylethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC). One study found that the antioxidants of watercress can suppress damage to DNA.
Broccoli is a star vegetable and most people very well identify it as a most nutritious vegetable. It is rich in a sulfur-containing plant compound, glucosinolate, as well as its byproduct antioxidant sulforaphane.
These sulfur-containing compounds support immunity and normal inflammatory processes and play part in removing toxins through natural detoxification processes of liver.
Research has extensively explored sulforaphane’s ability to protect against cancer.
This cruciferous vegetable may help prevent other types of chronic diseases as well, as its antioxidant properties can fight inflammation.
It may also help to improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
A small research study found that broccoli sprouts can decrease the levels of several markers of inflammation, which are linked to chronic conditions like heart disease.
Just a single cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli provides 77% of DV for vitamin K, 90% of DV for vitamin C, and also a good amount of folate, manganese, and potassium.
4. Brussels sprouts
Just like broccoli, Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable, and they also contain the same beneficial plant compounds.
However, Brussels sprouts also contain kaempferol, an antioxidant that can be particularly effective in preventing cell damage.
Kaempferol has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
This veggie is also a great source of fiber which helps to support bowel regularity, heart health, and blood sugar control.
Brussels sprouts are very nutrient-dense, as they also contain folate, magnesium, potassium and vitamins A, C, and K.
Last but not the least is carrots. This vegetable has been popular for ages as a most nutritious vegetable. We all know well that carrots are good for our eyes. Carrots contain phytochemicals like beta-carotene which our body converts to vitamin A, which helps with vision, especially at night.
This nutrient-dense vegetable is rich in vitamin C, A, K1 and B6, fiber and potassium. It is also very low in glycemic index(GI) if eaten in raw form.
Carrots also contain compounds which some research has found might reduce risk for certain cancers. They are rich in several potent antioxidants like Beta-carotene, Alpha-carotene, Lutein, Lycopene, Polyacetylenes, and anthocyanins. One study, published in the journal Nutrients in 2020, found that high intake of carrots is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.