If you’re like most people, your mother frequently told you to “eat your vegetables”. We all know that they are good for our health, but many people don’t realize the magnitude and scope of the health benefits of vegetables. Read this article to learn more about how following vegetables could improve your health and well-being:
Six Health Benefits of Lentils
Whether you eat lentils in your salads, plates of pasta or even as a spread on crackers, this legume offers a slew of health benefits to you. Check out some of them below:
1. Lowers Cholesterol
Since lentils contain a high amount of soluble fiber, eating this legume daily will help reduce your blood cholesterol. When you lower your cholesterol levels, you are actually, in turn, reducing your risk of developing heart disease or even a stroke because you are keeping your arteries clean.
2. Healthy Heart
Similar to what was already said, by eating foods like lentils with high fiber levels, you are lowering your risk of heart disease. This has been proven over and over again in many different studies. Besides this, lentils are also a fantastic source of both folate and magnesium, each of which is known to help with heart health. That’s because folate lowers your homocysteine levels, a real risk factor for heart disease. Magnesium, on the other hand, improves blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients throughout your body. When you don’t get enough magnesium in your diet, this is directly associated with heart disease.
In lentils, there is a lot of insoluble dietary fiber, which has been proven to prevent constipation and other types of digestive disorders like diverticulosis and irritable bowel syndrome.
4. Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Another benefit of the fiber found in lentils is that soluble fiber traps carbohydrates, resulting in digestion slowing down and blood sugar levels stabilizing. In other words, if you have diabetes, insulin resistance or even hypoglycemia, lentils are a food you should definitely add to your daily diet.
5. Good Source of Protein
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you should stock up on lentils. That’s because out of all the legumes and nuts, lentils have the third-highest levels of proteins. In fact, 26 percent of lentil’s calories come directly from protein.
6. Weight Loss
Even with all the beneficial nutrients that lentils contain fiber, protein, minerals, and vitamins, they are still super low in calories, have practically no fat and will still leave you feeling full. Actually, one cup of cooked lentils has only about 230 calories. That’s why if you’re on a diet, you should begin eating lentils immediately.
Five Health Benefits of Artichokes
Whether you steam or braise your artichokes, this vegetable is extremely healthy for you. That’s because it contains a whole variety of health benefits that are hard to find in most foods today.
1. High in Antioxidants
In a study conducted by the USDA, it was found that artichokes have more antioxidants in them than any other vegetable. In fact, out of over 1,000 different foods, artichokes ranked as high as number seven on a list of antioxidant levels. Some of the most powerful antioxidants that you will find in this vegetable include quercetin, anthocyanins, cynarin, rutin, silymarin, and luteolin.
2. Prevents Cancer
Whenever studies have been conducted on artichokes, it has been proven that the vegetable’s leaf extract has the power to induce apoptosis, which causes cells to die. That extract can also reduce cell proliferation a whole bunch of cancers, like prostate cancer, breast cancer, and leukemia. Actually, there was one study done in Italy recently which showed that a diet rich in the flavonoids found in artichokes can completely reduce the chances of an individual developing breast cancer.
3. Good for the Liver
Within artichokes, there are antioxidants like cynarin and silymarin, which are both known to benefit the liver. Multiple studies have shown that these antioxidants, in particular, can regenerate liver tissue. That is why artichokes have long been used in different folk and alternative medicine to treat many types of liver ailments.
4. Aids in Digestion
Artichokes are also a great vegetable to add to your diet because they are good for the digestive system. This vegetable is actually a natural diuretic, so it helps your gallbladder function properly. Similar to this, artichokes also work to help break down the food in your system, so that whatever you are eating is able to pass through your system easily.
5. Reduces Cholesterol
It has been shown over time that eating artichoke leaves reduces the cholesterol in your body by inhibiting the HMG-COA reductase. Thanks to this, the good cholesterol in the body ends up being raised, while the levels of bad cholesterol comes right down.
Five Health Benefits of Cauliflower
One of our favorite vegetables to eat throughout this time of the year is cauliflower. After all, you can eat this vegetable raw or even toss it into pasta for all kinds of fun summery dishes. While cauliflower tastes delicious, more importantly, it is super healthy for you.
Check out these 5 Health Benefits of Cauliflower below:
1. Fights Cancer
Cauliflower is rich in sulforaphane, which is a sulfur compound that has been proven time and time again to kill cancer stem cells. In other words, this nutrient works to slow down tumor growth. A lot of researchers feel that by getting rid of these cancer stem cells, cancer can ultimately be controlled. Then, there are also studies that have shown by eating cauliflower with curcumin, an active compound found in turmeric, you can prevent and treat prostate cancer.
2. Keeps Heart Healthy
Besides fighting cancer, the sulforaphane that’s in cauliflower has also been shown to improve blood pressure and kidney function. That’s because scientists have found that sulforaphane actually improves overall DNA methylation, which is important for a normal cellular function to occur, as well as proper gene expression. This helps with the parts of the inner lining of the arteries that get damaged easily.
Within cauliflower, there are numerous anti-inflammatory nutrients such as indole-3-carbinol. Specifically, this anti-inflammatory compound works to prevent your inflammatory responses from flaring up at its foundational level by operating at the generic point.
4. Aids Your Braino
This vegetable is a fantastic source of choline, a B vitamin that helps with brain development. In fact, if choline is taken during pregnancy, it has been proven to boost cognitive function, learning, and memory. Choline can also aid those who are suffering from an age-related memory decline since it ultimately protects your brain’s vulnerability to toxins.
5. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
When you eat cauliflower, you are actually ingesting a slew of nutrients that are much-needed for your body to stay strong and healthy. For those that don’t know, cauliflower alone contains 77 percent of the vitamin C that you’re supposed to take in daily. Other than this, cauliflower is also a great source of vitamin K protein, riboflavin, magnesium, thiamin, phosphorus, vitamin B6, fiber, pantothenic acid, manganese, and potassium.
Five Health Benefits Of Beans
Who doesn’t love beans? From black beans to cannelloni beans, this food is simply delicious. And while beans are definitely tasty, they are also very healthy for you. When you add beans to your diet, you will be doing a whole lot of good for your body.
Health Benefits Of Beans:
1. Prevent Heart Disease
It has been shown in multiple medical studies that individuals who eat more beans develop a lower risk of heart disease. That’s because there are phytochemicals found in legumes, which work to protect your heart against it.
2. Fight Cancer
Within beans, there is a whole range of cancer-fighting plant chemicals. Some of these are isoflavones and phytosterols which have both been proven to reduce the risk of cancer.
3. Lower Cholesterol
Beans are known to give the body soluble fiber. For those unaware, soluble fiber play a large role in controlling blood cholesterol levels. In fact, in various studies, it has been shown that 10 grams of soluble fiber reduce LDL cholesterol by roughly 10 percent. Besides this, beans also contain saponins and phytosterols which have been seen to lower cholesterol too.
4. Help Lose Weight
One serving of beans will allow you to feel full much more quickly than other foods do. That’s because the rich fiber content fills up your stomach and then causes a slower rise in blood sugar. This will cause you to turn to snack foods a lot less often, so you are not eating as much without depriving yourself. Plus, beans give off a good boost of energy which is the push you may need to exercise for the day.
5. Aid in Managing Diabetes
Beans are perfect for those individuals who currently have diabetes. This is due to the fact that beans have an ideal balance of both complex carbohydrates and protein. In turn, this mixture provides you with a slow but steady source of glucose. This is a breath of fresh air compared to foods made up of simple carbohydrates since those leave you with a sudden influx of glucose.
With these five benefits in mind, it is quite clear that beans are a food that everyone needs in their diet.
Five Health Benefits of Onions
Onions may have a reputation for leaving you with stinky breath, but there is so much more to this vegetable. That’s right, onions are stocked with all sorts of nutrients and minerals, that will leave you looking and feeling better than ever.
Check out some of their health benefits below:
1. Cancer Prevention
Onions are excellent vegetables to eat if you want to protect yourself against cancer. That’s because the antioxidants in this vegetable actually reduce the DNA damage in cells that are brought upon by free radicals. Besides this, onions are also full of organosulfur compounds, which have also been proven in the past to fight cancer.
2. Lowers Glucose
If you are someone who needs to watch their blood sugar, it is time to start ingesting onions. In fact, onions work so well at lowering blood-sugar that their effect has even been compared to some prescription drugs. The reason for this is that they contain an active compound, which has been shown to reduce glucose by competing with insulin for breakdown sites within the liver. This, in turn, improves the lifespan of insulin.
3. Helps Those Dealing with Asthma
For those that suffer from asthma, onions are a fantastic vegetable to add to your diet, since it has the power to prevent the production of compounds which cause your bronchial muscle to spaz out. Onions even get your bronchial muscle to fully relax, so that you can breathe easier than before.
4. Keeps Your Liver Strong
Within onions, there is a large amount of sulfur, which is really good for leaving your liver strong and healthy. In particular, foods that are rich in sulfur, like onions, work best when they are combined with proteins. That’s because they end up stimulating the amino acids that are working in both your brain and nervous system.
5. Rich in Vitamin C
To cleanse your body and get rid of all the harmful toxins floating around, you should eat as many as onions as possible. That’s because they are full of vitamin C, which is known for detoxifying the body. Specifically, onions work to get rid of the led, arsenic, and cadmium found in your body.
Four Health Benefits of Asparagus
Asparagus is one of those vegetables that doesn’t get nearly the recognition it deserves. Yes, this food makes a great addition to any meal, but did you know it’s filled with tons of nutrients? That’s right, eating asparagus will do wonders for your body. Don’t believe us? Well, check out some of the health benefits brought on by asparagus below:
1. Stocked with minerals
Asparagus contains a whole slew of minerals that the body needs to function properly. Within this vegetable, there’s plenty of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K. That’s not all, though. It’s even loaded with chromium. For those who have never heard of this trace mineral before, it actually helps insulin move glucose through the bloodstream into the cells quick and easy.
2. Fights cancer
Similar to brussels sprouts, kale and avocado, asparagus is a rich source of glutathione. In other words, it contains a detoxifying compound that has been proven to break down carcinogens and other compounds that are known to cause cancer such as free radicals. In particular, this food is a great ingredient for combating bone, breast, larynx, lung and colon cancer.
3. Loaded with antioxidants
Asparagus is one of the top vegetables when it comes to neutralizing free radicals, since it’s filled with all sorts of antioxidants. While free radicals may not sound alarming, they actually damage your cells and have even been found to speed up the aging process. That’s why if you want to stay looking and feeling young, asparagus should definitely be added to your diet.
4. Filled with anti-aging properties
As we mentioned in reason number three, asparagus is great for slowing down the aging process since it contains lots of anti-aging properties. In particular, asparagus fights cognitive decline thanks to the folate and vitamin B12 that’s found inside. Asparagus also aids in preventing cognitive impairment from developing. In fact, a study out of Tufts University once showed that older adults who have the right amount of folate and B12 running through their systems perform much better on tests of response speed and mental flexibility than those who are lacking in these nutrients.
5 Health Benefits of Kale
Kale is quickly becoming one of the most popular, and trendy, vegetables on the market. That’s because it’s not only really tasty, and a fantastic ingredient in just about any dish, but super healthy for you too. One bite of the leafy vegetable is packed with nutritional benefits to keep you in top shape. Check out some of them below:
1. Lowers Cholesterol
Within kale, there is a fiber that actually binds bile acids. This, in turn, lowers your blood cholesterol levels and is even known to reduce the risk of heart disease. While you can always eat kale cooked, you reap the most benefits when you ingest it raw instead.
2. Detox Food
For those times you want to detox your body and cleanse your system of all the toxins floating around inside, fiber should be your go-to vegetable. That’s because it’s filled with lots of fiber and sulfur, which are two substances that have been proven to keep liver healthy.
3. Low in Calories
If you’re trying to lose weight, you should definitely consider adding kale to your diet. One cup of chopped kale has only 33 calories, making it a great tool for keeping the pounds off. Plus, this vegetable will fill you up, so you won’t feel the urge to snack nearly as much as before.
4. Keeps Eyes Strong
Kale is rich in both lutein and zeaxanthin, which are two carotenoids that protect your eyes daily from any type of damage they come across. In other words, they act like sunglasses, shielding your eyes from excessive exposure to ultraviolet light.
5. Fights Cancer
Whereas many different vegetables target only one type of cancer, kale is known to battle a whole variety of them, including colon cancer. That’s because kale is abundant in organosulfur compounds.
Of course, all vegetables are healthy for you and bring along a slew of their own nutrients, but it’s clear that kale goes above and beyond the rest. In fact, it has more iron in it per calorie than beef. That’s not all, though. It’s also extremely high in Vitamin K and stacked with antioxidants. These five benefits are just the tip of what kale has to offer.
Six Health Benefits of Spinach
We love spinach as much as the next person, because, well duh, it’s delicious, but did you know it is actually really healthy for you? With every serving, this vegetable is packed with a ton of benefits. Take a look at some of them below:
1. Anti-Cancer and Anti-Inflammatory Antioxidants
Over time, researchers have found that spinach contains more than a dozen different flavonoid compounds, which all act as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agents. In fact, a recent study shows that spinach is the only vegetable with proven results when it comes to significantly protecting the body from aggressive prostate cancer.
2. Alkalizes the Body
Unfortunately, when we consume too much acid, a whole plethora of health problems can occur from low amounts of energy to increased obesity. However, within spinach, there are lots of minerals that work to balance off the highly acidic diet that most of us put our bodies through on a daily basis.
3. Nourishes the Eyes
Spinach has a lot of carotenoids in it, which is known to protect your eyes against diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration.
4. Strengthen the Bones
All it takes is one cup of fresh spinach to double up the vitamin K intake your body needs daily. This, mixed with all the calcium and magnesium found in spinach, will help keep your bones healthy and strong.
5. Source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Since omega 3 fatty acids aren’t naturally produced by the body, you need to get them from your diet. While the name itself may not sound like something we want in our bodies, fatty acids are actually quite good for us because of a bunch of reasons like maintaining a normal metabolism and treating depression. Fortunately, spinach is one of those foods that contain plenty of fatty acids.
6. Loaded with Vitamins
When you eat spinach, you are ingesting a lot of important vitamins like A, K, E and D, as well as numerous trace minerals. We count on these vitamins for a whole slew of reasons, from leaving us with healthy skin and eyes, to strengthening and boosting our immune systems. Now, instead of having to consume a bunch of different vegetables to get these vitamins, everything is included here in one simple serving.
Six Health Benefits of Celery
While celery may not get as much credit as the other fruits and vegetables on the market, it is just as, if not more, healthy than anything else you can pick up at the grocery store. There are so many benefits that come with adding celery to your daily diet. Take a look at some of them below:
1. Weight Loss Aid
It’s so cliche to eat celery when you’re dieting, but that’s because it actually works. Did you know that there are only 10 calories in one large stalk? With this vegetable in hand, you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging.
2. Reduces Inflammation
For those that suffer from lung infections, asthma, joint pains or even acne, celery is your go-to vegetable. That’s because it provides a much-needed relief you can’t find in most foods.
3. Stress Reliever
If you get anxious easily and need to calm down, you should definitely stock up on celery. This vegetable contains a lot of minerals like magnesium that work to soothe your nervous system. That’s not all, though. There is also an essential oil in it that helps you sleep better at night.
4. Helps With Digestion
While a lot of people tend to look at celery as “crunchy water”, it is actually this quality that makes it such a great digestive system aid. When the celery’s high water content is mixed with the insoluble fiber in it, you’re left with a fantastic tool that makes the passing of stool easier than ever before. However, if you’re prone to diarrhea, you should probably stay away from this vegetable because it does have both diuretic and cleansing properties.
5. Good For Your Eyes
When you eat celery, you’re receiving up to 10 percent of the amount of vitamin A you should be ingesting daily. In case you didn’t know, vitamin A is made up of nutrients that will keep your eyes strong and also prevent disorders like senile cataracts.
6. Lowers Blood Pressure
Within celery, there is an active compound called phthalides. Phthalides have been proven time after time to boost circulatory health. While you can eat celery anyway, we recommend digesting it raw because that’s a more effective option for reducing high blood pressure.
Four Health Benefits of Carrots
Carrots are a staple in just about any kitchen, and there’s a good reason for this. Did you know that they are packed with nutrients that will keep your body and mind healthy? Check out some of them below:
1. Improved Vision
You’ve heard it once and you’ll hear it again, eating carrots are good for the eyes. That’s because they are rich in beta-carotene, which is actually converted in the liver to vitamin A. For those who don’t know, vitamin A takes on a new identity as soon as it hits the retina. When that happens, it transforms into rhodopsin, which is a purple pigment that you need for night vision. Besides this, beta-carotene has also been proven to protect against senile cataracts and macular degeneration.
2. Cancer Prevention
Study after study has shown that ingesting carrots reduces the risk of lung, breast and colon cancer. This is due to the fact that carrots contain anticancer properties like falcarinol and falcarindiol. In case you’ve never heard of falcarinol, it’s an organic pesticide that carrots produce to protect their roots from fungal diseases. In fact, carrots are the only source of this compound, so make sure you get you’re not lacking with your daily intake of this vegetable.
3. Healthy, Glowing Skin
We all want to have flawless skin and that’s possible with carrots in your diet. Carrots are stocked with both vitamin A and antioxidants that work to protect your skin from any kind of sun damage. When you don’t have enough vitamin A running through your body, this not only causes your skin to dry up but your hair and nails as wells. That’s not all, though. Vitamin A also prevents your skin from premature wrinkling, acne, pigmentation, blemishes and uneven skin tone.
4. Strong Teeth and Gums
When you eat carrots, you’re actually cleaning your teeth and mouth. Similar to a toothbrush or toothpaste, this vegetable scrapes off any plaque or food particles that you have laying inside. Other than that, carrots even stimulate your gums, so that you produce a lot more saliva than usual. As most people know, saliva is alkaline, so this, in turn, balances out any acid or cavity-forming bacteria.
Four Health Benefits of Garlic
Unless you’re a vampire, there’s a good chance you love garlic. This vegetable is not only delicious but used in practically everything from pizza to pasta dishes. That’s not all, though. There’s so much more to garlic than just that. It’s also extremely beneficial to your body. Check out some of these reasons below why you should add more garlic to your diet:
1. Immune System Boost
If you want to keep sicknesses like colds and the flu far away from you, then garlic is a great vegetable to ingest daily. That’s because it contains antioxidants that work to keep your immune system running in top shape. You don’t have to only eat it, though, to reap this benefit. You can also steep your garlic into a tea by chopping it up into hot water and letting it mix throughout. To cut out the strong garlic taste, we recommend adding a touch of honey to it as well.
As we briefly mentioned in number one, there are lots of antioxidants found within garlic, which plays an important part in staying healthy. Some of these antioxidants work to get rid of a bad skin since they can kill the bacteria that causes it in the first place, while others help keep your heart strong and functioning. No matter what your reasoning is, your body will be in much better shape once you start eating more garlic.
3. Heart Healthy
Numerous studies have shown that garlic is fantastic for the heart, especially the respiratory and circulatory systems. Specifically, it helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol, while preventing coronary heart disease and artery hardening. This is thanks to the hydrogen sulfide gas that garlic produces, which in turn happens when red blood cells receive the sulphuric compounds that garlic releases. As far as why garlic causes blood pressure to go down, that’s because of the gas expanding our blood vessels.
4. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Within garlic, there are four sulphuric compounds that each work to cut inflammation. That’s why it’s often suggested that people with auto-immune diseases include garlic in their diets. Besides this, those suffering from psoriasis are also recommended to use garlic, since it’s a skin condition related to inflammation. In fact, all they have to do to receive some relief is rub the garlic oil on the affected area.