When it comes to eating healthy, fruits and vegetables are at the top of most dietary lists, but if you aren’t a huge fan of those two food categories, it can be difficult to make good choices when meal time comes around. To help you make some nutritious–and tasty–choices, Saludify has compiled this list of the top 5 vegetables you need to include in your diet.
Making your own healthy choices will help you teach your children to make healthy vegetable choices as well.
The top 5 vegetables you need to include in your diet and why
Kale: Kale is often used as a garnish in fancy restaurants, but this green, leafy vegetable is, according to Live Science, one of the top vegetables you need to have in your diet. Kale is not only inexpensive, it has 206 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A, and 134 percent of vitamin C. Kale can make a great alternative to the less-nutritional iceberg lettuce Americans have grown fond of using in salads. In fact, if you can replace iceberg lettuce with any kind of darker greens, your salad will be that much healthier.
Green cabbage: Cabbage isn’t usually top on the list when people think about tasty vegetables to include in a meal, but green cabbage–when left uncooked–is incredibly healthy. Just one cup of raw green cabbage contains almost a full day’s worth of vitamin K. One cup also has about 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Green cabbage is a good source of dietary fiber important for gastrointestinal health and is loaded with disease-preventing antioxidants.
Carrots: Carrots are very versatile. Even when cooked these vegetables you need to have in your diet are very nutritious. Carrots contain more than 70 percent of your daily required among of vitamin A, and are also considered a part of a healthy fertility diet. Harvard University researchers found the high content of betacarotene in this orange vegetable improved sperm swimming ability by as much as 8 percent.
Tomatoes: Another food indicated as a fertility booster, tomatoes are an important vegetable to include in your diet because they get their beautiful color from a substance called lycopene. Alternative Health Atlanta indicates lycopene is a carotenoid known to help reduce the risk of heart disease, cataracts and cancer. What’s more, tomatoes are one of the top vegetable sources of vitamins A, C and K as well as biotin, a substance critical for metabolism and energy production, as well as healthy blood sugar levels.
Eggplant: Eggplant can be cooked and served in a variety of ways making it a great vegetable to incorporate into your favorite dishes. The best part about eating eggplant, however, is that it contains a flavonoid called nasunin which has been linked to protection of the central nervous system. Eggplant’s nasunin improves the integrity of cell membranes within the body and protects cells from the damage of free-radicals.
Fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet
But remember, while super-foods are important, all fruits and vegetables can be a part of a healthy diet.
“What is ultimately the most important to good health is a dietary pattern that includes all these foods, along with a wide variety of other nutritious foods and regular physical activity,” Tufts University researcher Alice Lichtenstein, DSc, told WebMD.