Health is a very important element in human life. A human body is a complex structure and needs a lot of synchronization between the different organs and organ systems to function smoothly. There has to exist a perfect balance between the individual’s internal and external environment. A lot of things are required to maintain this balance. Various elements like potassium, calcium. iron, magnesium, zinc etc are required by the body to perform its function effectively. Apart from these elements various vitamins and minerals are also required to maintain a healthy state of the body. We obtain our nutritive requirements from the diet we consume. Nature has offered us with a huge range of eatables that fulfill our needs in the best possible way. One such source of obtaining nutrition is the vegetables. Vegetables are eaten everywhere in this world and consume most part of the eating table. The best part of having vegetables is that they improve the digestion and aid in cleansing of the bowel. This adds to their advantage of being full of vitamins, minerals and essential elements. The vegetable kingdom is really big and every vegetable has its own advantage but if we look at the completeness of the food some do have an upper hand. The following are the top 10 vegetable with very high health quotient.
10. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potato is a member of the Batatas family. It is basically an edible root that grows to form edible, swollen tubers that are of different colors with the most common being orange. It is a wholesome food with high nutritive values. It has carbohydrates and very low amount of fat. It is a great source of vitamin A and Vitamin B family. It also has a great reserve of elements like iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus etc. In many parts of the world sweet potatoes are eaten roasted. Roasting allows easy removal of peel and the fruit is then eaten. It is also used as an ingredient in soups, pastries etc. In many places its leaves are also used.
Cabbage is a very popular vegetable throughout the world with thousands of tonnes of this vegetable eaten annually. It is cooked in several forms and even forms a major constituent of most of the salads. Cabbage is a leafy vegetable and is found in green as well as purple color. Cabbage is a highly nutritive food and that is one of the major reasons for it to be eaten raw in salads. It is high in energy as well as low in fat. It is a great source of vitamin A, B group, K. It has around 44% of vitamin C making it very nutritious. It has all the essential elements and minerals. Incorporating cabbage in the diet is a great way to boost your immunity.
8. Egg plant
Egg plant is the fruit of the plant eggplant. It is commonly called as brinjal in most of the countries. It is found in three varieties that change in shape and color. Eggplant is a highly nutritive vegetable. It has good amount of dietary fibers and very low fat. It is high in proteins, vitamin A, B, E and K content. It also has good amount of calcium, phosphorus and zinc. It has been found that egg plant is helpful in bringing plasma cholesterol levels down. It is cooked in various forms most notable being roasting it to remove the peel and mixing the soft pulp with other spices.
Onions are one of the most ancient vegetables still in use. They have been cultivated since centuries and are still at a good position when it comes to human consumption. Onions are eaten raw in salads and also are used in the form of spice or ingredients in other dishes. Onions are rich in Sulfur content and therefore are very beneficial in case of skin infections. Onions are a rich source of vitamin A, B, K etc. It also contains calcium, phosphorus, zinc as well as fluoride. It is good for a person’s digestion as well.
Celery is more of a herb than a vegetable. It is a plant that is valuable from root to tip. Plant’s seeds, leaves, roots and leaf stalk all are used. Leaf stalk is the most used part. The seeds are used to relieve spasms. The leaf stalk is very crisp and therefore is used very popularly in salads and in other recipes. The leaves are used largely for their flavor. Celery contains a good amount of digestive fiber and is used by people on weight control plans. It also contains calcium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron etc. Essential oils, folate and vitamins are also found in celery.
5. Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprout is a green colored bud like vegetable. It is very popular in the western countries but considerably lesser in Asian countries. Brussels sprouts are one of the most nutritive greens out there. It is full of nutrition and contains every possible element that is required by the body. It has Vitamins A, B, C, K etc. It also has all the major minerals required. It also has beta Carotene that is very good for the eyes. A major health attribute of this vegetable is its anti cancer property. It is found to promote DNA repair and inhibit cancerous cells. This property is retained even on stir frying and steaming this vegetable but is lost significantly on boiling.
Broccoli is related to cabbage. In fact the term broccoli means “flowering head of a cabbage”. Broccoli is eaten boiled, fried or steamed but lately raw broccoli in salads has become a trend. Broccoli is very similar to Brussels sprout in terms of its nutritive value. It is rich is dietary fibers as well as vitamin C. It boosts the immune system giving an individual resistance from viral, bacterial infections. It also has great anti cancerous properties which are lost significantly when the vegetable is boiled. Consumption of broccoli reduces prostate cancer as well as cardiac disorders.
It is obvious that carrots will be there on the list of most healthy vegetables. Carrots since long have been seen as a food for the eye and skin. Carrot contains large amount of beta carotene that is a precursor molecule to vitamin A. It is therefore very helpful in maintaining your eye vision. It is also a great tonic for skin and hair. It contains Vitamin C, K, and E etc. All minerals like iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus are found in carrots. Carrots also show cytotoxic activity. Carrots most preferably are eaten raw or are extracted for their juice. In some places carrots are cooked to give soup or stew.
Spinach is one of the most common leafy vegetable that is consumed almost all over the world. This vegetable is especially popular due to the cartoon series Popeye the sailor man where spinach was shown to increase his strength several hundred folds. Although not that dramatically but spinach is a powerful food. It is a rich source of anti oxidants that protect the body against a lot of toxins and free radicals. It is rich in Calcium, vitamin A, C, K etc. It has good amount of folic acid, sodium, magnesium and iron. Spinach soup is a very popular recipe that retains most of the nutrients in the raw vegetable. It is also cooked but long exposure to heat may reduce the nutritional value.
Tomato is one of the vegetable that man first got familiar with. Since long it has stayed on the food plate. It is either consumed raw or is cooked along with other ingredients. It is also served as juice, famous tomato ketchup, pickles etc. Tomato contains Vitamin A, C, K etc and also all the essential minerals. One very important constituent is the anti oxidant Lycopene. It is said to protect against prostate cancer. Also it is proved to protect the skin against UV rays. Tomato applied on the skin keeps the skin from ageing signs for years. It is a complete food.