If you are going to follow your doctor’s advice and trade your hamburger and milkshake for fruits and vegetables, what will be your best choice?
To paraphrase a famous quotation from Animal Farm, all fruits and vegetables are good for your health, but some of them are better than others. Here are the true kings and queens of the botanical world:
There are hardly any other vegetables that are as nutritious as kale. 100 grams (or 3.5 ounces) of kale contain gigantic amounts of vitamin C (200% of the recommended daily allowance), vitamin K1 (1000% of the RDA) and beta-carotene (300% of the RDA). Kale is also rich in dietary fiber, protein, vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and copper. What’s more, kale is low in oxalates that prevent such minerals as calcium from being absorbed in the intestine.
Ok, botanically speaking, seaweed is neither vegetable nor fruit. However, it is so nutritious, that it would really be a crime not to mention it. First of all, seaweed contains astronomical quantities of iodine that is incredibly important for your thyroid gland and nervous system. Seaweed is also very rich in folate (it is essential that you consume enough folic acid before and during pregnancy), magnesium, calcium and iron. If you don’t like the smell or taste of the seaweed, consider the possibility of taking dried kelp tablets: they are very low in price and loaded with nutrients.
Broccoli is almost free of fat and only contains moderate amounts of carbohydrates. On the other hand, it is very rich in protein (that’s why bodybuilders simply adore this vegetable) and dietary fiber that helps regular bowel movements. Broccoli also contains lots of vitamins C and K; due to broccoli’s high water content it is often recommended that you eat this vegetable when it’s hot to avoid dehydration.
Forget about fat and stop worrying about a high intake of carbohydrates: you are now in Beet Country. Sure, this marvelous vegetable has a slightly sweet taste; however, 100 grams of raw beet only contain 3% of the RDA of carbohydrates, so it is extremely unlikely that you will get fat from the beet diet. In fact, lots of people used this kind of diet to lose weight: beet contains almost all vitamins and minerals that you might need, and it is very, very tasty.
Protein. Lots and lots of protein. Massive doses of vitamins C and K. Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B9 in substantial quantities. As many as 30% of the RDA of dietary fiber per a 145g cup. Need more reasons to include green peas in your diet? How about this: green peas only contain minuscule amounts of fat, and are very rich in minerals.
If it seems to you that some important fruits and veggies are missing from the list, you are absolutely right. Bananas and bell peppers are so good for you that there are separate articles dedicated to them. You can’t have too much knowledge, huh?