Set the table with the 9 healthiest vegetables

By | April 30, 2023

We all know that vegetables are healthy, but which ones are the healthiest to include in your daily diet?

“All vegetables offer health-promoting properties and disease-reducing compounds,” Lon Ben-Asher MS, RD, LD/N, a dietitian at the Pritikin Longevity Center, tells “However, some vegetables are more nutrient-dense and functional than others, and I encourage people to include [αυτά] in your diet every day.

The United States Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines recommend eating about 2 to 3 cups of colorful vegetables a day, and you can optimize this vegetable intake by choosing vegetables with the best nutrients. That is, vegetables full of nutritional compounds such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytonutrients. “These promote our health and prevent disease,” says Ben-Asher. Vegetables rich in fiber and water can also help us feel fuller for longer.

9 Healthy Vegetables You Should Eat Every Day


Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat! “Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane, which is known to fight cancer,” says Ben-Asher. “It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C, which is important for our immune systems, and potassium, which has been associated with promoting cardiovascular health and lowering blood pressure.”


“Cauliflower contains compounds called glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, which have also been associated with fighting cancer,” says Ben-Asher. It’s also an excellent source of folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Try cauliflower roasted, grilled, or made into cauliflower rice, a popular cereal substitute.

Brussels sprouts

“Brussels sprouts contain a compound called kaempferol, which is also associated with cancer-fighting properties and is anti-inflammatory,” says Ben-Asher. “It is known to support cardiovascular, intestinal, and metabolic health and is an excellent source of folic acid, vitamins C and K, potassium, and magnesium.” Brussels sprouts are great as a salad or simply roasted in the oven.

green leafy vegetables

Leafy green vegetables, including spinach, kale, and Swiss chard, should be part of your regular diet. “These contain compounds that have been shown to reduce cancer risk and are an excellent source of lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, which support cardiovascular and eye health,” notes Ben-Asher. Try adding leafy greens to a smoothie to make them easier to consume, or mix a handful into stir-fries, sauces, pasta, or rice dishes for an added boost.

Beans, Lentils and Peas

“These are high-protein, plant-based sources without the saturated fat and dietary cholesterol found in most high-protein, animal-based foods,” says Ben-Asher. “They are also an excellent source of potassium, which supports cardiovascular health and lowers blood pressure, and they are high in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels and metabolic health by gelling in the gut. This slows the digestion of glucose, thereby improving blood sugar control, as well as digestive health by promoting more beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome.”

Sweet potatoes

“Sweet potatoes contain all natural sugars, making them a great alternative to high-sugar foods with added sugars,” says Mackenzie Burgess, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and recipe developer at Cheerful Choices. “A medium sweet potato provides about 115 calories and 4 grams of fiber to balance blood sugar. Sweet potatoes are packed with beneficial nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese. Additionally, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure. Prioritize buying whole sweet potatoes over processed potatoes or French fries.”


“Fresh mushrooms are a nutritional powerhouse packed with immune-supporting nutrients like vitamin D, selenium, zinc, copper, and B vitamins,” says Burgess. “For example, just four cremini mushrooms provide 44% of the recommended daily allowance of copper and 38% of selenium, two nutrients that help prevent cell damage and keep our immune systems healthy.

Mushrooms are also the only food in the fruit and vegetable sector that contains vitamin D. Just one serving of mushrooms exposed to UV radiation can be an excellent source of vitamin D, very useful since more than 40% of the population lacks it.

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