If you are trying to eat healthy, then vegetables should always be a staple in your fridge, as well as fruits. Experts recommend eating at least three servings of fruits and veggies daily, and if you feel that you cannot get them by eating alone, then you can also do so by incorporating them in your juice and in your smoothies.
There are many kinds of vegetables in the market, and it’s easy to just pick a few of them and put them in your grocery cart. However, it’s important to get as much variety in your meals every day, so you should also choose a variety of veggies and not just rely on lettuce alone.
To help you shop, here is a list of vegetables that you should always have in your fridge or kitchen, everyday:
Celery is often associated with diets, but evidence suggests that they pack a wide range of benefits for every punch! At only ten calories per stalk, it is rich in vitamin K, folate, potassium and pthalides, which are natural diuretics and are known to support the circulatory system and reduce the risk of high blood pressure
Carrots are great for your eyesight because of its beta carotene content, which the body converts to vitamin A to keep your macula strong and prevent glaucoma. Regular intake of carrots has also been shown to improve night vision, which is great if you’re always driving at night.
Helpful Tip: Aside from this, carrots also have an antiseptic compound that helps in would healing and bacterial growth prevention. All you have to do is shred the carrots (while raw), cook them and mash them. Apply the mashed vegetable on the affected area for several minutes before rinsing. Studies show that peeled and shredded carrots stop food bacteria from multiplying, which also supports the theory that they have antiseptic properties.
Another cruciferous vegetable on the list, and this one packs a punch with its antioxidant content, which is known to reduce the risk of certain kinds of cancers. Broccoli is also rich in vitamin C, folate and beta carotene, and is a good option when you are down with the flu or colds.
Some people love Brussels sprouts and some people hate them, but whether you are a fan of it or not, you can be sure to fight cancer if you constantly have it in your diet. Brussels sprouts have the highest amounts of glucosinolates in comparison to all other cruciferous vegetables, and glucosinolates are anti-carcinogetic compounds that cause self destruction to cancer cells.
Often a bane in the kitchen for causing tears when sliced, this flavorful vegetable contains thiosulfinates, which can help with circulatory problems. Thiosulfinates are the same compounds that cause the eye to tear up are also the same compounds that thin the blood and keep platelets from clotting and clumping. Onions also contain quercitin, which relaxes dilated blood vessels, helping reduce the risk of stroke as well.
That’s not all, though. They also have high vitamin C content and provide ample amounts of calcium, folic acid, iron and dietary fiber.
Usually the partner of onions in the kitchen, garlic is a powerful spice that contains anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. In fact, it may even prevent some cases of food poisoning by killing bacteria such as those that cause salmonella and e coli. That’s not all. Garlic is also a very helpful for the cardiovascular system, lowering blood pressure and protecting your heart. It also boosts the immune system and normalizes blood sugar levels.
On top of this, studies also show the possibility of garlic protecting against several types of cancers including those of the breast, colon and prostate. Because garlic works well with all kinds of food, you can never go wrong with having it for any type of meal.
These add flavor and crunch to any meal, but also provide you with twice your daily allowance of vitamin C. Aside from vitamin C, bell peppers also contain a rich amount of B6, which regulates metabolism. It is also rich in minerals like zinc, manganese and potassium, which are known to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.
Helpful Tip: Add bell peppers to salads or any meals that call for color and flavor.
Dubbed as one of the powerful greens, Kale packs a very strong punch which includes your daily recommended dose of vitamin A, vitamin C (more than your average orange), vitamin K, calcium and lutein. On top of these basic things, kale is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains kaemferol, which activates genes that promote long life. Add kale in your salad or as a base for a delicious fruit juice or smoothie.
Another green, leafy powerhouse, spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, lutein, vitamin C and potassium – somewhat just like kale, so you can actually substitute one for the other in case you can’t find them in the supermarket.
A spinach-rich diet can keep your immune system strong and prevent a host of conditions ranging from heart disease to arthritis to colon cancer and osteoporosis.
Helpful Tip: Spinach isn’t just for salads! Have them in the morning with your eggs. Simply chop a few clean leaves up and add them to whisked eggs. Add onions and tomatoes to make a delicious and nutritious breakfast.
While technically a fruit, most of us serve tomatoes like vegetables and add it to salads or cook them with the rest of our food. Red, tasty and juicy, tomatoes contain the immune and vision boosting Vitamins A and C. It is very rich in lycopene which is known for its cancer fighting abilities. It also has antioxidants that keep free radicals from destroying your body cells.
Helpful Tip: tomatoes and tomato based foods spoil easily, so make sure that you prepare them by batch or store left-over properly in the fridge.
Just these vegetables?
While this is a list of vegetables that you should always have in your fridge, it does not mean that you should not get other kinds of vegetables as well. However, this list is comprised of the best choices when it comes to nutrient content, which means that you get more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes per serving than other veggies. Whatever you put in your fridge (and eat) is fine, the idea is that you add more vegetables to your diet!
There are many recipes that you can follow that use these veggies as ingredients, and they are yummy, too! So have fun cooking and stay healthy.