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Best of the Best Vegetables

Best of the Best Vegetables

Get the most nutrients out of the best of the best vegetables in the market, nutritionally speaking!

Start With Leafy Greens

Swiss chard, kale, spinach and collards rank among the top vegetables for their nutrition boosters.

Cruciferous Counts

Bok choy, Brussels sprout, kale, cabbage and cauliflower are the "kings" of the vegetable world. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says they lower inflammation levels. Women who reported eating more cruciferous vegetables had up to 25-percent lower levels of markers of inflammation than those who didn't partake. Eating more vegetables cut inflammation, but no category had a greater impact than the cruciferous kind.

Get Going with Garlicky Sauteed Swiss Chard

Heat 4 teaspoons olive oil, 2 sliced cloves garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 8 cups torn organic Swiss chard and cook until wilted. Season with 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and black pepper.

Vitamin K and carotenoids run rampant -- and do you a world of good. In addition, they contain impressive amounts of calcium, iron, potassium and vitamin C.

Brussels sprouts and broccoli are in the same ballpark.

Move On to Vitamin K

Asparagus, endive and romaine lettuce gets top ranks, as well, because of their vitamin K.

Red peppers are the only vegetable with more than a full day's worth of vitamin C. They have twice as much as their nearest competitor, which is broccoli.

Next in line

Baked Potato Decent sources of vitamin K and brimming with vitamin C are cauliflower, kohlrabi and green pepper, with about one-half-a-day's worth of each.

Avocado, parsnips and peas supply both fiber and folate.

A baked potato with the skin trounces its skinless version. The skin supplies much of your fiber and iron.

Last but not least!

Iceberg lettuce and celery boost your vitamin K stores, while turnips and radishes chip in a good dose of vitamin C. In fact, many have at least five percent of a day's worth of two or three different nutrients.

Take yellow squash -- it delivers at least five percent of a day's carotenoids, vitamin C, fiber and vitamin K. Add them up and you have a good reason to throw some on the grill.

What's more, all vegetables harbor valuable phytochemicals.

Onions and garlic, for example, contain flavonoids and allium compounds.

It is too early, however, to say whether they prevent cancer, heart disease or anything else -- but don't let that stop you! Without onions and garlic... well, why even bother cooking?

Veggie Tips

  • Keep your kitchen full of vegetables that won't spoil quickly -- onions, garlic, potatoes, winter squash, carrots.
  • At a salad bar, fill up your plate with salad greens first.
  • Next time you make pasta with vegetables, use half as much pasta and twice as many vegetables.
  • Eating out or ordering in tonight? How about a side of broccoli with that? Surveys reveal that when people eat foods prepared outside the home, they average 25 percent fewer fruits and vegetables, so make an effort to include vegetables in your order.

Veggie Short Cuts

Vegetables come in a variety of convenient options that need little or no preparation.

  • Pick up pre-washed bags of salad greens and spinach.
  • Choose no-chop veggies like baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower florets, pre-cut celery and sugar snap peas.
  • Line your freezer with frozen vegetables - they go from microwave to table in minutes.
  • Stock up on canned beans such as garbanzo beans and kidney beans. After a quick rinse with water, they are ready to use in soups and salads.
  • Store a variety of potatoes in your pantry. Bake, roast, boil or microwave for an easy side dish.

Quick Recipe: Savory Vegetables

1 cup chicken broth
3 cups cut-up vegetables

Mix broth and vegetables in saucepan. Heat to boil.
Cover and cook over low heat five minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp. Drain.
Recipe serves four.

Did You Know?

According to a study from the University College London, you can slash your annual risk of death by eating at least seven fruit and vegetable servings daily.

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