Vegetables are well known for their powerful health-promoting benefits, such as wellness, longevity, and disease prevention. This is due to their comprehensive variety of macronutrients (complex carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and fiber), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), and phytonutrients ( meaning “plant” nutrients) which provide protective health benefits for the plants, and the people who consume them.
Below is a list of vegetables, with some nutritional benefits of each.
Turnip greens are one of the cruciferous vegetables you will want to eat on a regular basis to experience their wonderful health benefits.
It’s good to include cruciferous vegetables in your diet 2-3 times per week, in 1 1/2 cup portions, and even better 4-5 times a week in 2 cup serving sizes.
A healthy way to fix turnip greens is to chop into 1/2 inch pieces, then let sit for 5 minutes to enhance health benefits. Sprinkling with lemon juice before letting them sit may help to activate their enzymes. Steam for 5 minutes and season to taste.
While turnips, the root of turnip greens is high in vitamin C, turnip greens are an excellent source of many vitamins including vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, folate, manganese, fiber, calcium, and copper. They are also a very good source of potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamin B2. Additionally, turnip greens are a good source of phosphorus, vitamin B1, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein .
Yams, whose flesh colors vary from white to ivory to yellow to purple while their thick skin comes in white, pink or brownish-black, are a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin C, manganese and vitamin B
Good source of: Vitamin K, dietary fiber, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, folate, copper, and valuable monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid.
More Health Benefits
Avocados contain several nutrients that protect the heart. They are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid, which lowers cholesterol. A study of people with high cholesterol revealed that after only 7 days of eating a diet including avocados, there was a significant decrease in total cholesterol and LDL(bad cholesterol). In addition, there was an 11% increase in the good HDL cholesterol.
Avocados are a good source of potassium, a mineral which helps regulate blood pressure. A sufficient amount of potassium will help prevent circulatory diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. It has proven so significant, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made an official statement: “Diets containing foods that are good sources of potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.”
Another important nutrient for heart health, folate, is found in significant amounts in avocados. Studies have shown that those with a diet high in folate have a lower risk of heart attacks, cardiovascular disease or strokes, than those who do not have a folate-rich diet.
Carotenoids, one of the naturally occurring pigments in fruits and vegetables, are powerful antioxidants being studied as potential anti-cancer and anti-aging compounds. Avocados contain several carotenoids (zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene) and are an especially concentrated source of the carotenoid lutein. In addition, they contain significant quantities of tocopherols (vitamin E).
This is important because a lab study recorded in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry showed that an extract of avocado with these carotenoids and tocopherols inhibited the growth of two types of prostate cancer cells!
However, when researchers isolated the carotenoid lutein and exposed the cancer cells to only lutein, it did not prevent cancer cell growth. The whole combination of nutrients God has put together in the avocado is significant. The carotenoids and tocopherols together are necessary to kill prostate cancer cells.
Additionally, the monounsaturated fat, which is part of the whole avocado package, ensures that the carotenoids will be absorbed by the body. You see, carotenoids are fat-soluble which means fat must be present for absorption. God packaged those nutrients together for a purpose!
Another benefit of avocado: studies have even shown that the body’s ability to absorb carotenoid-rich food, such as carrots, tomatoes, and spinach, is greatly improved when they are eaten along with avocado.