Hey there, fitness freaks. Let’s talk about everybody’s favorite subject, vegetables. Since you were a little kid, someone’s been yammering in your ear about how good they are for you. While they may not deserve a Nobel Prize for the “Smartest Person On Earth”, they were right about that!
If you’re trying to get in shape, there are plenty of great veggies you can munch on. The hardest part is just getting through the after taste. Let’s discuss the 9 Most Nutrient Dense Veggies To Get You In Shape. Are you an asparagus person? How about brussels sprouts? Oh no, spinach? Yup, we’re talking all that AND more…
Let’s kick things off with your grandparent’s favorite punishment. I get it, it tastes awful and it makes you want to vomit. What else is new? Just hear me out. Spinach is jam-packed with some of the best nutrients around. I’m talking about manganese, copper, folate, calcium, and all the vitamins you could ask for.
Just one cup of raw spinach provides almost 60% of your daily recommended Vitamin A. This improves your vision and strengthens your immune system. It also maintains the health of your lungs, kidneys, and heart among other organs.
Research from 2015 shows that a regular spinach diet reduces your risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure. As for Vitamin K, the same cup of spinach contains over 100% of your recommended intake. This vitamin strengthens your bones and reduces blood clotting. Spinach also provides its fair share of antioxidants, which work to fight against free radicals.
Studies show that the more spinach you eat, the fewer chances you have of developing cancer. This all makes spinach one of the healthiest veggies around! So toughen up and make yourself a plate.
Everybody loves cabbage. Just kidding. But if you’d like to boost your nutrients, this is the veggie to eat. Red cabbage contains healthy amounts of potassium, calcium, iron, and Vitamin B-6. It’s also got massive amounts of vitamins. But where it shines is with its Vitamin C content. Among its many functions, this vitamin lowers your blood pressure, prevents gout, and strengthens your immune system.
In terms of Vitamin C content, a single cup of shredded red cabbage holds almost 70% of your daily requirement. A study from 2012 focused on rats that were given the extract from red cabbage. In the end, it showed to reduce inflammation, prevent liver damage, and lower cholesterol. Red cabbage and spinach, anyone?
Along with Vitamin C, carrots have a large amount of B-6, calcium, iron, and magnesium. But when it comes to Vitamin A, carrots go nuclear! Are you ready? A cup of chopped carrots has around 430% of your daily Vitamin A requirement!
Just reading that is enough to make my head explode. They also have a ton of beta-carotene. This is the antioxidant said to be responsible for the orange color. Not just that though, studies have shown that eating a serving of carrots every day can reduce your risk of prostate cancer by 5%. The same kind of research has indicated that carrots can lessen the risk of lung cancer.
Smokers who skip out on carrots are shown to be 3 times more likely to get the disease. While they may lack in taste and are certainly not fun to eat, carrots are a great choice if you’re trying to get in shape. Not only are they easy to buy, but you can also eat them on the go.
Most people hear the word “asparagus” and are instantly transported back to a lackluster dinner party. I don’t think you’re giving this veggie credit it deserves. I mean sure it smells funky and tastes much weirder, but asparagus is super healthy. Asparagus is rich in both vitamins and minerals.
Let’s talk about folate for a second. I’m just holding your interest with a death grip, aren’t I? Folate is vitamin asparagus has plenty of. It’s needed to grow your red and white blood cells. This strengthens tissues and other important material in your body. It’s especially crucial for women during pregnancy.
Just half a cup of asparagus holds over 30%of your daily folate requirements. It will also have 57% of your Vitamin K. Ontop of that, we’re talking a lot of copper, manganese, iron, and potassium. It’s like a periodic chart exploding in your mouth. Okay, bad joke. Zinc! I mean ZING! Alright, I’ll stop. Moving on.
Oh come on, you knew it was coming. We can’t talk about healthy veggies without mentioning broccoli at least once. With broccoli, you either love it or hate it. Either way, it has so many benefits. These include possible cancer prevention and lower cholesterol. It can even help your eyes. If you are lacking in Vitamin A, your chances of blindness will increase. When you eat broccoli, the beta carotene in the veggies converts into Vitamin A, boosting your eyesight.
Broccoli also contains an assortment of nutrients including potassium and folate. If you eat broccoli on the regular, you’ relooking at an impressive amount of protein. Just a cup of chopped broccoli has under 3grams.
I know that little garlic can go a long way. But unless you’re allergic or a vampire, you need to add this nutritious ingredient to more of your recipes. And when I say “nutritious”, I mean it. Sure, garlic has a lot of the usual stuff. It’s packed with some good vitamins and a few minerals. But where it excels is with allicin. This is a plant compound responsible for some amazing things.
Research has shown that because of the allicin, eating garlic can regulate your blood sugar. This leads to a decrease in the risk of diabetes. It can also boost your heart health, reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks. One particular study from 2005 focused on rats who were given garlic compounds.
Those who ate them displayed a decrease in blood sugar and insulin sensitivity. There is also reason to suggest that the allicin in garlic can make a difference in the fight against cancer. Test tube studies have shown that the compound can kill cancer cells in the liver.
This isn’t exactly the type of food you take your date for. I mean, you never hear things like, “Hey, you want to hang out Saturday? I don’t have Netflix, but I know the best kale place in town!” Another one of the healthiest veggies, kale is the food all your annoying gym buddies rave about. To start, kale also has a healthy amount of protein. By eating just one small serving, you’re getting about 3 grams.
You’re also looking at around 3 grams of fiber. This will make you feel full for a longer period. It also helps your digestive process, adding to your weight loss. Kale is also great if you need antioxidants. These can maintain the health of your heart. A study from 2008, showed that men who drank kale juice over 3 months saw a nearly 30% increase in good cholesterol and a 10% drop in the bad kind.
Oh you know you can’t resist this one. Green peas may taste a little weird, but man oh man, are they nutritious. Just a single cup contains all the nutrients you need in a healthy meal. Not just 10 grams of fiber and protein. It also holds Vitamin A, C, K, folate, copper, magnesium, and iron.
Don’t dare me to bring back that brings periodic table joke, BECAUSE I WILL! The fiber found in green peas will feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. This speeds up your digestive system, allowing you to process food easier.
A good digestive system is crucial to losing weight. Green peas also have saponins, another plant compound shown to fight against cancer development. This is done by killing cancer cells and stopping the growth of tumors.
I know, not your ideal dessert item. Brussels sprouts hold a bit of everything. If you’re experiencing a health kick, you’re going to be running to the grocery store after hearing this. Half a cup of brussels sprouts will give you a day’s worth of Vitamin K and C. Not to mention a good amount of Vitamin A, as well as folate, manganese, fiber, and protein.
This is found within just 30 calories. Brussels sprouts are another vegetable known for its antioxidant power. Specifically kaempferol, a plant particle that relieves your body of cell damage.
Do you eat any of these veggies? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!