Fruits and vegetables are essential for a healthy and balanced diet. In fact, their daily consumption can prevent metabolic diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that an average of 1.7 million lives could be saved each year if people increased their intake of this type of food. Discover five powerful vegetables you should eat below.
This is why dietary recommendations around the world place emphasis on increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables as a strategy for disease prevention and maintaining good health. It is also a way to obtain important micro- and macronutrients.
So, what are the healthiest vegetables? Read on to find the answer.
Powerful vegetables are packed with phytochemicals
Vegetables stand out for having a wide range of active compounds that have many health benefits. These substances are often known as “phytochemicals”.
There are different groups of phytochemicals, and in each group there is a large selection of substances that have anti-inflammatory effects. In the same way , these are responsible for giving the characteristic colors of all foods.
The families of the most important phytochemicals with anti-inflammatory properties are:
- Carotenoids, such as lycopene and beta carotene
- Phenolic compounds such as polyphenols, flavonoids and flavones
- Sulfur compounds such as allicin and luteolin
What are the most powerful vegetables?
Various studies have proven the role of these drugs in the prevention of heart and neurodegenerative diseases and various types of cancer. Among the healthiest vegetables, which have a high concentration of these substances, the ones we will discuss below stand out.
Tomatoes are a source of lycopene (it is part of the group of carotenoids). This substance is responsible for the red and orange color of some fruits and vegetables.
This is also one of the basic foods that are quite healthy due to the tomato’s low content of calories and fat. Furthermore, they are also a great source of fiber, protein, vitamins A, C and E as well as potassium.
2. Powerful vegetables: Onions
This vegetable contains phytochemicals such as luteolin, luteolene glycosides and flavanols.
However, it is the onions with a dark color and with a more pronounced taste that have the highest anti-inflammatory activity. They can also help prevent the occurrence of chronic diseases.
Broccoli stands out for its high content of sulfur compounds. Luteolin is the most important and acts as a mediator of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory processes associated with aging.
Some studies suggest that it may exert a gastric protective effect, even in low concentrations.
4. Powerful vegetables: Carrots
This is a great vegetable from a nutritional point of view. This is because it is an important source of vitamins and minerals. In addition, it is also considered one of the vegetables with the highest content of dietary fiber.
You may not know it, but the orange color of the carrots is due to the presence of carotenes, which include beta-carotene, a natural pigment that the body converts to pro-vitamin A. It promotes visual health and helps the formation and maintenance of teeth, bones and mucous membranes. in addition to keeping the skin healthy.
Garlic has sulfur components, such as allicin, which have important antibiotic functions. In fact , studies suggest that it may help prevent the growth of pathogens that cause infection.
However, you must consider that this compound is formed only after chopping, crushing or chewing garlic.
Some final points about powerful vegetables
Vegetables stand out because of their contribution of nutrients and active substances. In this regard , you should ideally incorporate those mentioned above in a healthy diet with other healthy foods.
In order to prevent diseases and maintain well-being, it is also important to drink a fair amount of water, live an active life and limit the consumption of industrially processed food and alcohol.