Let’s talk veggies. While we all know the health benefits that come along with a balanced diet, too often we stick to a typical common selection. Introducing different veggies to meals is a great way to add new flavors (and new added health benefits!) to your diet. Use these overlooked vegetables to spice up your routine, it’s easier to include them in your diet than you think!
Did you know that mushrooms are the ONLY fruit or vegetable source of Vitamin D? Filled with essential nutrients and antioxidants, including mushrooms in your cuisine can help fuel your body’s energy and enhance your immune system.
Try It: Add thinly sliced white button mushrooms to your salad, or add a handful of crimini or shiitake to your soup.
Simply used as a garnish for years, watercress has recently been deemed a “powerhouse” vegetable for its many natural benefits. With high levels of vitamins, calcium, magnesium and more, it helps reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Try It: Add chopped, raw watercress to your sandwich by mixing with tahini and chives for a new spread.
Loaded with the three major anti-oxidants found in foods – Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E – collard greens help strengthen our body’s ability to fight the effects of chemicals and free-radicals. With amazing anti-inflammatory benefits, this cruciferous plant helps keep digestive health at its best.
Try It: Add chopped collard greens to a stir fry mix, or steam and add handful to your soup.
Red cabbage’s intense purple color indicates a high concentration of antioxidants, including ten times more Vitamin A than its green counterpart. Low in calories and high in water count, it is an excellent sources of Iron and Vitamin K.
Try It: Use chopped red cabbage for the base of a salad or coleslaw, or add as a taco topping.
One of the best sources of dietary fiber, helping with lower cholesterol and weight loss, jicama is full of health boosting vitamins, minerals and nutrients. A great source of iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium, it helps boost energy levels.
Try It: Add chopped jicama to your salads for nice and refreshing crunch.
Rich in natural nitrates, beets are a great source of energy as they deliver more oxygen and nutrients into the bloodstream. Perfect for weight management, beets are high in fiber and potassium while supplying antioxidants.
Try It: Roast beets until they are tender and juicy, then mix them into a salad of baby greens topped with a drizzle of lemon and olive oil.
Just a single serving of rutabaga provides you with 50% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C! Low in calories and a rich source of soluble fiber, this almost unknown root vegetable can be used to maintain digestive health and aid in weight management.
Try It: Slice the rutabaga, toss with some olive oil and bake like French fries.
No, not celery… it’s root. Aside from being a great source of antioxidants, dietary fiber, vitamins and nutrients, celery root, like it’s ‘top part’, provides many other health benefits. From the excellent analgesic, antiseptic and anti-allergic properties to regulation of digestive system, the root should not be overlooked.
Try It: Eat celery root raw with some hummus for a new take on a mid-day snack.
Be adventurous and add one or a few of these underrated veggies to your shopping list, you’ll be glad you did.