10 Healthy Vegetables and the Proven Perks of Eating Them

All the vegetables!

Common nutrients in veggies and ways you can sneakily add them to your everyday meals

We’ve all heard “eat your veggies!” or “don’t forget about your greens!” before. But not many of us take into account just how beneficial they are for our everyday diets. Veggies are brain food and vitamin powerhouses.

Because there are so many vegetables—1,097 to be exact—our Hospitality Health team has compiled a list of 10 of the healthiest ones that you should be sure to add to your next shopping list. Below you’ll find all of the wonderful benefits to each of these veggies, as well as ways you can eat them, or perhaps sneakily include them into your kiddos’ meals.

What are common nutrients found in vegetables’ and their health benefits?  

Beta-carotene, or vitamin A, is good for eye health.

Fiber, a type of carbohydrate, helps with digestive health. 

Potassium can help our bodies filter sodium out. This results in lowered blood pressure.

Vitamin K can help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Folate or folic acid, a B vitamin, helps your body make new red blood cells. 

Vitamin C helps with immune health, bodily tissue, teeth, gums, and iron absorption.

Iron is a mineral that our body needs for both development and growth. 

Calcium helps our body build and maintain bones. 

Copper, combined with iron, helps the body form red blood cells. 

Magnesium can lower blood pressure and has anti-inflammatory benefits.

Manganese helps with our metabolism, cholesterol, and reducing inflammation.

Phosphorus helps keep our bones and teeth strong. 

Selenium plays an important role in the health of our immune systems.

Thiamine, or vitamin B1, helps prevent complications in the nervous system.  

#1: Spinach 

This leafy green vegetable is incredibly nutritious, and not just for Popeye. 

Benefits:

  • Fiber
  • Folic acid
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Vitamins A, C, and K1. 

Spinach is versatile, so you’re in luck if greens aren’t your, or your kiddos’, cup of tea. You can toss it in a smoothie, add it to your stir fry, or even add it to your brownie recipe (you heard that right). 

#2: Carrots

This crunchy treat is high in beta-carotene and is a must-have in any home. 

Benefits

  • Vitamins A and K
  • Potassium
  • Beta-carotene

You can concoct a carrot-ginger smoothie (extra nutritious!), you can add carrots to your soups, you can shred carrots on your pasta, or make pickled jalapenos and carrots. 

Just remember, consuming too many carrots can result in discolored skin. Yes, it’s true. The beta-carotene in carrots that is responsible for their orange hue can lead to excess blood carotene in humans!  

#3: Kale

Kale is loaded with nutrients and powerful antioxidants. 

Benefits

  • Vitamins A, K, C, and B6
  • Manganese
  • Calcium
  • Copper 
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium

Kale, on its own, isn’t too appealing to children. But when you throw it into a delicious salad recipe, a smoothie, or soup, they’ll hardly notice it’s in there. Still not interested? Try kale chips in your air fryer. Delicious! 

#4: Broccoli

This high-in-fiber vegetable tends to have a bad rep among youth, but its nutritious benefits make it a fan-favorite among parents and caretakers. 

Benefits

  • Fiber
  • Vitamins C, A K, and B9 
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Selenium

Raw broccoli doesn’t normally entice children too much. But if you make it zesty with a bit of orange or lemon, throw it in the oven, and bake it, they might ask for seconds. Steamed broccoli with marinara sauce and parmesan is another go-to!  

#5: Brussels Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are considered a superfood because they are immunity boosting, nutrient dense, and antioxidant rich.. 

Benefits

  • Fiber
  • Vitamins K, C, and A
  • Folate
  • Manganese

Luckily, it’s easy to get creative with brussels sprouts recipes. You can try bacon-wrapped brussels sprouts, candied brussels sprouts, and air-fried brussels sprouts. 

#6: Beets

Beets are a vibrant-colored vegetable packed with essentials that our body needs. 

Benefits

  • Fiber
  • Vitamins C and B6
  • Folate
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorous
  • Manganese
  • Iron

There are many ways you can go about adding beets to your recipes that go beyond just adding them to your salad. You can do pickled beets, use them as a garnish for your soup, throw them in your smoothie, make beet chips and dip them in hummus, or make steamed beets. 

#7: Peas

Green peas have amazing health benefits. 

Benefits

  • Fiber
  • Vitamins A, K, and C
  • Thiamine
  • Folate
  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Phosphorus 

There are lots of pea recipes out there! A few delicious ones include: mashing peas and creating a pesto, making Mutter Paneer (Indian-styled peas), making pea soup, or simply tossing peas into your pasta, mashed potatoes, or salads. 

#8: Sweet Potatoes

These root vegetables are nutrient-dense and are a delicious way to get your bodies’ antioxidant needs met. 

Benefits

  • Fiber
  • Vitamins A, C, and B6
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Copper

Who doesn’t love a good sweet potato? Especially when you can make them into fries, chips, or even pancakes! 

#9: Asparagus

It may come as a surprise that asparagus is a vegetable that is good for your liver! Some would even say it could be a “hangover remedy.”

Benefits

  • Fiber
  • Vitamins C, A, K, and E
  • Folate
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorous

Asparagus is great for families who are in a rush and don’t have too much time to cook a meal, since they can be good to go in just a few quick minutes. They can be boiled, steamed, roasted, sautéed, broiled, or pan-roasted. Add some seasonings and dipping sauces and you have a delicious appetizer! 

#10: Garlic

This flu-fighting vegetable can help pack more flavor into any recipe.

Benefits

  • Manganese
  • Vitamins B6 and C
  • Selenium
  • Fiber 

Vegetables

Next time you make avocado toast, add a few cloves of garlic. Or try adding minced garlic to your salads, pasta, or to your favorite guacamole recipe. Pro tip: keep pickled garlic in your fridge and I guarantee you and your family will reach for more! 

The benefits of vegetables are endless. And so are the ways you can incorporate them into recipes. Next time you make your kiddos’ favorite meal for dinner, try adding a vegetable or two and I’m sure it will either go unnoticed or enhance the flavor of the meal. 

For more healthy food tips, follow along on our Hospitality Health ER blog. We’ve recently covered “Signs Your Kid May Be Experiencing Anxiety” and “5 Common Digestive Problems”. For giveaways, updates, and COVID-19 tips, like us on Facebook and Instagram. 

Loading...