Like fruit, Eat More Vegetables are packed full of antioxidants that help our bodies fight free radicals. The catch is that as soon as they are harvested. They begin to lose their essential nutritional value and when they are cooked, they lose more. To get the full benefit, it is important to buy them as fresh vegetables. Then use them as quickly, and cook them as little as possible.
Turning some of the most nutritious raw vegetables into juices is the best way to benefit from the vitamins minerals and other elements they contain. Buy organic whenever possible, wash just before using and scrub. And remove the minimum amount of peel if whizzing in a blender or food processor. If you’re using a juice extractor, the vegetable can be used whole once it has been thoroughly scrubbed.
20 Essential Vegetables You Should Eat
1. Alfalfa is a sprouting bean that produces fine pale green shoots. Like the mung bean that is used for beansprouts. The sprouts go on to produce vitamins and minerals as the young shoot grows. As soon as the bean or seed germinates and the shoot starts to develop, the vitamin C content is multiplied by 600. Sprouting also increases the development of various B vitamins.
2. Avocados, natives of South America were first known in England as alligator pears or midshipman’s butter. The first avocado trees were grown in California in the 1870s when trees were taken there from Mexico. Avocados contain 17 vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B, C, and E, riboflavin, iron, calcium, copper, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, magnesium, and more potassium than many other fruits and vegetables.
They also offer the highest protein content of any fruit. Although they contain no cholesterol. They are high in calories and do contain quite a high proportion of monounsaturated fat. Therefore, the quantity eaten should perhaps be limited. Choose ripe avocados that are ready to use immediately by pressing the skin gently for a soft. Slightly yielding flesh and avoid any brown or black discolorations. Store unripe pears at room temperature. Once cut, stop the surface from turning brown by brushing with lemon or lime juice.
3. Beansprouts are usually grown from the mung bean, a native of India. The young crisp and crunchy white shoots are very low in calories. This vegetable contains lots of B complex vitamins and vitamin C., Unlike other vegetables that begin to lose their vitamins as soon as they are picked. Sprouting beans go on producing other nutrients so the amount of vitamin C increases.
A single helping gives approximately three-quarters of the adult daily vitamin C requirement. They can be grown at home in a glass jar, or bought from supermarkets and market stalls. To grow at home, soak the beans in warm water for 10-12 hours. Drain, rinse, place in glass jars and cover with muslin, then leave in a warm, dark place and the shoots will be ready to eat in 2-6 days. It is best to store in a plastic bag or covered box in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours and wash in cold water before using.
4. Beetroot is thought to be a descendant of the wild beet that is found along the seacoast of the Mediterranean and along the Atlantic coast of Europe. The ancient Greeks and Romans boiled the leaves, which have a similar flavor. And food value to spinach and can be juiced or cooked and eaten in the same way.
The roots have the highest sugar content of any vegetable and are a good source of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, manganese, and sodium. Best are the small, young summer beets. That gives a deliciously sweet juice it cleanses the system and gives mixed juices a fabulous deep red color. For use in domestic juice extractors, cut off the skin before juicing. For use in heavier-duty machines, just scrub clean before juicing.
5. Broccoli originated about 2500 years ago from the wild cabbage of coastal Europe. The varieties we grow today have developed from the domesticated forms of the plant grown in Italy about 2000 years ago. The name derives from the Latin ‘Bracchium’ meaning ‘branch’. There are several different varieties that come in green, purple, and dark blue-green. Italians have been cultivating the variety known as Calabrese in the province of Calabria since the 16th or 17th century.
Choose heads that are tight and firm and good fresh color, then use them as soon as possible after picking or buying. If stored in the refrigerator, wrap loosely in plastic film or in a plastic bag. Before using, wash thoroughly and trim off any very coarse stalks. Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamins A, B, and C. One portion of this vegetable has approximately 100 grams gives over half the daily requirement and has a powerful antioxidant effect.
6. Carrots are thought to originate from Afghanistan. Choose organic whenever possible and, for pulping in a food processor or blender, use young, tender carrots that have been scrubbed or scraped. Put through a juice extractor, fresh carrots will give an excellent sweet juice that combines well with spinach, apples, radishes, beetroot, parsnip, and other root and leafy vegetables. Carrots have extremely high vitamin A content more than a hundred times that of courgettes or tomatoes and provide vitamin C, calcium, and sodium.
7. Celery is a native of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It was used as a flavoring by the ancient Greeks and Romans and as medicine by the ancient Chinese. In other ancient writings, it is mentioned as a medicinal herb and has for many years been regarded as an aphrodisiac. It is a member of the carrot family and is related to parsnip and to parsley. The earliest record of its cultivation is in France in the early 17th century. Choose fresh, crisp heads and store them loosely wrapped in plastic film or in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Use as soon as possible after buying and wash thoroughly before putting through the juicer. Celery is very low in calories, has a high potassium content, gives vitamins A and C and may help to lower blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Use the leaves as well as the stalks for maximum food value.
8. Cucumbers come from the same family as courgettes, pumpkins, marrows, watermelons, and squashes. They are thought to come originally from India and have been cultivated for around 3000 years. They have little nutritional value but high water content, so when added to juices they help to maintain the necessary levels of body fluids. Choose any variety, but buy cucumbers that are firm, unwrinkled, and evenly colored. They will keep well in the refrigerator for a few days.
9. Fennel is a native of southern Europe and is sometimes known as Florence fennel or sweet fennel. Every part of the plant is useful the bulb for juicing or as a raw salad vegetable, or steamed, roasted, braised, or stir-fried; the leaves for chopping into salads or for garnishing; the seeds to aid the digestion. Moreover, also thought to have aphrodisiac properties. It is also thought to have aphrodisiac properties. This is low in calories and is a good source of beta carotene the plant form of vitamin A and an excellent antioxidant.
10. Garlic is closely related to the onion and is regarded by some as a miracle food that can help protect the body against asthma, arthritis, viruses, bacteria, colds, nasal congestion, heart and artery diseases, and high blood pressure. Hence, it is also used to treat impotence. It comes originally from Central Asia but is now grown all around the world. It is the sulfur compounds in garlic that provide its health-giving properties and many people believe that it is better eaten raw since cooking destroys many of its volatile elements. The recommended daily dose is 1-2 small cloves.
11. Kale is also known as curly kale or borecole, a type of cabbage, is a native of Britain and the eastern areas of the Mediterranean. In 100 grams there are more than three-quarters of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A and almost twice the required amounts of vitamin C. It also gives iron and calcium and is a powerful antioxidant. It’s a good idea to combine it with tomatoes and peppers or other fruit and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C because the vitamin helps the body to absorb iron.
12. Lettuces come in many different shapes and forms and are said to originate in the Mediterranean. They are all very low in calories and the nutritional content varies according to type, season, and freshness. Most contain vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium, and iron. The darker outside leaves contain more beta carotene the plant form of vitamin A than the paler inside leaves so use plenty of the outer layers.
13. Onions were regarded by the Egyptians as a symbol of the universe and their name may come from the Latin “unus” meaning ‘one’ Like garlic, they have a long history of use as a cure-all. Eaten raw, they are thought to ward off colds, reduce blood cholesterol, protect against heart disease and help circulation. Because of their sulfur compounds, they may also be helpful against cancer. Add a few spring onions, a couple of shallots, or half a small onion to vegetable juice mixes.
14. Parsnips are at their best after the first frosts of winter because, with exposure to the cold, the high starch content starts to turn into sugar and so the flavor is sweeter and fuller. Choose smaller roots that are firm and clean. Parsnips are a good source of vitamins C and E and of dietary fiber.
15. Peppers knew as sweet peppers and capsicums some in four colors green, yellow, orange, and red. The green pepper ripens to one of the other three colors, becoming sweeter as it does so, Weight for weight, green peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as oranges, and red peppers three times as much. They are also a good source of beta carotene. Choose firm, plump peppers and look and feel them over carefully for bruises and breaks in the skin.
16. Radishes come originally from Asia and Europe and get their name from the Latin “radix” meaning “root”. They are related to the mustard plant, which explains their hot, peppery flavor. They are available in several shapes and sizes small and round, olive-shaped turnip-shaped elongated and although the most common are red or pink, some are white or yellow. Mooli, a long white root, is closely related and very useful for health.
17. Rocket grows wild in many parts of Europe. It is related to the mustard plant and the leaves have a deliciously peppery, spicy flavor. Like all green leafy vegetables, the rocket is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B1 (thiamine), and biotin which helps to keep the skin, hair, and nerves healthy.
18. Spinach was cultivated by the Greeks and the Romans and arrived in Northern Europe sometime in the 16th century. It became more popular in the 1920s and is today considered a valuable salad leaf when eaten raw. Some people believe that it is full of iron, though, in fact, it is not an especially good source of the mineral.
However, it does contain plenty of vitamin C and beta carotene and is thought to help guard against cancer because it contains lutein, which is a carotenoid pigment that has powerful antioxidant effects. It is recommended to stave off high blood pressure and anemia.
19. Tomatoes were once called apples of paradise. But the fruit of a plant that is a member of the nightshade family. It is likely that the wild species originate in the South American Andes probably mainly Peru and Ecuador. Tomatoes are thought to have been cultivated first in Mexico. The name comes from the Aztec word ‘tomato’. The French called them ‘pommes d’amour’ because they were believed to have aphrodisiac powers. Moreover, Italians knew them as ‘Pomodoro’ which indicates that the early ones were yellow or golden.
They were also called ‘pommes des Mours’ because it is said they were a favorite vegetable of the Arabs. The Italian and French names may, in fact, be a corrupted version of that name. When tomatoes were first introduced to Europe, people were suspicious because of their relation to Belladonna deadly nightshade, and in fact, the roots and leaves are poisonous. Tomatoes are full of vitamins A, C, and E, and contain potassium and lycopene, which is a carotenoid that may help protect against cancer.
20. Watercress, a member of the mustard family, is a native of Europe and North America. This grows wild floating in rivers and streams or on mud and is today cultivated in many countries. It is a natural antibiotic, helps the body to expel toxins, relieves upset stomachs, is good for the kidneys and liver.
It also helps keep the urinary tract healthy and is an excellent source of vitamin C and beta carotene. Choose bunches or bags that are crisp and dark green, and use as quickly as possible as the leaves quickly start to deteriorate and turn yellow.
Also Read: Health Benefits of Cucumber