The idea behind this column is to promote the culture of eating what we grow and growing what we eat. It goes without saying that a healthy mind can only be found in a healthy body. There is also a saying which appears simple but is in fact deep in meaning, “YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT”.
“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” -Ancient Earthian Ayurvedic Proverb
10 of the Healthiest Vegetables You Can Eat
You’ll get the most out of this veggie’s cancer-fighting antioxidants by eating it raw; cooking onions at a high heat significantly reduces the benefits of phytochemicals that protect against lung and prostate cancer. Try combining chopped raw onions with tomatoes, avocado, and jalapeño peppers for a blood sugar–friendly chip dip. Finish with a splash of lime juice.
On the cob or off, just make sure you eat your corn cooked! A study in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry found that the longer corn was cooked, the higher the level of antioxidants like lutein, which combats blindness in older adults.
Tiny but mighty, one study in the International Journal of Cancer found that daily consumption of green peas along with other legumes lowered the risk of stomach cancer.
This veggie’s curly green leaves are chock full of vitamin C, an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol.
Broccoli is full of cancer-fighting antioxidants. One study found men who ate 5 servings or more per week of cruciferous veggies (broccoli’s one of them) were half as likely to develop bladder cancers over a 10-year period as men who rarely ate them.
Red Bell Pepper
One medium pepper is light on calories (only 32), but heavy on vitamin C, providing 150 percent of your recommended daily value and warding off atherosclerosis, which can lead to heart disease.
Spinach is packed with carotenoids—antioxidants that promote healthy eyes and help prevent macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults. Cooking the green helps make lutein (a carotenoid) more absorbable by your body.
This tiny powerhouse is rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that protects against lung cancer and helps maintain healthy skin, hair, nails, gums, glands, bones, and teeth. It’s also a good source of vitamin E, which may help prevent heart attacks, stokes, and lower the risk of death from bladder cancer.
These balls of antioxidants can help detoxify cancer-causing free radicals, and with 80 percent of your daily vitamin C in just 1/2 cup, also help fight heart disease and ward off cataracts.
Roasted or pickled, this root vegetable contains high levels of antioxidants that fight cancer, as well as lutein, which protects the eyes. Don’t throw out those leaves! Beet greens are the most nutritious part of the vegetable and can be cooked like any other dark leafy green.