6 VEGGIES A DIETITIAN REGULARLY SERVES UP
WHILE all vegetables are good for us, there are some vegetables that are so packed full of key nutrients that they tick the box on superfood status and as such are some of the best varieties to include in your diet daily. So as a dietitian, here are the vegetables I seek out for their standout positive nutritional attributes and the ones to include a lot more of in your weekly meal plan.
Forget eating an apple a day, when it comes to getting a massive vitamin hit, you cannot go past eating a red capsicum a day. Brightly coloured red capsicum is especially rich in carotenoids, the group of antioxidants known to play a powerful role in helping to regulate several inflammatory pathways in the body.
Packed full of the antioxidant beta carotene as well as Vitamin C, folate and Vitamin K, spinach can be enjoyed cooked or raw in salads, smoothies and juices. Aiming for at least 2 serves of green vegetables each day is a good starting point, and it is easy to incorporate into diets.
Contains a number of extremely powerful antioxidants known to support cell health and with minimal calories per serve, is a vegetable we could all use a lot more of in our diet. Rich in dietary fibre, folate and potassium, it also has an especially high levels of nitric oxide, a molecule which helps to improve blood flow, and as such a food that may be especially beneficial for those with elevated blood pressure.
Another rich source of the antioxidants, and specifically beta carotene, with one carrot offering more than 500x the daily requirement of beta carotene, the precursor to Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A aids in cell regeneration, helping us see in the dark and for a healthy immune system.
Technically a fruit, tomatoes are low in calories, rich in dietary fibre, Vitamin C, folate, potassium and Vitamin K. In addition, cooked tomatoes, as consumed in tomato-based sauce and pastes are an extremely rich source of the antioxidant lycopene which has been shown to have powerful anti-cancer properties.
A relative of nutrient rich broccoli, cauliflower is just as nutrient rich as its green cousin and extremely versatile. Rich in Vitamin C, K, B6, folate and dietary fibre, specifically it is the sulforaphane found in this group of vegetables that is associated with healthier cells and lower levels of inflammation in the body.
Susie Burrell is one of Australia’s leading dietitians, with two Honours degrees in Nutrition & Dietetics and Psychology