9 Lesser-Known Healthy Vegetables

Your local grocery store is most likely full of healthy vegetables that you consume on a regular basis, such as tomatoes, lettuce and carrots. But there are quite a few lesser-known but tasty vegetables that are easily accessible and can assist you in maintaining good health.

1. Eggplant

Eggplant is an oblong, deep purple vegetable that contains antioxidants which help protect your body against cancer and prevent high cholesterol. The skin of the eggplant contains a phytonutrient that scavenges free radicals in cell membranes and protects the fats in your brain cells. Eggplant is also a great source of fiber and potassium.

2. Leeks

Leeks are similar in appearance to large green onions or scallions, but their flavor is milder. Leeks possess many of the same health benefits as onions and garlic, such as helping to reduce your cholesterol and your risk of certain cancers.

3. Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable in the same family as spinach. It is rich in vitamin A which is important for your vision, vitamin K which contributes to healthy bones, and vitamin C which helps support your immune system. Swiss chard can also help prevent cancers of the digestive tract.

4. Collard Greens

Collard greens are leafy green vegetables that are a good source of vitamins K, A, C, E, and calcium. They also contain phytonutrients that neutralize carcinogens and help keep you from developing cancers of the breast and colon.

5. Beets

Beets get their purple-red color from betacyanin, which works as an antioxidant to help ward off cancer. Beets are a good source of folate, which helps prevent birth defects, and betaine which lowers inflammation. Beets also supply you with a good amount of manganese, potassium, and fiber. 

6. Fennel

Fennel is a plant with green stalks that end in a pale bulb. Fennel is rich in flavanoids and antioxidants that help your body fight off damaging free radicals. Fennel also contains a volatile oil that demonstrates an ability to protect you from cancer and liver damage. Fennel is a good source of vitamin C, fiber, manganese, and potassium.

7. Mustard Greens

Mustard greens are in the same family as broccoli and provide a similar range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These green leafy vegetables are a great source of vitamin A, which is important for your lung health, as well as vitamin E to benefit your heart. Mustard greens have vitamin K and folate, too.

8.  Sea Vegetables

Sea vegetables, also called seaweed, boast a wide variety of vitamins and minerals and have high levels of iodine, which keeps your thyroid gland functioning properly. Sea vegetables contain vitamin K and magnesium, as well as folate, which reduces your risk of colon cancer.

9.  Winter Squash

Winter squash have a hard outer shell and come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but most are round or oblong in shape. They are rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. Eating squash provides you with many phytonutrients that are good for your lungs and also help lower your cholesterol.

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