As a general rule, eating lots of vegetables is healthy. Eating lots of healthy vegetables is even healthier. 5-9 servings a day is great, but the more, the merrier.

Unfortunately, for many folks, the bulk of our vegetable intake comes from nutritionally sparse vegetables such as iceberg lettuce and Russet potatoes. These, of course, have some nutritional value, but should not compose the majority of vegetables in your diet.

By diversifying your diet with nutritionally dense vegetables, you’ll help your body protect itself against a whole array of diseases, as well as feel and look better. Try incorporating some of the following vegetables into your diet on a daily basis, and make sure to pick a rainbow of colors! This is the easiest way to synergize the nutrients you make available to your body.

Greens

These top the list for nutritional greatness. They includes spinach, kale, collards, deep colored lettuces, chard, cabbage, and whatever other vegetables in the produce section that fit the descriptors “leafy” and “green”. With the variety to choose from, at least one of these will appeal to even the pickiest eater. They all have high concentrations of vitamins, including A, K, and C (lower concentrations in lettuces), in addition to lots of fiber and a bit of protein to boot. They’ve been shown to reduce bad cholesterol. Adding leafy greens to at least one meal a day is a great goal to increase your consumption of these nutritional gems.

See Kale nutrition facts.

 

 Broccoli

Nutritionally, broccoli mirrors leafy greens pretty closely, except it has a super fun shape and has lighter flavor. Broccoli is brimming with vitamins A, K, and C, with plenty of fiber and proteins. Studies show that broccoli assists the body in detoxification, as wells as having anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting properties. Broccoli makes a great side dish: steam and add some parmesan cheese. So easy!

See Broccoli Nutrition Facts.

 

 Garlic

Otherwise known as “the stinking rose” for its aroma and health benefits. Although not plentiful in vitamins or fiber, it does have a plethora or other health benefits going for it. It assists in detoxifying the body, can help keep your heart and blood vessels clear of build up, will help fight cancer, and has incredible anti-bacterial qualities. This can be easily incorporated into your diet: Sautéed in oil and poured onto bread, thrown into stirfry’s and pastas, to name just a couple.

See Garlic nutrition facts.

 

 Carrot

These will blow your face off with nutritional beauty. A single serving of carrots will give you a whopping 680%DV of vitamin A. Carrots also have notable levels of vitamin K, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. Eaten raw, they make great snacks on the go. Cooked, their sugars are released, making them a sweet treat.

See Carrot nutrition facts.

 

 Sweet Potato

One of the more underappreciated vegetables in the produce section, sweet potatoes make a fantastic substitute for regular potatoes. High levels of vitamin A and anti-oxidants set the sweet potato apart from the pack. One of its unique health benefits, oddly, is that it helps regulate blood sugar. Steam to maximize health benefits.

See Sweet Potato nutrition facts.

 

 Asparagus

This is a perennial treat for many of us, as its growing season is relatively short. They shoot up in early spring, and are not to return until the following. When it’s around, though, shovel it down by the spoonful. They are a very balanced vegetable, covering a multitude of different vitamins and minerals. Asparugus is a heart and gut healthy food.

See Asparagus nutrition facts.

 

 Bell Pepper

Red and yellow bell peppers contain the most abundant amounts of vitamins. They are heavy in anti-oxidants and help lower the chances of age related blindness. Sweet and tasty, raw or cooked.

See Bell Pepper nutrition facts.

 

Celery

Low on calories, high on health benefits. It has extremely high levels of fiber that assist in cleaning out your digestive track, helping to fight against colon cancer. They also contain a bit of salt, making them a savory, yet light addition to any salad.

See Celery nutrition facts.

 

Tomato

Sure, it’s a fruit. That aside, their high levels of lycopene have been a proven anti-cancer agent. They have a good helping of vitamins. They are acidic, so large quantities of tomatoes can be tough on the stomach.

See Tomato nutrition facts.

 Onion

They make you sob, yes… but who doesn’t like a good cry every now and then? In addition to this emotional benefit, that same anti-sulfur quality that causes this also fights cancer. Tears of joy!

See Onion nutrition facts.