Nutrients are essential, as they help our body to function properly and maintain overall health. When it comes to our body and health, each nutrient has a unique role to play. For instance, carbohydrates are our body’s primary source of energy even though people with weight loss goals try to stay away from them. Then there is protein that plays an important role in the growth, repair and maintenance of tissues. Many of our hair problems can be solved by protein. While there are foods packed with nutrients, it can get a bit difficult to choose the right one. Let us tell you about some of the most nutrient-dense vegetables that your body needs.
Most nutrient-dense vegetables
Essentially, each nutrient plays a unique role in promoting body function, growth and overall well-being, says Richa Anand, Chief Dietician, Dr. LH Hiranandani Hospital, Powai, Mumbai. A balanced diet that provides adequate amounts of nutrients is essential to ensure the proper functioning of our body systems and prevent the onset of nutrient deficiencies and various health complications. So, make sure to include these vegetables in your diet.
Remember the popular cartoon character Popeye, who ate spinach and quickly gained physical strength? Well, you won’t get superhuman qualities like him, but spinach is very nutritious and good for you. It is rich in vitamins A, C and K, which aid in vision, immune function and blood clotting, says the expert. It’s also a good source of folate, which is essential for cell division and prevents neural tube defects during pregnancy. Spinach also contains iron for improved blood circulation, potassium for electrolyte balance and heart health, and digestive enzymes to aid digestion and a feeling of fullness.
Kale is another fiber-rich vegetable, especially known for its high content of vitamin K. It is essential for bone health and blood clotting. Kale is also an excellent source of vitamin C, which supports the immune system and collagen production. It provides antioxidants such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote eye health.
Broccoli is packed with nutrients such as vitamin C, K and A. These are essential for bone health and blood clotting. The expert says broccoli also provides folate, fiber, potassium and other minerals that support heart health, as well as calcium, which is essential for bone health and muscle function.
4. Brussels sprout
Brussels sprouts that look like baby cabbages are a source of vitamins C and K. They also contain glucosinolates, compounds that may have cancer-protective properties. They provide dietary fiber for food, as well as minerals such as folate and manganese, which support bodily functions including metabolism and bone health.
5. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, which is essential for vision, immunity and skin health, says Anand. It has fiber which is good for digestion, and is a source of vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant and supports immune function. Also, these potatoes provide potassium for heart health and vitamin B6 for brain development and function. They are quite filling too.
Eating a variety of fiber-rich foods is a great way to stay healthy. You can use spinach and kale to make a salad or smoothie. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts can be enjoyed steamed or stir-fried. Sweet potatoes can be enjoyed as a supplement or in a variety of meals to provide sustainable energy and support digestive health. But always keep an eye on portion control.