While including any fruits and veggies in your diet is better than none at all, there are some varieties that will give you the best nutritional bang for your buck.
We’ve compiled a list to help you navigate the produce section to help you choose the best options for optimal health.
Like all vegetables, fresh corn contains no sodium or cholesterol, but it also lacks nutrients that are found in other veggies, like calcium. Enjoying an ear of corn won’t blow your diet, but if you are aiming for the best nutritional value, opt for a side of roasted brussels sprouts or sautéed spinach to round out your meal.
Bananas are packed with natural sugars, which are preferable to added sugars, but can still spike blood sugar levels. They can also be calorie bombs and the bigger the banana, the more calories they have, as much as 150 per fruit. If you are craving something sweet, opt for a cup of raspberries which have just five grams of sugar per cup and much fewer calories.
It’s a misnomer that you actually burn more calories than you take in when eating celery. The fact is, celery doesn’t have much in the way of vitamins or nutrients at all. To top it off, it’s often treated with pesticides and is ranked in the top five dirtiest produce according to USDA data. If you need a little crunch in your life, opt for some raw broccoli which is loaded with vitamin C, potassium and fiber.
Figs are super sweet, up to 10 grams of sugar, so if you are looking to reduce your sugar intake, be mindful of how many you eat. Figs are also lacking some key vitamins, like A and C. A better option would be half a pink grapefruit, which contains the same number of calories as a single fig, but is loaded with tons of good-for-you nutrients.
Iceburg may be the lowliest of lettuce on the list of leafy greens. It contains just 10 calories, but not much else. If you are looking for a good base for your salad or to add some green to your sandwich, chose a darker variety like spinach or kale. Kale is not only packed with vitamins A and C, it’s also good for your vision, immune system, skin health and bone health.
Packed with carbs and calories, these tubers are on the list of veggies to skip. They are also notorious for spiking blood sugar, which can be a concern for those with diabetes. If the thought of giving up mashed potatoes is too much, fear not. Cauliflower is an excellent substitute because of its texture and ability to take on other flavors. Just boil a cup of cauliflower florets and give them a good mash for a side dish that is low in calories, but high in fiber, vitamins and antioxidants.
Question: What’s you favorite way to prepare veggies?