The Western diet has done a number on our collective health, causing many of us to become sick and to develop a range of different problems. Consuming too much meat, salt, oil, sugar, and refined foods can lead to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and more.
One of the best ways to avoid all of these issues is by regularly consuming as many vegetables as possible. Not all vegetables are made equal, however, and there are a handful that you should try and incorporate into your diet on a daily basis.
Here we will look at the vegetables that you should try and eat every single day for improved health.
Dark, Leafy Greens
For the vast majority of human evolution, we ate dark, leafy greens on a regular basis. They formed the foundation of our diets, packed with all the nutrients and minerals our bodies needed to function properly.
For those on a Westernised diet, a lack of leafy greens has become something of a health crisis, with experts believing that people don’t nearly enough. There are plenty to choose from, but kale, bok choi, collard greens, mustard greens, and Swiss chard are some excellent examples.
Along with dark, leafy green, a diet high in cruciferous veggies has been shown by study after study to give us almost all of the nutrients that we require. One of the most potent sulphur-based compounds found in vegetables such as cauliflower and cabbage is sulforaphane, and it’s been linked to a range of health benefits, including improving our body’s defences against most types of cancers.
Eating these kinds of vegetables raw is usually best, but if they are to be cooked, it’s worth chopping them at least an hour before the cooking process in order to allow the sulforaphane to develop and not become denature when exposed to high heat.
Garlic is a true universal favourite, beloved by most cultures around the world. It forms an important flavouring agent in a multitude of cuisines, and it’s almost all down to allicin. Allicin is what gives garlic its unique odour and taste, but it’s also another important compound that can boost your immune system. Unfortunately, allicin is extremely unstable, and tends to break down quickly when exposed to air for too long, or when cooked.
To get the most out of a clove of garlic, they’re best eaten raw, after being chopped up as finely as possible and left for no more than ten minutes to allow the allicin to build up, plenty of opportunity to check email, chat to a friend, or play some bingo games.
While technically not a vegetable, mushrooms should be added to your daily diet wherever possible.
They contain a range of powerful micronutrients which you never find on the label, but they can improve heart health, greatly increase the efficacy of the immune system, and are a fantastic source of fibre as well as protein.