Without a doubt food in its natural state offers the most nutritional value. Fresh vegetables are low in fat and calories, and an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, protein, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, selenium, antioxidants (good for anti-aging), phytochemicals, iron, manganese, copper and zinc.
It is well documented that a good diet of vegetables increases ones energy, decreases stress, helps our bodies cells and organisms to perform at their best level and helps to fight all the major and minor failings of the body such as heart disease, strokes, high and low blood pressure, cancer, stomach conditions, cataracts, muscular degeneration and vision loss. (See raw food diet review and starting a raw food diet.)
Vegetable nutrition facts and Information: Vegetables that pack a big nutritional punch
1) Dark green leafy vegetables and salads (the darker the color the better) are high in vitamins A, K, D, and E and are easily absorbed by the body.
Arugula is high in vitamins A, C, and Calcium and can be eaten raw in salads, stir-fry, soups, and in pasta sauces.
Broccoli is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, and fiber and can be eaten raw or steamed or added to a casserole.
Collard Greens contain vitamins A, C and K, and fiber and calcium. Add to a soup or a stir-fry.
Mustard Greens have a peppery flavor and contain vitamins A, C, and K, folate & Calcium. Eat them raw in salads or cooked in stir-fries and soups.
Romaine Lettuce is high in vitamins A, C, and K. Eaten raw in salads, sandwiches or with wraps.
Spinach contains vitamins A and K, folate, and iron and tastes great raw in salads or steamed.
Swiss Chard is similar in taste to spinach and high in vitamins A, C, and K and iron. Eat stir-fried or raw in salads.
Some Tasty Recipe Ideas for your dark green leaf addictions:
- Of course a salad is quick and easy to prepare: Romaine lettuce or even spinach and arugula taste great in a vegetable salad. Combine with tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and lettuce.
- Make a wrap. Use tuna, chicken or turkey and wrap it in add some veggies for extra flavor and wrap them in your leafy vegetables. For more ideas see raw vegetable recipes.
- Excellent flavor to a soup: Use greens like collard or mustard greens with your favorite soup.
- In a Stir-fry: In any stir-fry with olive oil is delicious.
- Steamed: With a sprinkling of olive oil.
2) Eggplant nutrition facts and Information - To be anal, eggplants have seeds and are therefore classed as fruit however, in menus, they are usually prepared like vegetables. Eggplants are not necessarily that high in Vitamins and fiber compared to other vegetables but I have included them because...
The great thing about eggplants is that they are both very filling but, at the same time, low in calories (1 cup of eggplant = only 20 calories) and also low in fat and Sodium; making them the perfect ingredient in weight loss diets.
Eggplants are a good source of Potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, folate, copper, magnesium, niacin, Vitamin B and C and K (in low quantities).
3) Carrot Nutrition Facts and Information - Carrots are very high in Carotene (an anti-oxidant) which is converted to vitamin A by the body, and also contains falcarinol, which is believed to prevent cancer (according to scientific studies in Denmark). They are also an excellent source of vitamins B, C and calcium pectate, a fibre discovered to have properties that lowers cholesterol.
A little known fact about carrots is that the skin actually contains most of the goodness. Knowing this I now wash the carrots properly and don't peel them.
Carrots have a high sugar content but are actually a good blood sugar regulator.
1 serving of carrots (about 120 grams) contains 50 Calories, 1 gram of protein, 12 grams of Carbohydrates, 3.5 grams of fiber and 0.3 grams of fat.
These are just a few of the health benefits of carrots:
- Carrots help balance blood acidity and blood sugar levels.
- Carrots help to detoxify the liver and therefore also fight acne (worsened by high toxicity levels in the blood)
- Carrots fights Anemia and are very beneficial in blood-building.
- The pectins found in carrots help to lower cholesterol levels.
- Fiber in carrots help with digestion, bowel function and constipation problems.
- Of course we all know that carrots are good for the eyes. The beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin help protect the optic system against macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Carrots boost the immune system by helping the body produce white blood cells
- Drinking carrot juice while pregnant helps to reduce jaundice in babies and also improves the quality and quantity of mother's breast milk
- The vitamin C and other nutrients in carrot juice nourish the skin and prevent psoriasis and other skin blemishes.
- The nutrients in carrots nourish the bodies cells (undernourished cells can cause ulcers).
More Vegetable nutrition facts
4) Celery Nutrition Facts and Information - Yes, you lose more calories actually eating and digesting celery than the celery contains bla bla etc. but the actual health benefits of celery are much more than just the advantage of being an ideal ingredient in a weight loss diet recipe...
Studies have linked celery with combating high blood pressure, cancer (research at the State University of New York) inflammation and cholesterol. Celery is also a popular ingredient in home remedies for treating bladder and kidney diseases, relief from gout attack pain, and also rheumatism.
100 grams of raw celery contains just 16 calories, 3 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram protein and 80 milligrams of sodium (a little on the high side, but okay, the wonder vegetable can't be perfect!) Celery is high in important dietary fiber, Vitamins A, C, and K, Folate, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium, Manganese, Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus (good).
5) Other popular vegetable nutrition facts
- Broccoli nutrition facts and information:
Many scientific studies have repeatedly demonstrated that a good diet of broccoli reduces cancer of the colon, breast, lungs, prostate, and other organs. This is due to the fact that Broccoli contains indoles (which help neutralize harmful estrogens which can promote the growth of tumors), sulforaphane (helps cells to produce cancer-fighting enzymes) and beta-carotene, another well known cancer fighter highly prevalent in carrots. Broccoli is also a very rich source of calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamins A and C.
Broccoli is good steamed, raw (as a salad ingredient) in soups and stir-fries. The flower heads and stalks are both nutritious.
- Brussels sprouts are also cancer fighting and contain the compounds sulforaphane and indole-3 carbinol. They are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and lutein. 1 serving of brussels sprouts (about 88 grams contains 38 calories, 3 grams protein, 8 grams carbohydrates and 3 grams of fiber.
To preserve their nutritional value it's best to steam brussels sprouts rather than cook for longer time periods.
- Cauliflower nutritional information and facts: Cauliflower contains indole-3 Carbinol, bioflavonoids and indoles which has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer and other cancers and protect the heart.
1 serving of cauliflower (64 grams) contains 20 calories, 2 grams protein, 4 grams carbohydrates and 2 grams fiber.
Cauliflower is a great source of vitamin C, folate, potassium and vitamin B6.
Cauliflower can be eaten raw as a snack or added to soups to boost nutritional values and fiber.
- Onion nutrition facts and information: Apparently there are over a hundred different words for onion in various french dialects, and many times more onion recipes. The French are no slouches when it comes to healthy cooking, and the onion forms a major part of their diet.
Onions are high in fiber, vitamin C and B6 and organosulfur compounds, which stabilize your blood pressure. 1 serving of onions (38 grams) contains 16 calories, 4 carbohydrates and 0.5 grams fiber.
Onions, like garlic, leeks, and chives are believed to protect us from certain types of cancer and lower cholesterol levels. Scientific studies show people with a larger diet of onion and garlic were less likely to develop stomach cancer. Onions contain phytochemicals and quercetin (an antioxidant that helps combat free radicals.
Onions are at their most nutritious if eaten raw, but are very flavorful in most cooked dishes.
Hopefully these vegetable nutrition facts, values and information can help your diet choices a little. For more raw vegetable recipe ideas see raw vegetable recipes for weight loss.
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