Let’s talk veggies. While we all know the health benefits that come along with a balanced diet, too often we stick to a typical, common selection. Introducing different vegetables to meals is a great way to add new flavors (and new health benefits) to your diet. Use these overlooked vegetables to spice up your routine—it’s easier than you think.
Did you know that mushrooms are the only fruit or vegetable source of Vitamin D? Filled with essential nutrients and antioxidants, including mushrooms in your cuisine can help fuel your body’s energy and enhance your immune system.
Try It: Add thinly sliced white button mushrooms to your salad, or add a handful of crimini or shiitake to your soup. Veestro’s Shepherdless Pie has just enough to enjoy the savory taste without overpowering you.
Simply used as a garnish for years, watercress has recently been deemed a powerhouse vegetable by many for its many natural benefits. With high levels of vitamins, calcium, magnesium and more, it may help reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Try It: Add chopped, raw watercress to your sandwich by mixing it with tahini and chives for a new spread.
3. Collard Greens
Loaded with the three major antioxidantds found in foods – Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E – collard greens help strengthen our body’s ability to fight the effects of chemicals and free-radicals. With amazing anti-inflammatory benefits, this cruciferous plant helps keep digestive health at its best.
Try It: Add chopped collard greens to a stir fry mix, or steam and add a handful to your soup.
4. Red Cabbage
Red cabbage’s intense purple color indicates a high concentration of antioxidants, including ten times more Vitamin A than its green counterpart. It is low in calories and an excellent source of Iron and Vitamin K.
Try It: Use chopped red cabbage for the base of a salad or coleslaw, or add as a taco topping.
One of the best sources of dietary fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and weight loss, jicama is also full of health boosting vitamins, minerals and nutrients. A great source of iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium, it helps boost energy levels.
Try It: Add chopped jicama to your salads for a refreshing crunch.
Rich in natural nitrates, beets are a great source of energy as they deliver more oxygen and nutrients into the bloodstream. Perfect for weight management, beets are high in fiber and potassium, while also supplying antioxidants.
Try It: Roast beets until they are tender and juicy, then mix them into a salad of baby greens topped with a drizzle of lemon and olive oil. For a ready-made meal, try Veestro’s Roasted Beet and Kale Salad.
Just a single serving of rutabaga provides you with 50 percent of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C! Low in calories and a rich source of soluble fiber, this almost unknown root vegetable can be used to maintain digestive health and aid in weight management.
Try It: Slice the rutabaga, toss with some olive oil and bake like French fries.
8. Celery Root:
No, not celery…its root. Aside from being a great source of antioxidants, dietary fiber, vitamins and nutrients, celery root, like its top part, provides many health benefits. From the excellent analgesic, antiseptic and anti-allergic properties to regulation of digestive system, the root should not be overlooked.
Try It: Eat celery root raw with some hummus for a new take on a mid-day snack.
Be adventurous and add one or a few of these underrated veggies to your shopping list. You’ll be glad you did.