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10 Vegetables You Should Be Adding to Your Diet

Apr 28 2020 - Blog

There is no single vegetable that trumps all. From the calcium-rich parsley to the vitamin-C-packed bell peppers, each contributes in its own way to our body’s needs. In this week’s buzz, Sky Premium rounds up ten vegetables to add to your diet for good health.


1. Parsley

Aside from its culinary use as a garnish or to enhance flavours of dishes, parsley is highly nutritious in vitamin C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and sodium. Thanks to its rich source of antioxidants and vitamins, parsley has been studied on its role in preventing many chronic diseases and promoting impressive health benefits such as kidney cleansing, reducing water retention, helping with weight loss and more.

Adding parsley into your eating routine is relatively simple. Consider adding its leaves to make parsley lemon water or parsley tea. You can even use its roots as a bed for meat roasts or as an addition to stews and soups. Parsley also makes a great skincare ingredient for reducing the appearance of blemishes and scars. So, if you have been looking for a homemade mask recipe for glowing skin, consider mixing a few sprigs of parsley with organic apple cider vinegar and plain yogurt.


2. Kale

Dark leafy greens are known for offering multiple health benefits including reducing risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Among them, kale is considered one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables, loaded with dietary fibre, antioxidants, calcium, iron and vitamins C, A and K.

A single raw cup of kale contains almost 7 times more than the daily recommended amount of vitamin K — an essential vitamin in promoting bone metabolism and regulating blood calcium levels. Because of its low calorie, low saturated fat and high fibre content, kale makes a weight-loss-friendly food that helps you suppress hunger instead of binging on higher-calorie options.


3. Spinach

The impressive nutrient profile of spinach makes it a popular low-calorie green. It takes just a single cup of raw spinach to fulfil an adult’s full-day requirement for vitamin K… all while racking up only 7 calories!

Spinach also provides a high amount of vitamin A that is essential in maintaining healthy vision and immune system function, adequate amount of iron for energy and healthy blood, and good level of manganese for muscle and nerve function.

For pregnant women, eating spinach is also a great way to increase your folate intake which is imperative to healthy infant development by preventing defects of the infant’s spine and brain.


4. Broccoli

Belonging to the cruciferous family along with cauliflower, cabbage and kale, broccoli makes one of the best-tasting greens when eaten raw or slightly boiled. A nutritional powerhouse full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants, just a cup of cooked broccoli offers as much vitamin C intake as an orange! Fascinating, isn’t it?

Multiple research studies have also shown promising results that associate fibre-rich foods like broccoli with health benefits such as lower risk of heart disease, healthier digestive system and better diabetic control.

Looking for a new way to enhance the broccoli’s flavour? Try roasting it with a pinch of salt!


5. Beets

Beets may appear to have a dirty exterior and they can be messy to handle considering how capable they are at staining everything. But they do boast amazing health benefits especially for the heart and brain.

Beets contain high levels of nutrients known to boost immunity — zinc, copper and vitamins A and C.  They are a great source of nitrates, which are compounds that help to lower blood pressure, heart rate and improves blood flow, which in turn moves more oxygen throughout your body.

Better oxygen flow improves our brain functions in relation to motor control and cognition. Our heart and lungs would also require less energy to pump oxygen during vigorous activities. For these reasons, beetroot juice is extremely popular among endurance athletes.


6. Carrots

In addition to their natural sweet flavour and satisfying crunch, carrots are loaded with a variety of minerals and antioxidants along with beta carotene and vitamin C — essentials that boost the immune system.

Carrots have long been regarded as the traditional remedy for the health of our eyes, hair and skin. The presence of beta carotene protects our eyes from the sun and lowers our chances of getting cataracts. Whether you juice or boil them up, just remember not to consume them in excess so your skin does not temporarily turn yellowish orange!


7. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are technically fruits but they’re commonly categorised as vegetables because of the chockful of nutrients they possess. Tomatoes contain an antioxidant called lycopene, which not only gives it its vibrant colour but is also responsible for protecting the health of our heart and eyes.

The health benefits do vary between types of tomatoes. For example, yellow tomatoes have more folates but less vitamin C than red ones. Regardless, one fact that ties them together is that you get to reap their full benefits by eating them raw!


8. Bell Peppers

The belle on top of any healthy pizza. Bell peppers are primarily composed of water (92%), low in calories, and exceptionally rich in vitamins C and A, antioxidants, potassium, folic acid and fibre. There are four types — green, yellow, orange and red — and the most nutritious among them? Red bell peppers! Compared to green bell peppers, red ones contain almost 11 times more beta carotene and 1.5 times more vitamin C.

A versatile addition to colour up any healthy diet, you can have them raw in salads or slightly roasted in pasta dishes.


9. Asparagus

Thanks to its diuretic properties and high fibre content, asparagus keeps our digestive system healthy by helping to cleanse our urinary track and neutralizing excess ammonia that can cause fatigue. Extremely well-balanced with other nutrients, anti-inflammatories and low in calories, asparagus equips our body with a better immune system while lowering the risk of cancer. For maximum benefit, boil them in water only briefly because the longer you boil, the more nutrients are lost.


10. Sweet potatoes

Compared to normal white potatoes, these starchy sweet-tasting potatoes fare a richer source of fibre, vitamins (B & C) and minerals (iron, calcium, selenium, potassium). Sweet potatoes are renowned as a powerhouse of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. If you intend to replace your carb intake with a healthier choice, consider this slow-burning resistant starch that in fact supports weight loss. For more antioxidant properties, pick purple ones!

 

Final tip: Enjoy these ten vegetables in the right amount and portion. Healthy eating is not just about selecting healthy foods but consuming enough with relevance to our body condition and activity level. As a rule of thumb, with reference to Health Promotion Board’s My Healthy Plate, a balanced diet constitutes 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% whole-grain carbohydrates and 25% meat and others.

At Sky Premium, we make it possible for our members to access a variety of premium vegetables and fruits directly flown from Tokyo’s Toyosu Market and delivered right to your doorstep. Sign up as a Sky Premium member and experience the beauty of good health with us.

Already a member? Log on to our eStore — The Direct — for more curated selections.

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