Dr. G’s Top 10 Veggies
If I had to choose a golden rule about the pursuit of excellent health, I would gravitate towards the principle of the idea that “food is medicine.” What we put into our bodies is a critical component of our health.
One of the first things I tell a new patient is to “eat the rainbow.” Listed below are my top ten vegetables. Make a point to incorporate at least one of these into your meals each day.
- Broccoli – This green cruciferous superfood is a complex source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Benefits include improving bone health, aiding digestion, and boosting immune health.
- Why I like it – High in sulforaphane, fiber, feeds microbiome (prebiotics).
- Mushrooms – Endless varieties are one of the unique qualities of the edible fungus loaded with nutrients.
- Benefits include regulating blood pressure, reducing blood sugar, and lowering cancer risk.
- Why I Like it – Supports the immune system, high in fiber, magnesium, B’s, and even some D2.
- Sweet Potatoes – This root vegetable has dozens of varieties. The common orange-fleshed variety probably has the highest concentration of beta-carotene than any other vegetable rivaled only by carrots.
- Benefits include promotes gut health, supports healthy vision, and may lower LDL.
- Why I Like it – Vitamins A and E, fiber, feeds microbiome, antioxidants.
- Brussel sprouts – This cruciferous vegetable that looks like little cabbages have risen in popularity over the last few years. Just don’t overcook, or they lose much of their nutritious value.
- Benefits include bone-building vitamin K, fights inflammation, restores digestive health.
- Why I Like it – High in several minerals (iron, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus), sulforaphane, and fiber.
- Ginger – Ginger is a root crop with a pungent, spicy aroma and is used prolifically in Asian cooking.
- Benefits include alleviates nausea, may help with arthritis, relieves indigestion.
- Why I Like it – Anti-inflammatory and feeds microbiome.
- Garlic- Garlic is a member of the family that also includes onions, chives, shallots, spring onions, and leeks. However, before it became the popular seasoning it’s known for today, garlic had a cultural history of medicinal uses.
- Benefits include supports the immune system, may lower cholesterol, may help clear up acne.
- Why I Like it – Anti-inflammatory, possibly anti-cancer- feeds microbiome (prebiotics).
- Spinach- Spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense leafy greens available.
- Benefits include supports brain health, helps with anemia, improves energy.
- Why I Like it – Another superfood-folate, other B’s magnesium, and fiber.
- Red cabbage – The red cabbage is distinguished by its dark purple hue and peppery flavor.
- Benefits include builds bones, aids digestion, high in vitamin C, and good immune booster.
- Why I like it – (especially fermented)- resveratrol, feeds microbiome.
- Beets- Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. Don’t confuse the red/purple beetroot with the white sugar beet.
- Benefits include eases constipation, good for detox, supports liver health.
- Why I like it – It helps digestion, nitrates help lower blood pressure and improves athletic performance.
- Cauliflower – The popularity of gluten-free diets has perhaps been responsible for the rise of the popularity of cauliflower. Innovative food scientists have perfected rice, pizza crust, crackers, and more, all made from this cruciferous veggie.
- Benefits include reduces the risk of heart disease, helps maintain hormonal balance, helps absorb iron.
- Why I like it – Low in carbs and calories and a rich source of vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, B complex vitamins, and vitamin E.
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