Vegetable Nutrient Chart: How Healthy Are Vegetables for Real?

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Vegetable Nutrient ChartVegetables have been known, through the generations, as some of the healthiest foods we can add to our diet. Parents in almost every single home promote these to their kids in the hopes of them growing to be healthy adults. That mentality is now embedded in all of us.

The benefits of these nutrient mines are numerous, as they provide us with most of the necessary elements that we need to consume in order to survive, including vitamins, proteins, fats, minerals, and even carbohydrates.

This highly justifies the notoriety they have, and it only further highlights the importance of having a healthy amount of them every day. Nevertheless, we should ideally keep this habit in a balanced way, while making sure not to neglect any particular nutrient.

The Importance of the Vegetable Nutrient Chart

Taking advantage of the rich and varied nutrients vegetables can potentially provide means understanding the vegetable nutrient chart. This is a unique and beneficial tool that maps out the different elements associated with their respective sources, which makes it easier to break down the necessary veggies needed for different goals, and then put them together in a well-crafted diet that is both affordable and suitable for you.

Moreover, you can assess what your body demands and whether it has a shortage of a certain element.

Finding the perfect balance of nutrients for our particular needs is a necessity for maximum benefits, and this is easily feasible with a certain familiarity with the vegetable nutrient chart. With the help of it, you will be able to evaluate how much intake you need to guarantee that you meet your daily benchmarks.

Now Let’s go through the most critical nutrients so as to give you an idea of what your body exactly needs.

Minerals

Many of the essential elements provided by vegetables, such as magnesium, potassium, sodium, copper, calcium, and many others, belong to this category. Thus, due to the importance of their presence in our daily diet and the many benefits they yield, we decided to start the list with this nutrient group.

Calcium

This is one of the most popular minerals, owing its’ popularity to the widespread milk commercials that are aimed especially at kids and teens, highlighting its’ importance for their growth. This idea eventually found its’ way into popular cultures and parents all over the globe started encouraging their children to drink their glass of milk every morning.

However, contrary to what many might think, even adults are concerned when it comes to calcium benefits, so don’t let false advertising make you believe that it’s not an essential mineral. In fact, despite being a small amount for an adolescent, the daily intake of calcium needed for grown-ups is 100mg per day. The primary sources for it among vegetables are Swiss chard, okra, kale, French beans, sprouts, celery, amaranth, etc.

Copper

Despite the fact that this mineral is yet to be given enough credit for its importance, our metabolism and many of our everyday bodily functions are in dire need for it. The amount required daily is not that significant, however, sitting at a mere 3mg. The sources most rich in copper include pumpkin, peas, potatoes, amaranth, artichoke, fresh or Canned Baked Beans, etc.

Iodine

This mineral is recommended more for adults as they need almost double the daily amount of it, which is 150mg, compared to what adolescents need. This mineral can be found in potatoes, prunes, bananas, fresh or Canned Corn, etc.

Iron

Back to one of the more recognized minerals, which is also one of the most important ones. This is especially true for ages 18 and down, which are the body developments years, as it contributes immensely to it. Iron-rich veggies include leeks, peas, butternuts, brussels sprouts, squash, etc.

On a side note, the examples given were not in-depth ones, as they might contain more than just one of the aforementioned nutrients. So, in order to get a better idea of what they provide, you can easily research their nutrient information.

Vitamins

Alongside the aforementioned minerals, vitamins are the agents that work behind the scenes and intervene in hundreds of the primordial functionalities of our body. As a matter of fact, one of their most essential roles is reversing damage on the cellular level, and aiding the conversion of consumed food into energy. Moreover, they ensure the sturdiness of the bones, help in wound healing, and sharpen the immune system. This is why they are required for all ages, albeit in different amounts.

Almost all of the most vital vitamins, that include A, C, D, E, B1, B9, among others, are provided by the more common vegetables that are consumed daily. Among these, we can cite potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, alfalfa, leaves, cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, etc.

In the end, you can’t really go wrong with choosing any of these examples, because all of them contain a couple or more of essential vitamins. For more in-depth understanding and though-out choices though, say to craft a balanced diet for a specific goal, you should opt for checking the detailed information for each one of these vegetables.

Protein

The hardest nutrient to find in vegetables is probably protein, as the primary sources for it remain to be animal-based ones such as most types of meat, dairy, and Protein Cookies. You shouldn’t lose hope, however, because this doesn’t mean that satisfying your daily protein needs is impossible, it just means that you should be more specific while picking your veggies. So, don’t worry, you don’t have to reach to your Meat Grinders, Meat Injector Kits, Meat Slicers, and Meat Tenderizers to get your daily need of protein.

Protein is one of the primary energy sources of the body. Moreover, it takes part in numerous essential bodily functions. Thus, it is a vital element for everyone, whether children or adults and consuming the recommended dose is preferable to ensure adequate health. As a bonus, it is also ideal for weight-loss.

Protein-rich vegetables include sprouts, kale, spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts, corn, artichokes, peas, etc. So if you’re vegan, consider these as your holy grail in terms of protein, as they are excellent sources that rival those of animal origin.

Peas

These are absolute protein-mines when it comes to vegetables, as Peas have one of the highest concentrations of this nutrient.

Additionally, what makes them a versatile source is that they can be used either fresh or frozen. And if you don’t want an entire meal based on them, you can simply sprinkle a good amount of them on any type of salad to enrich it with more protein.

Spinach

Being an excellent source of protein, on top of being an all-around nutrient-rich vegetable, is probably one of the main reasons the creators of Popeye chose it as the flagship food that gives him strength. This is also true in reality, as it is full of essential vitamins and minerals, not to mention a high amount of protein seldom overshadowed by other veggies.

Kale

On top of being an excellent protein source, this is one of those versatile vegetables that can go equally well with salads, soups, and even smoothies.

Broccoli

Apart from protein, broccoli is also high in minerals and fiber. And even though we might have never liked it as kids, this is a wonderful and versatile vegetable that can be cooked in numerous ways.

Sprouts

There are many different varieties of spouts that can be mixed for increased flavor. Moreover, they are as fresh as they come; thus they make for a wonderful complement to sandwiches and salads.

Mushrooms

The protein amount in mushrooms is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their benefits, as they come packed with an excellent assortment of essential nutrients. Of course, they are also quite tasty when added to the main course.

Brussels sprouts

Alongside protein, they provide a significant amount of fiber, which is a staple in every vegetable. So, for losing weight while eating healthy, brussels sprouts are an excellent food choice.

Artichokes

Artichokes are a filling source of protein, which means that they provide that sense of fullness after finishing a meal. They also go well with any sort of meal, and there are many different ways of cooking them. So there’s really no reason to deprive yourself of their deliciousness.

Asparagus

While having high amounts of both fiber and protein, the main feature of asparagus that sets it apart from the competitions is that it helps with the detoxification of the body. This is a good enough reason to always add it on the side, no matter the dish.

Corn

Corn is also rich in protein and fiber, and its’ taste makes it a wonderful ingredient for use in meals. And the best part about it? You can also eat it fresh from the cob!

Carbohydrates

Even though, by intuition, you might think that removing carbs from your diet will help you if you have weight-loss goals, that will do more harm than good actually. Even dietitians suggest that at least 40% of our calorie intake should be from carb-base sources.

Their primary goal is to provide us with the energy the body needs to function. This is achieved through the breaking down of it into glucose, the body’s Sugar, which is then delivered to the cells. Fiber, however, is unique, in that it is not broken down, rather it helps the digestive process indirectly.

When it comes to carbohydrates, there are two types of diets: low-carb and high-carb. Whether the choice is personal or due to a doctor’s suggestion, you should ensure that the sources you choose for carbs intake are adequate for your needs. And in both cases, you can’t go wrong with vegetables. So let’s take a look at potential carb sources:

Low-Carb Vegetables

Generally, these are the ones that have high amounts of water. Particularly, leafy green ones such as lettuce, watercress, spinach, and arugula belong to this category. Moreover, other low-carb veggies include cauliflower, asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, endive, artichokes, bell pepper, cucumber, and numerous others.

These are definitely a nice addition to any diet, because apart from the low carb levels, they are rich with nutrients, notably fiber. Nevertheless, they won’t satisfy, by themselves, your mandatory daily intake of carbs. And this is something to keep in mind when opting for them.

High-Carb Vegetables

These are generally the ones containing a lot of starch, such as potatoes, winter squash, peas, corn, etc. Alongside many beneficial nutrients, these vegetables provide high amounts of carbs and thus, more energy than the watery ones.

Fats

Contrary to popular belief, not all fats are bad for you. In fact, some types of fat are essential for our body. And these come mostly from vegetables. And even though the amount of it in most veggies is small, compared to other high-fat types of food, you still can choose them as your main source. You just need to know which ones to pick in order to accumulate your daily dose.

Some of the essential functions assured by fats include being the highest nutrient in terms of energy, taking part in developing body cells, ensuring the absorption of certain vitamins and maintaining the temperature of the body. That is why, even if you’re aiming for losing weight, fats are beneficial to you, so you shouldn’t abandon them altogether.

Let’s take a look at some of the best sources for this nutrient:

Olives

These are a delightful pick for toppings because whether putting them on Pasta or salads; they add a unique flavor.

Moreover, they can be consumed easily, with no preparations needed, and they are rich in monosaturated fats. Just get a Cherry and Olive Pitter, and you’re good to go.

Finally, they provide benefits for the heart and help maintain the cholesterol amount at low levels. If you’re not a fan of consuming olives directly, you can spray your salads with  Olive Oil using your Olive Oil Dispenser to enjoy the same benefits.

Corn

Corn also provide those extremely healthy monosaturated fats, while also being a starchy vegetable. So it is both an excellent energy and fat source.

White Potatoes

Potatoes are pretty much like corn, in providing dual benefits mainly.

Honorable mentions include pumpkin and butternut squash, which are also starchy vegetables. In fact, the fat in these kinds of veggies of the healthy variety, thus they are excellent choices.

There are also other fat-rich vegetables that are not of the starchy variety, including peas, lentils, and beans. Soybeans, in particular, are packed with it, as it provides 40% of its’ calorie value. Additionally, you can also opt for kidney beans and fresh or Canned Black Beans that give equally as good benefits.

In Conclusion

Most of us, in the constant hustle of a modern lifestyle, usually neglect to verify their dietary habits and forget to include vegetables in a significant way in their everyday meals.

Moreover, they aren’t really aware of what they’re missing out on, be it the massive health benefits that they provide through the minerals, vitamins and other necessary elements for our bodily functions, or the exquisite flavor that they can potentially add to any sort of dishes, sweet or spicy.

That was the main motivation behind this article, and we hope that through reading it, you have now the needed map to guide you through the depths of the welcoming vegetable world.

With this knowledge, you can now enjoy a wide variety of flavors while, at the same time, gaining health advantages that will boost your well-being.

What are you waiting for? Pick your veggies, get your Salad Spinner and Salad Dressing Shaker, and prepare some healthy dinner for you and your family!

While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!

Sources:

webmd

health line

buzzfeed

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