We all know that vegetables are good for us and that we should be eating the recommended five fruit and vegetable portions a day to deter the onset of diseases, such as heart disease. But what vegetables should you be eating? The term superfoods is often used to describe foods that are rich in nutrients, and those which are considered to be particularly beneficial for your health and wellbeing. Check out our handy guide below for our top five super-veggies that can help to prevent heart diseases, and should be considered to be a staple part of a well-balanced, nutritious diet.
Beetroot has emerged from recent studies as one of the world’s best superfoods for a number of reasons. Whilst generally regarded as a great source of folate and iron, it is also an antioxidant powerhouse, containing betacyanin, betaine, nitrates, which help to regulate blood pressure, and magnesium, the last of which is particularly good at boosting your antioxidant defence system.
A study conducted in 2013, concluded that beetroot juice was associated with improved exercise performance and a modest reduction in blood pressure. Although, the NHS has stated that further long-term trials are needed, particularly with participants at risk of heart diseases, to fully clarify the vegetable’s clinical use.
Whilst this marvel does have too strong a taste for some, the nutritional wealth it provides make it worth bearing. Rich in Vitamin C, which is good for weight loss and metabolism. Kale is also very rich in fibre which helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels and good digestion. It is considered to be one of the healthiest plant foods in existence due to it being so nutrient dense, and it contains bile sequestrates which can actively lower cholesterol levels., which should lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over a period of time.
Universally revered for its healthy properties and stereotypically bad green taste, our beloved cousin broccoli does so much good it is hard to ignore. Broccoli is brimming with vitamins, such as B1, B6, A and E. It also has many Omega 3 acids as well as an abundance of Zinc, Protein, fibre and Iron. A well-known antioxidant and cancer buster, broccoli is also fantastic for maintaining healthy skin, digestion, blood sugar levels and eye function.
Peas are another green vegetable loaded with nutritional value. Rich in Vitamins B1, B2, B6, C and K, fibre, zinc, potassium and manganese. Peas give you a fantastic natural energy boost, healthy immune functioning, improve your stomach health and help to prevent arthritis and osteoporosis. They are also rich in both fibre in protein, which can help to control blood sugar, and are known to reduce the risk of several long-term illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease.
Most people associated Brussel sprouts with flatulence or Christmas, however, Brussel sprouts truly are a top superfood. Packed with nutrients such as manganese, copper, choline and folate, they are also very high in the potent antioxidant kaempferol and therefore boast strong cancer-busting properties. They are also high in fibre and help promote healthy digestion and cholesterol levels.