The “Big Ten” vegetables

Learn the basics about the “top ten” vegetables to consume to reap their numerous health benefits.

Since football is in full swing, why not think of vegetables to compliment your pre-game parties? The “Big-Ten” vegetables are the top ten most nutritious vegetables and include:

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Lima beans
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potatoes

There are millions of recipes that one can find for all these vegetables. The most nutricious way to eat them is raw or steamed. The important question is why are they listed as the top ten and what do they do? These vegetables are top in their class because they have more vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals than other vegetables.

What do vitamins, minerals, fiber and all these other terms do for a body? Your body needs vitamins in order to work properly, and it needs different vitamins to help perform specific activities like produce energy, protect cells from damage, guide mineral utilization, and regulate cell and tissue growth. If your body doesn't get enough of the vitamins it needs, it could lead to deficiencies and altered function that over time may foster illness development.

Minerals help absorb vitamins and cell function, maintains body fluid levels, helps with nerve impulses, muscle contractions and energy production to name a few. Fiber helps the digestive system and phytochemicals are chemicals found in plants. They are not the essential nutrients, but they do help to protect against cancers. Some examples of phytochemicals are beta carotene, lycopene and lutein. Antioxidants protect cells and help break down food.

There are many websites that one can do further research about the benefits of eating more vegetables; here are two:

To keep it simple, remember to eat from the big-ten list and cover half your plate with them.

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