Beets get their bright purple color from betalains, which studies show can ward off degenerative diseases like cancer. These colorful roots can help bolster the immune system, provide fiber for digestive health and supply folic acid, which can prevent gray hair and strengthen neural tubes. Naturally sweet, beets can be eaten baked, boiled, steamed or raw.
Spinach is loaded with healthy nutrients, from folic acid to omega-3s. With 12% of the daily recommended calcium requirement in just a single cup of spinach, this green can help strengthen bones and prevent bone loss. Spinach is also an excellent source of iron, with nearly the same amount per serving as ground beef.
The spicy tang of the ginger root combined with its powerful health benefits has made ginger a staple ingredient in many dishes. Ginger has been used to cure every ailment from an upset stomach to inflammation. From pickled ginger to candied ginger to powder ginger as a cooking ingredient, this zesty spice truly does it all.
A refreshing summer treat, watermelon is loaded with vitamins and minerals. With only 48 calories per cup, watermelon provides serious nutrition and flavor, without overdoing it on sugar. Vitamins A, B and C, as well as potassium and the amino acid citrulline are found in abundance in watermelon.
A single cup of strawberries provides more than 90 milligrams of vitamin C, the recommended daily requirement, which promotes eye health. As delicious as they are vibrant, strawberries are perfect for adding a splash of red color to liven up a dish. Strawberries also contain healthy doses of fiber and manganese.
Raw, boiled or steamed, broccoli adds a fresh, crisp crunch to any dish. Rich in fiber, vitamin C and folates (which can reduce the risk of stroke, cancer and heart diseases), Broccoli is among the healthiest vegetables in the cruciferous family. Broccoli pairs well with savory flavors, garlic or lemon zest
Packed with protein, calcium, fiber and iron, Kale is the top leafy green when it comes to health benefits. Kale can be prepared any way you can imagine – raw, stewed, boiled, steamed or even dried and served as chips. Vitamins A and C are abundant in Kale, as are cancer-fighting isothiocyanates, flavonoids and omega-3s.
Delightfully sweet with just a hint of sour, blueberries have amazing health benefits that earn them the title of “superfruit.” Rich in antioxidants, blueberries have been shown in studies to lower LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol), inhibit cancer cell growth and lower blood pressure. Blueberries are also good for the brain, helping to fight depression and memory loss.