Artichoke – a tight head of fleshy leaves, delicious with lemon butter
Benefits: One artichoke contains approximately one fourth of an average sized adults fiber needs. The artichoke is also rich in vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and magnesium. An artichoke is naturally fat free and very low in calories.
Asparagus – tender green tips available during a short growing season
Benefits: Can detoxify our system, has anti-aging functions, is considered an aphrodisiac can protect against cancer, reduces pain and inflammation, can prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, reduces the risk of heart disease, can help prevent birth defects
Aubergene – A rich purple vegetable that absorbs strong flavours well. The aubergene is called eggplant in America.
Benefits: In addition to featuring a host of vitamins and minerals, eggplant also contains important phytonutrients, many which have antioxidant activity. Phytonutrients contained in eggplant include phenolic compounds, such caffeic and chlorogenic acid, and flavonoids, such as nasunin.
Beans – high protien seeds of legume plants
Benefits: a good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly and a good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. Beans are also high in fiber and protein..
Beet – Tubers with rich nutty flavours. A sweet variety of beet is grown commercially in europe and asia for sugar manufacture.
Benefits: These colorful root vegetables contain powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer.
Brussels sprouts – traditionally eaten with Christmas Dinner in the UK
Benefits: Phytonutrients found in Brussels sprouts enhance the activity of the body’s natural defense systems to protect against disease, including cancer.
Cabbage – the king of vegetables. Easy to grow almost anywhere
Benefits: The phytonutrients in cabbage work as antioxidants to disarm free radicals before they can damage DNA, cell membranes and fat-containing molecules such as cholesterol. These compounds signal our genes to increase production of enzymes for detoxification.
Carrot – Introduced by the Romans, carrots have been popular for 2000 Years
Benefits: Carrots are an excellent source of antioxidant compounds, and the richest vegetable source of the pro-vitamin A carotenes. Carrots’ antioxidant compounds help protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer and also promote good vision, especially night vision. Carrots have a high concentrate of beta carotenes.
Cauliflower – White relative of broccoli
Benefits: Cauliflower contains compounds that may help prevent cancer. These compounds appear to stop enzymes from activating cancer-causing agents in the body, and they increase the activity of enzymes that disable and eliminate carcinogens.
Celery – Slightly bitter (unless blanched) european stalks with a distinctive flavour, used in salads, stews and soups.
Benefits: Celery contains vitamin C and several other active compounds that promote health, including phthalides, which may help lower cholesterol, and coumarins, that may be useful in cancer prevention.
Chard – green leafy vegetable
Benefits: Preliminary research suggests that chard may confer a protective effect on the kidneys of those with diabetes through reducing serum urea and creatinine levels.
Collards – This leafy green vegetable is also known as tree-cabbage and is rich in vitamins and minerals.
Benefits: Collards contain 10-15 glucosinolates that appear able to lessen the occurrence of a wide variety of cancers, including breast and ovarian cancers.
Corn – North American native vegetable considered sacred by many native tribes. Confusingly corn is also the word used to describe the seeds of wheat and barley.
Benefits: Corn is a good source of many nutrients including thiamin (vitamin B1), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), folate, dietary fiber, vitamin C, phosphorus and manganese.
Cucumbers – related to courgettes and traditionally used raw in salads. The cucumber grows quickly and holds lots of water
Benefits: Cucumbers contain ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and caffeic acid, both of which help soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling. Cucumbers’hard skin is rich in fiber and contains a variety of beneficial minerals including silica, potassium and magnesium.
Kales – Until the Renaissance, kale was the most common green vegetable eated by the people of northern Europe
Benefits: There are 10-15 glucosinolates in kales, that appear able to lessen the occurrence of a wide variety of cancers, including breast and ovarian cancers.
Leek – The national vegetable of Wales.
Benefits: Leeks have been shown to reduce total cholesterol and LDL, or “bad” cholesterol levels, while at the same time raising HDL, or “good” cholesterol levels. This can be very important for preventing the development or progression of the blood vessel plaques that occur in atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.
Lettuce – lots of green leaves used as a mainstay of salads. Varieties such as round, iceberg, lollo rosso and radichio are popular.
Benefits: Lettuce is an excellent source of vitamin A (notably through its concentration of the pro-vitamin A carotenoid, beta-carotene), vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, manganese, and chromium.
Melons – Wonderful fruits with a high water content. There are many farmed varieties . All have seeds surrounded by rich, watery but sweet flesh that is encased in a fairly hard shell.
Benefits: Aside form a high beta carotene content, they are high in vitamin A.
Mushrooms – not technically a vegetable, but a far older member of the plant kingdom. Mushrooms do not use sunlight to produce energy, hence they have a completely different range of tastes than any other vegetable. Did you know that the largest single living organism on earth is a mushroom called Armillaria Ostoyae, the biggest of which is up to 8,500 years old and carpets nearly 10 square kilometres of forest floor in northeastern Oregon, USA.
Benefits: Mushrooms help with the immune system, promote optimal health, good for your heart, skin and shitakes contain a very potent antioxidant called L-erothioneine.
Onions have been eaten for tens of thousands of years and we still aren’t bored of them.
Benefits: Onions contain allyl propyl disulphide, while garlic is rich in allicin, diallyl disulphide, diallyl trisulfide and others. In addition, onions are very rich in chromium, a trace mineral that helps cells respond to insulin, plus vitamin C, and numerous flavonoids, most notably, quercitin.
Peas – best eated within minutes of picking as the sugars rapidly turn to starch. Therefore frozen peas often taste better than ‘fresh’ peas.
Benefits: Peas contain 8 vitamins, 7 minerals, dietary fiber and protein. Green peas’ supercharged nutritional profile can supercharge your health.
Peppers – These are the fruit of the Capsicum family of plants. The hotter tasting ones (due to more Capsaicinoids in the flesh) are usually refered to as chillis.
Benefits: All peppers are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, but red peppers are simply bursting with them. Antioxidant vitamins A and C help to prevent cell damage, cancer, and diseases also reducing inflammation in arthritis and asthma.
Potatoes – Nothing finer than a steaming plate of mashed potatoes. An american staple crop that as been exported all over the world.
Benefits: Potatoes. Are a very good source of vitamin C, a good source of vitamin B6, copper, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber.
Pumpkins – A popular gourd vegetable used in cooking and to make halloween jack o lanterns.
Benefits : The carotenoids found in pumpkin seeds, and the omega-3 fats found in pumpkin seeds are being studied for their potential prostate benefits. Men with higher amounts of carotenoids in their diet have less risk for BPH; this is the connection that has led to an interest in pumpkin seed carotenoids.
Radish – rich in ascorbic acid (vitamin C), folic acid (folate), and Potassium, the raddish is a peppery vegetable popular in western and asian cookery. We usually eat the taproot, but the leaves can also be eaten in salads.
Benefits: Radishes and their greens provide an excellent source of vitamin C. Radish leaves contain almost six times the amount of vitamin C content of their root, and is also a good source of calcium. Radishes offer a very good source of the trace mineral molybdenum and are a good source of potassium and folic acid.
Rhubarb – A plant with large leaves that grow out of thick succulent stems with a very particular floral scent. These stems are popularly eaten as a fruit once sweetened and cooked. Rhubarb was originally native to China but has been popular in Europe since Roman times.
Benefits: One serving size of Rhubarb (half cup of diced, 61g) contains 15 calories, 3 g of total carbohydrate, 1 g of dietary fiber, 1 g of sugar, 1 g of protein and small amounts of
calcium, vitamins A and C.
Shallots – Small onions often with a more fiery bite.
Benefits: Shallots contain allyl propyl disulphide, while garlic is rich in allicin, diallyl disulphide, diallyl trisulfide and others. In addition, shallots are very rich in chromium, a trace mineral that helps cells respond to insulin, plus vitamin C, and numerous flavonoids, most notably, quercitin.
Spinach -large green leaves wilt easily in a pan and are often served with a little butter and nutmeg as an accompanying vegetable. Spinach contains lots of healthy trace minerals including iron
Benefits: Containing 13 different flavonoids, functioning as antioxidants, spinach may also have been protecting himself against osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer, arthritis, and other diseases at the same time.
Squash another generic name for fruits of the vine of the Cucurbitaceae family of plants (see also Gourds). Butternut Squash has recently grown in popularity in the United Kingdom.
Benefits: Although not as potent as root vegetables like burdock, garlic or onion, squash has been found to have anti-cancer type effects. Phytonutrient research on squash is still limited, but some lab studies have shown vegetable juices obtained from squash to be equal to juices made from leeks, pumpkin, and radish in their ability to prevent cell mutations (cancer-like changes).
Sweet potato Ipomoea batatas (related to the morning glory) produces a starchy tuber. In the USA the red variety of sweet potato is often called a yam, although yams are a seperate vegetable in their own right.
Benefits: Sweet potato’s contain unique root storage proteins that have been observed to have significant antioxidant capacities. In one study, these proteins had about one-third the antioxidant activity of glutathione-one of the body’s most impressive internally produced antioxidants.
Tomatoes – not technically a vegetable, but a fruit. Tomatoes are best grown yourself because the uniform flavourless powdery fruits available in supermarkets are not worth eating.
Benefits: This carotenoid lycopene, found in tomatoes (and everything made from them) has been extensively studied for its antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties.
Turnips – Root vegetable will grow in cold climates.
Benefits: Turnip’s are an excellent source of vitamin A (through their concentration of carotenoids such as beta-carotene), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, folate, copper, calcium, and dietary fiber, three examples of conditions for which they may be of special importance are rheumatoid arthritis, colorectal cancer and atherosclerosis.
Yams – Sweet starchy tuber that are popular in African, Carribean and American cookery
Benefits: Yams are a good source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is needed by the body to break down a substance called homocysteine, which may attribute to heart disease and heart attack.