8 vegetables you should be eating and 8 you shouldn’t
There are few foods whose nutritional halo shines bright as that of the nutrient-dense, calorie-scarce vegetable.
Vegetables’ unquestioned status as a health food has existed for years. For generations, mothers have denied their children dessert before they finished their vegetables. Health fanatics shove vegetables into blenders to choke down the “delicious” green-colored, earth-tasting sludge. Nutritionists insist we eat a minimum of three to five servings of vegetables per day.
After years of vegetable glorification, we were surprised to learn that not all veggies are as healthy as we thought. In fact, there are a number of vegetables you might be better off avoiding altogether.
Of course, keep in mind that even the least healthy vegetables are likely to be superior to, say, a deep-fried Twinkie or mouthful of Cheese Whiz. But when deliberating between veggies, it helps to know which ones can deliver the most powerful nutritional impact — and which ones could be putting you at risk for gastrointestinal problems, tummy aches, and worse.
Do eat: Radishes
If you’re looking for a veggie that’s as tasty as it is nutritious, radishes will certainly not disappoint. Besides being juicy and full of flavor (either sweet or pungent, depending on the variety of radish), this root vegetable is extremely versatile, used in everything from salads to stews. Short on time? Give your radishes a quick slice and enjoy them raw for a super simple snack. “I like the peppery bite and nearly bitter taste of fresh radishes,” Matt Bolus, executive chef at The 404 Kitchen in Nashville, told me. “To balance those flavors I like to eat them with fresh ricotta cheese, honey, and olive oil.”
They’re high in fiber and low in calories and carbs, so go ahead and get your munch on.
Do eat: Cucumbers
Cucumbers are one of my favorite vegetables for a number of reasons. First off, you don’t have to cook them (I’m all about saving time). Secondly, they are extremely refreshing (I love to toss a few slices in my water to switch things up). Finally, they make a good combination with just about anything — tuna, tomatoes, hummus, watermelon, you name it.
What’s more, according to Huffington Post, cucumbers are actually considered one of the healthiest vegetables. They’re chock full of nutrients, including potassium, vitamin K, and flavonoids, which are anti-inflammatory substances, that may help in reducing the risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular disease. Did we mention cucumbers are also ridiculously easy to digest? Sounds like an all-around win to me.
Do eat: Zucchini
Like cucumbers, zucchini is also considered one of most easy-to-digest vegetables, which makes it a great choice for anyone who regularly experiences stomach woes. What’s even better, they’re just as easy to prepare, often requiring little no cooking at all. “Zucchini squash are so versatile raw,” Brooklyn-based food writer and entrepreneur, Hetty McKinnon, told me in an interview. “Shave them into ribbons to make ‘zoodles’ (zucchini noodles) or try my favorite preparation — teamed with pearl couscous and a creamy chili-lemon ricotta.”