We know we should eat our vegetables. They're packed full of vitamins and nutrients and can be instrumental in warding off illness and improving our overall health.
But all vegetables aren't created equal. Each one packs its own nutritional punch, and some are heavier hitters than others.
So which ones should we pile most often into our cart or recyclable bag to get the benefit?
Here are the top five vegetables every woman should try to incorporate into her diet:
Kale is one of the first vegetables to make any list of super foods. In its curly green leaves, it packs everything from manganese and iron to calcium and vitamin C. It also provides a hefty dose of vitamin A, which helps boost the immune system. It's also considered an anti-inflammatory.
How to prepare: Kale chips are a great, easy-to-make snack.
These leaves are also packed with nutrients vital to women like calcium, folic acid, vitamin K, and iron. It has been shown to do everything from helping prevent cancer to reducing one's risk for heart disease.
How to prepare: Subbing spinach for basil is a great way to add a nutritional boost to pesto.
Some call it a miracle food and claim it be king of all the vegetables when it comes to nutrition. In addition to things like calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and folic acid, it's an incredible source of fiber -- both soluble and insoluble.
How to prepare: You won't even notice you're eating a vegetable if you work it into a great pasta dish.
These cute little cabbage balls are full of fiber as well as vitamins A and C. They may not smell that good, but that odor is actually the scent of their cancer fighting property, allyl isothiocyanate, which has been shown to destroy precancerous cells.
How to prepare them: If you need to ease into the taste, try a recipe that incorporates a little bacon, which complements them nicely.
Low calorie (only 30 to 40 calories per pepper), red peppers are a great source of vitamins C, A, and E.
How to prepare: They are perfect for dipping into low-fat dips raw, or incorporating into a dip of their own such as red pepper hummus.
Which of these vegetables is your favorite?
Image via Masahira Ihara/Flickr