12 Super-Veggies You'll Vow to Start Eating ASAP

12 Super-Veggies You'll Vow to Start Eating ASAP
Image: iStock.com/Petar Chernaev

super veggies
iStock.com/Petar Chernaev
You know you're supposed to eat your veggies, and you know how great (crucial!) they are for your health. But let's face it: If you're only eating potatoes (or, uh, French fries) you're missing the point.

CafeMom asked Debra Nessel, RD, CDE, a registered dietitian at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Torrance, California, to tell us what produce we should be making an effort to nosh on as much as possible -- and why.

While these top 12 may not surprise you, the reasons they made this list most definitely will.

  • Broccoli

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    This cruciferous veg -- so wrongly hated by children across the country! -- is packed with antioxidants that can lower your risk of several cancers, including stomach, lung, and rectal. "Rich in beta carotene, vitamin C, and folate, it's also good at boosting your immunity to colds and flus," says Nessel.

  • Squash

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    To keep your joints healthy, eat some squash! Crazy, but true. Because it's a good source of anti-inflammatory nutrients, squash, says Nessel, "can help treat dozens of conditions, including asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis."

  • Onions

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    Here's a shocker: Onions may reduce your risk of osteoporosis. The reason? "They're loaded with a peptide called GPCS, which scientists believe slows your body's loss of calcium," says Nessel. Onions may also be useful in the fight against heart disease and diabetes, because of their vitamin C and folate.

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  • Carrots

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    They're not just good for your eyes, but your skin and hair as well. And because carrots are also a primo source of vitamin C, "they may help to protect your cardiovascular system from damage," Nessel adds.

  • Asparagus

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    True, it's kind of off-putting how asparagus can make your pee smell, but focus on the fact that these skinny stalks have enough nutrient superpower to reduce your risk of chronic health problems like diabetes, Nessel says.

  • Brussel Sprouts

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    Have baby fever? Now's the time to treat yourself to some sprouts. "They're packed with folic acid, a B vitamin important to women who are seeking to become or are pregnant, as it prevents neural tube defects," Nessel explains.

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  • Tomatoes

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    You'll enjoy that salsa a little more when you know it contains lycopene. Not ringing a bell? All you need to know is, "it can reduce the risk of some cancer and heart disease," explains Nessel

  • Bell Peppers

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    Stuff 'em, strip 'em, roast 'em! According to Nessel, these peppers may lower your chances of getting lung, colon, bladder, and pancreatic cancer. Have your partner eat them too. They're linked to lower rates of prostate cancer.

  • Spinach

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    These dark leafy greens "are an excellent source of almost every vitamin and nutrient you need," Nessel assures. As a result, spinach shows promise in treating a multitude of health probs, from allergies and bronchitis to migraines and sinusitis.

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  • Eggplant

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    "Eggplants are rich in antioxidants which may protect brain cells from damage," says Nessel. And because eggplants also contain fiber and potassium, "researchers believe they may reduce your risk of stroke and dementia," she says.

  • Beets

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    "Beets are high in natural nitrates, which are known to expand the walls of your blood vessels, leading to increased blood flow and perhaps more energy," explains Nessel. Need we say more? 

  • Sweet Potatoes

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    "This root vegetable has dozens of anti-cancer nutrients, like vitamin A, C, and manganese," Nessel says. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of fiber and iron, which means you'll feel recharged, not sluggish, after eating them. Hint: You'll get more nutritional bang for your buck if you choose purple or orange varieties.

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