When it comes to a healthy and balanced diet, there are a lot of debates. Just how much sugar should you have and is natural sugar good for you? Do you need carbs in your diet or should you eat more fats?
It’s a minefield of information, and it’s understandable why some people just don’t know which diets to follow. In fact, some people just give up because they can’t find the right information. They don’t know what to put together in their weekly market shopping list.
Well, it’s time to make sure you get the right vegetables. You can’t go wrong with veggies. They’re full of fiber and nutrients while being low in calories. You’ll feel fuller, keep your digestive system working, and find it easier to lose weight. At the same time, the vegetables are colorful and interesting, adding something unique to a dish.
Not all vegetables are made the same. There are some that have far more nutrients than others. Don’t worry! This list isn’t long. Here are 12 vegetables that you need to include in your weekly market list. You can add others if you want, but make sure these 12 are present.
Always Pick Up Carrots
Carrots are a must for your shopping list. You may find that you don’t need to buy these weekly, but they want to be at the top of your thoughts. Carrots last a lot longer than most of other vegetables, meaning that you can get away with some bulk buying. Popping them in the fridge rather than a cupboard will also help.
The main reason to get carrots is the cost. You get a lot for a small amount of money. They’re a versatile vegetable, giving you something to add to Bolognese sauces, stir-fries, and salads. You can chop them, blend them, and even grate them for your needs.
When it comes to the health, carrots are essential. They’re full of a protein called beta carotene. They also include lutein and a few other eye-boosting proteins. Remember being told that carrots will help you see in the dark as a kid? Well, there is some truth to that. The proteins help to protect the health of the eye, making sure all functions work as effectively as possible. You can even reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration, cataracts, and other age-related diseases later in life.
If you eat a lot of carrots, you may find that the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet turn orange. This isn’t anything to worry about and is just your body getting rid of the waste! Once you cut back on the amount that you eat, you’ll find that the orange disappears.
Don’t Forget the Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are another vegetable that will last a relatively long time, sometimes up to two weeks. Green bell peppers tend to be the best for longevity, but you can still gain plenty of benefits from yellow, red, and orange ones. The lighter colored ones tend to taste sweeter, making them better for a few oriental dishes.
One of the biggest benefits of bell peppers is the nutrients within them. They’re full of vitamin C, especially the brighter colored peppers. Your body can’t create or store this vitamin, so you need to get it in your diet daily. The red peppers have the most vitamin C of the lot!
There are also beta carotene benefits, as well as many antioxidants. You’ll help to support your immune system while reducing the risk of cancer, dementia, and other free radical causing problems. There are also some anti-inflammatory benefits, improving your overall health and digestion.
We can’t overlook the sweet taste of red, yellow, and orange bell peppers. These are some of the favorites added to a salad because of the sweetness. They can help to curb sweet cravings, without adding much in the way of natural sugars to your body. There isn’t the high risk of diabetes as there is with some other sweet tasting fruits and vegetables.
Now Add in the Celery
Celery is known as the diet vegetable. There are many people who will tell you that it has negative calories. Food can’t have negative calories, but there is something fascinating to the statement. The body requires more calories to consume the celery than you would gain from eating it. There are only 10 calories in an actual celery stalk for those who are counting!
At the same time, celery is a watery vegetable. It’s one of those that will help to add more water to your diet without a lot of effort.
There are also some stress-boosting benefits. The amount of magnesium in celery helps to fight against the stress hormones in the body and reduces adrenaline. You’ll find that you feel calmer in the minutes after eating.
At the same time, there are some anti-inflammatory benefits. However, celery isn’t as good for reducing inflammation as some of the other vegetables on this list.
Throw in a Mixture of Green Leafy Vegetables
Dark green leafy vegetables are a must. It doesn’t matter which ones you get on a weekly basis, but make sure you put in at least one. The vegetables include spinach, kale, collards, spring greens, Brussels sprouts, and even Swiss chard.
You may have already heard people tell you that you need leafy greens, especially if you have low iron. They’re one of the best ways to get this nutrient into your body (even better than red meat). The greens are low in calories, high in water, and will aid the digestion, so your body can absorb more of the iron in these veggies than in meat.
That’s not all! The dark leafy greens are also full of calcium, zinc, and many other nutrients that the body needs. If you’re following a vegan diet, you can find some of these nutrients difficult to come by so you want to add darker leafy greens to your shopping list.
Green smoothies are considered one of the best starts to the day that you can offer your body. You’ll need at least one dark leafy green to get yourself started!
When Using Potatoes, Go for Sweet Potatoes
Potatoes are starchy vegetables that people debate about on a regular basis. Some say that they are good, but others will tell you that there are too many carbs. While there are some benefits, the potatoes that you want to get weekly are the sweet options.
Sweet potatoes have vitamin B6, a vitamin that is often overlooked and one of the hardest to get in the diet. It’s essential for the heart health and has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
If that isn’t enough of reason, then you’ll want the sweet potatoes for the vitamin D. It’s another vitamin that is difficult to get. The sun is the best place, but it’s not always easy to get, especially in the winter months. Some countries will add vitamin D to their milk, but what if you’re vegan? You need vitamin D to help the body absorb more calcium and support the growth of strong bones and teeth.
Still not the reason you want? Well, how about the potassium? This is a nutrient that you know bananas are good for, but you may need to cut down on some bananas you eat for the natural sugars. Sweet potatoes are a good alternative because while they taste sweet, there aren’t that many natural sugars. Good potassium levels help to regulate the heartbeat and nerves, ensuring your body has enough electrolytes for toxin removal.
Sweet potatoes have a lower GI than normal potatoes. That means they don’t cause the blood sugar rush, so you’re not putting your body at a high risk of developing Type II diabetes.
Squash Is Your Best Friend
Like sweet potatoes, squash is something that you want to add to your weekly shopping list. At the market, you may only find this throughout the fall and winter months. There are also lots of types of squash, including butternut, acorn, and winter squash, but they all offer many of the same benefits.
There is a lot of calories in winter squash, but this isn’t always a bad thing. Remember that you have a lot of fiber to help the digestive system.
At the same time, squash is full of many of the same nutrients as sweet potatoes. You get the potassium and the vitamin B6 to ensure a healthy heart and body.
Squashes are also full of antioxidants, which will help to fight off cancer and signs of aging. You can help to lower your risks of Type II diabetes by adding them to your diet.
Cauliflower Needs to Be There
Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and one of the most popular ways is through cauliflower cheese. While this isn’t the healthiest option, it’s not the cauliflower that is the problem. In fact, you want to make sure you pick up some cauliflower on a regular basis.
One of the biggest benefits is to the brain. The vegetable is full of a nutrient called choline. This is a B vitamin that is often difficult to source in other foods, so we tend to be deficient in it. However, it protects the brain health, supporting the nerve functions and cognitive abilities. Your memory will be better, along with your concentration.
Antioxidants within cauliflower also offer a range of benefits. When linked with the choline, you’ll find that you’re at a lower risk of developing dementia by eating the vegetable regularly.
Those who need to detox their body will find that cauliflower is extremely useful. It aids with both phases of detoxification, by getting the waste to the right part of the body and then flushing it out of the system.
Don’t Miss Out on Health Boosting Onions
If you’re ever ill, you want to make sure you eat more onions. They’re not the best for your breath, but they are full of antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. Onions are one of the best foods around for improving your health and giving your immune system a boost. You’ll find that you get over cold symptoms within a day or two by getting more of this one vegetable.
As well as supporting the immune system, onions will support the blood sugar regulation. They are full of a nutrient called chromium, which is known for regulating the amount of sugar that enters your blood stream. If you’re worried about diabetes or you have diabetes, you want to add more of this low GI food to your diet.
Raw onion is extremely useful for keeping the levels of bad cholesterol to a minimum. This helps to keep the levels of good cholesterol up to line the arteries and protect the heart health.
Stock Up on Frozen Vegetable Mixes
There isn’t one vegetable that you want to focus on with this option. Frozen vegetables come in a range of mixes, and you can get individual vegetables packaged and frozen.
These types of mixes do get an unfairly bad reputation. People believe that freezing vegetables will get rid of the nutrients within them, but there’s no evidence to support that the little nutrients that are destroyed in the process have any negative effect on your health. You will still gain immensely from the vegetables.
The benefit of these (and the reason you need them) is that they will last much longer. You may not even need to add them to your weekly list and more to your monthly list. You could always rotate the types that you get if you do want them on the list every single week.
Always Include Ginger and Garlic
I know there are two here, but one technically isn’t a vegetable. However, they are both essential for a healthy diet, and you need to make sure they’re on that weekly shopping list.
Both ingredients are full of anti-inflammatory properties. They will help to reduce swelling around the body, which is the reason for chronic pain, chronic fatigue, and many other ailments. Inflammation can cause digestive problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, and joint pain!
At the same time, they are both full of immune system boosting nutrients. Garlic and ginger are both very like onions when it comes to all the health benefits you gain.
You can chew on raw garlic for health benefits, but you will end up with bad breath! You can also drink ginger tea to help soothe feelings of nausea. Many doctors recommend it for pregnant women who suffer from morning sickness to help settle the stomach naturally and effectively.
Add in Some Mushrooms
Most people will pick up mushrooms just for something easy to use. They’re one of the most versatile vegetables and extremely affordable. You can get them fresh and freeze them yourself or pick up frozen options. What you may not realize is just why you should keep adding them to your weekly market list.
Mushrooms are full of vitamin D, which we’ve already looked at the benefits of. They’re one of the best foods around for vitamin D, even better than some milk options. If you want to improve your vegan diet without risking the UV exposure from the sun, mushrooms need to be on your grocery list.
You will also get plenty of brain and gut benefiting B vitamins. These vitamins will help your digestive system break down all the other nutrients in food to make sure your body absorbs them all.
Finish Off with Tomatoes
Finally, make sure you add tomatoes to your diet every week. You can choose vine tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, or even tinned ones. Either way, you get some major health benefits.
One of those is the levels of vitamin C. There’s no denying that they are full of this immune system helper.
For those who are interested in skin replenishing and protection, tomatoes should be on your beauty list. They’re full of a chemical called lycopene, which is found in most of beauty products unnaturally. Why not get the natural version to support your skin health? Lycopene will cleanse the skin thoroughly.
At the same time, the acid in the tomatoes can help to lighten the skin. The acidic level isn’t as high as lemons, helping to avoid major issues with sensitivity.
We also can’t overlook the levels of vitamin A. This is essential for your body, especially for your hair care. You’ll find that your locks are stronger and more luxurious because you get this vitamin (especially in plant form).
Create Your Weekly Market List with Your Health in Mind
When it comes to the market, you need to keep your health in mind the whole time. One of the benefits of market stalls and grocery stores is that most of the fresh vegetables are organic. You’ll get rid of the pesticides and fertilizers used on the vegetables in the grocery store.
You need to think carefully about the vegetables that you get from the stores. Think about how they will boost your whole health. This isn’t just about your brain, heart, and immune system. You want to look after your skin, hair, and all the other organs in your body. Give yourself the energy you need and boost your weight loss efforts every single week.