Posted by: silverspringsgarden | July 11, 2017

Nutrients in your Garden

By Andrea Holwegner BSc, RD

There are so many benefits to eating vegetables. Not only do the various colours help make our plate beautiful, there are fabulous health benefits. Check out this list below for some of the good things your favorite vegetables can do for you and maybe even consider trying a new-to-you option this week!

Root Vegetables (carrots, potatoes, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, parsnips etc.)

  • Potassium, fibre, vitamin C, carbohydrates
  • Orange, yellow, and red roots have high concentrations of beta carotene and other antioxidants associated with a decrease in cancer and heart disease


Allium vegetables (onion, garlic)

  • Organosulfur compounds (allylic sulfides) inhibit blood clotting, reduce blood cholesterol levels, and lower the risk of some cancers.
  • Vitamin C, potassium, and trace minerals

Cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, radishes, turnips etc.)

  • Carotenoids – cancer preventative compound found in deep green and red varieties
  • Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, fibre
  • Indoles – lower cholesterol levels and protect against cancer – especially breast cancer

Squash (zucchini, yellow/acorn/spaghetti/butternut, pumpkin)

  • Deep yellow and orange varieties like pumpkin, butternut, and acorn squash are rich in carotenoids.
  • Potassium, B-vitamins, vitamin C, folic acid, fibre, and carbohydrates.

Peppers (sweet bell peppers and hot peppers)

  • Vitamin C, minerals, fibre
  • Red and green peppers contain carotenoids
  • Hot peppers contain capsaicin – lowers cholesterol etc.
  • In general the riper (redder) varieties are higher in nutrients than the unripe (greener)varieties

Greens (Romaine Lettuce, leaf lettuce, spinach, kale, arugula, dandelion greens etc.)

  • The deeper the green the better nutrient density!
  • Beta-carotene, fibre, calcium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin K
  • Folic acid – reduces the risk of heart disease and neural tube birth defects
  • Spinach is high in lutein – slows macular degeneration of the eye

For more great healthy eating tips from the Registered Dietitians of Health Stand

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