Eating a diet rich in veggies has been shown to boost the immune system, increase metabolism, and provide your body with the nutrients necessary to fight of many diseases. The risk of heart disease increases the older a person gets, so why not start as soon as possible with adding at least a few veggies to your diet. Here are 5 vegetables that are good for your heart.
The bright red color of a tomato is caused by the carotenoids within it. Most people are familiar with the carotenoids in carrots, known as carotene, but tomatoes contain a different type; lycopene. Carotenoids are helpful in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Besides lycopene, tomatoes also contain potassium, fiber, vitamin A, C, and E. It takes patience to raise tomatoes from seed, but healthy plants can be purchased from most garden nurseries.
I bet you never thought potatoes were considered to be a heart-healthy vegetable. When eaten with the skin on, potatoes contain fiber, magnesium, vitamins B6, C, and potassium. Normal blood pressure is able to be maintained when the body has enough potassium in it. The next time you eat a baked potato, be sure to eat some of the skin to get all the nutrients in it. You can grow potatoes in 5 gallon buckets on the patio if you don’t have a garden space available. They may take a while to mature, but think of all the health benefits they provide. They are well worth the wait!
Onions, Leeks, and garlic all contain phytochemicals. The sulfur-containing phytochemcials in these veggies lower cholesterol, which is always a good way to protect the heart. Folate, fiber, and vitamin C can also all be found in onions and shallots. Eat them raw on a salad or sandwich or cook some up in olive oil as a pizza topping. You can grow onions in just about any type of soil and there are plenty of varieties to choose from.
2. Bok Choy
The leaves of bok choy can be used in place of lettuce in salads or added to soups, along with chopped up pieces of the entire plant. Bok choy has a much subtler flavor than broccoli, but it still has all the goodness; fiber, calcium, vitamins K, C, and B6. Not have a sufficient amount of B6 in one’s diet can increase C-reactive protein which is connected to heart disease. Bok choy is found in the vegetable section of most grocery stores and can be grown rather quickly from seed.
1. Bell Peppers
It doesn’t matter which color you prefer; yellow, red, green, or purple, each one is just as beneficial as the next. All bell peppers contain fiber, vitamin B1, B2, B6, C, and folate which is responsible for lowering the amino acid linked to cardiovascular disease. A great thing about peppers is that they are sold in grocery stores year around, so you don’t have to worry about these heart-healthy veggies being out of season. They are also very easy to grow!
I hope you can find at least a couple of types of vegetables you will tolerate. They are so good for you and easy to grow in your own garden! Are there any veggies in this list you truly can’t stand to eat?
Top Photo Credit: Toplokkk