Healthcare costs continue to rise, especially in the United States, where the average family has spent more than $20,000 on healthcare expenses in the past two years alone. This astounding figure doesn’t even include insurance premiums or out-of-pocket health care costs; it’s just what patients have paid directly out of their own pockets! Fortunately, there are several strategies you can employ to reduce your expenses and improve your health at the same time.
There are several nutrients in cauliflower, including fibre, folate, vitamin C and K. This veggie also has high water content and a decent amount of protein. Vitamin C helps your body produce collagen (crucial for healthy skin), while folate can lower your risk of heart disease by lowering levels of homocysteine—an amino acid that’s linked to cardiovascular disease. And did you know that eating cauliflower can help prevent cancer? Studies show that sulforaphane—one of many phytochemicals found in cauliflower—can decrease oxidative stress, thus slowing cancer cell growth. So if you’re not into raw veggies but have some extra time on your hands, give steamed or roasted cauliflower a try!
Just one cup of spinach delivers 3 grams of fibre, nearly 15 per cent of your daily iron needs and almost 50 per cent of your daily vitamin A. This wonder vegetable can also help prevent heart disease, cancer and even boost brain function. Potatoes: We know, potatoes aren’t technically a vegetable but they should be! One medium baked potato has just 160 calories and delivers more than 300 per cent of your daily value for vitamin C. Potatoes also contain more potassium than bananas, making them an excellent food choice for anyone watching their blood pressure.
3) Brussels sprouts
Brussel sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable that is packed full of nutrients like vitamin C, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate and magnesium. Not only do these little green nuggets help to reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure but they also have anti-cancer properties as well. While Brussel sprouts have an earthy taste, they pair well with things like garlic or bacon fat so don’t be afraid to experiment!
Broccoli is a leafy green vegetable that’s high in vitamin C and calcium. Broccoli is also rich in antioxidants, which may help fight cancer. Studies have shown that broccoli has anti-inflammatory properties, which can be beneficial for people who suffer from arthritis or asthma. Broccoli may even boost cognitive function, improve bone health and decrease blood pressure. It’s a great option for weight loss because it’s so high in fiber (about 5 grams per cup) and low in calories (about 30 per cup).
Tomatoes are an excellent source of Lycopene, a carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red colour. Lycopene is an antioxidant pigment responsible for many of its health benefits. Studies have linked Lycopene to a reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers, including prostate cancer. Tomatoes also contain vitamins A and C. This combination makes tomatoes powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation throughout your body and prevent oxidative damage to your cells.
Beetroot is popular in many countries and can be added to salads, used as a burger topping or juiced. Just 100 grams of beetroot contains 16 per cent of your daily requirement for manganese, which is important for metabolizing proteins, carbs, and fats. Beets also contain folate, which has been shown to help reduce high homocysteine levels in adults. Homocysteine is an amino acid that if elevated may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Beetroots are great for weight loss because they are high in fiber and you will feel full faster than you normally would by eating a meal with less fibre content. For example, a study showed that drinking beet juice helped people consume fewer calories at lunch when compared to drinking water instead.
Pumpkin and squash are great sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that protect against macular degeneration. Lutein and zeaxanthin have also been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease, some cancers (particularly lung cancer), and age-related blindness. Pumpkin seeds also contain zinc, a mineral necessary for optimal immune function. In addition to these benefits, pumpkins contain carotenoids that help fight cancer as well as vitamins C and E, potassium (for healthy cell function), B vitamins (for energy metabolism), magnesium (for bone health), phosphorous (to maintain strong bones) , copper (to support skin health) and manganese. They’re also high in fibre which helps regulate digestion while keeping you feeling full longer.
Carrots are a must-have in your diet! Loaded with Vitamin A, which boosts eyesight and skin health, carrots also reduce your risk of heart disease. Hearty and packed with fibre, carrots help maintain normal cholesterol levels. They are also known to fight cancer as they contain an antioxidant called lutein. When it comes to weight loss, eating more carrots can definitely be an advantage: research has shown that people who eat plenty of carrots tend to weigh less than those who don’t! Eating at least one carrot per day is recommended for optimal health.
Asparagus is one of my favourite veggies. My favourite part about it is that you can eat it raw or cooked (one of my personal favourites is to lightly cook asparagus, add a little oil and sesame seeds). Asparagus is rich in vitamin C, folic acid, and thiamin. They also contain cancer-fighting phytochemicals called glucosinolates which may help prevent breast cancer. Eating these veggies will also increase your intake of protein and magnesium which can help to keep blood pressure levels under control. As an added bonus, asparagus contains more folate than almost any other food (except for legumes), which means that pregnant women should make sure they’re consuming plenty of asparagus on a regular basis.
10) Kiwi fruit
The kiwi fruit is high in antioxidants and helps reduce inflammation in your body. In addition, it reduces pain caused by some types of arthritis. It’s also good for weight loss, according to a study published in Cell Metabolism. Researchers found that overweight women who ate a diet that included three kiwifruits each day lost more weight and body fat than those who didn’t eat kiwis. In addition, obese men who followed a 12-week diet that included two or three servings of kiwifruit lost more weight than those on a similar 12-week diet without kiwi.