The Top 10 Healthiest Vegetables You Should Be Eating

Eating more vegetables is one of the best things you can do for your health. Vegetables provide important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds. They are also generally low in calories and high in fiber. This article discusses the top 10 healthiest vegetables and why you should include them in your diet.


The number one vegetable on the list is avocado. Avocados are incredibly nutritious and delicious. Here’s why they top the list:

  • Very low in net carbs – Avocados contain 9% carbs but 7% comes from fiber that you don’t digest. This makes them very low-carb at only 2% net carbs.
  • Excellent source of potassium – One avocado provides about 500mg potassium, which goes a long way towards meeting your daily needs. Potassium supports heart health, muscle function, and nerve signaling.
  • High in healthy fats – Unlike most other fruits and vegetables, avocados are high in monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid. These fats have anti-inflammatory effects in the body.
  • Filling – Despite being low-carb, avocados are rich and creamy so they help fill you up. This makes them helpful for weight management.
  • Versatile – Avocados can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Try adding them to omelets, salads, smoothies, guacamole dip, chili, and more. Their mild taste allows them to pair well with almost anything.


Lettuce comes in many different varieties like romaine, green leaf, red leaf, and spring mix. In general, lettuces are:

  • Very low in calories and carbs
  • High in vitamin K, vitamin A, and folate
  • Contain cancer-fighting compounds like lutein and zeaxanthin
  • Provide fiber to feed healthy gut bacteria

The best part about lettuce is that you can eat a lot of it. Use lettuce leaves as wraps instead of tortillas or buns for a low-carb, high-nutrient sandwich option. Lettuce is also perfect for salads and can be added to many dishes like tacos and stir-fries.


Broccoli checks all the boxes in terms of nutrient density. It is:

  • Very low in carbs at only 4% net carbs
  • Packed with vitamins C, K, B6, manganese, potassium, and more
  • High in sulfur-containing compounds that support detoxification
  • Has cancer-fighting and anti-inflammatory effects

Broccoli is extremely versatile in the kitchen. It can be steamed, roasted, added to soups and casseroles, or eaten raw with dips. The key is not to overcook broccoli which can destroy some of its beneficial compounds.


Similarly to broccoli, cauliflower is:

  • Very low in net carbs at around 3%
  • High in vitamin C, vitamin K, B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus
  • Rich in health-promoting plant compounds called glucosinolates

In addition, cauliflower has garnered attention in the low-carb community for its ability to be turned into low-carb “rice” as well as substitutes for mashed potatoes, pizza crusts, and more. When shopping for these products, read labels carefully as many store-bought versions can be high in carbs.

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers add a pop of color and great flavor to any dish. Additional reasons to eat them include:

  • Low in net carbs at around 3-4%
  • Excellent source of antioxidant vitamins C, A, E, and vitamin B6
  • Contain the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin that support eye health
  • Can be eaten raw or cooked making them very versatile

Try adding bell peppers to omelets, fajitas, salad, chicken or tuna salad, roasted vegetables, and more. The different color varieties (green, red, yellow, orange) provide slightly different nutrients.


Cabbage doesn’t get enough credit for being as nutritious and versatile as it is. Here’s why it earns the number six spot:

  • Extremely low cost at only a few cents per serving
  • Very high in immune-supporting vitamin C
  • Part of the cruciferous vegetable family and contains sulfur compounds that aid detoxification
  • Has cancer-fighting and anti-inflammatory benefits from compounds like sulforaphane
  • Low in net carbs and high in fiber, making it excellent for gut health
  • Available year-round
  • Can be eaten raw, cooked, fermented into sauerkraut or kimchi

The bottom line is that cabbage provides an affordable source of nutrients to help round out a healthy diet.


Tomatoes are actually classified as a fruit but contain nutrients commonly found in vegetables. Reasons to eat more tomatoes:

  • Excellent source of antioxidants lycopene, beta-carotene, and lutein
  • These antioxidants can help reduce inflammation and disease risk
  • Also contain vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K
  • Versatile – can be enjoyed raw, cooked, roasted, grilled, or blended into sauce
  • Relatively low in sugar compared to other fruits

Interestingly, cooking tomatoes actually increases the availability of lycopene for absorption. So enjoy tomatoes in soups, stews, salsa, and more. Cherry and grape tomatoes also make a healthy, portable snack.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts look like miniature cabbages and unsurprisingly share similar health effects. They are:

  • High in fiber and folate
  • Rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and kaempferol
  • Support healthy liver function and detoxification

Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous veggie family along with broccoli and cabbage. Try roasting Brussels sprouts in the oven to bring out their natural sweetness for a simple, nutritious side dish.


Onions belong to the same plant family as garlic and leeks. Reasons to eat more onions:

  • Contain organosulfur compounds that have anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and immunity-enhancing effects
  • Provide prebiotic fiber to nourish healthy gut bacteria
  • Very high in the antioxidant quercetin
  • Also contain manganese, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, and vitamin C
  • Low cost and available year-round

Keep in mind that onions are higher in net carbs than most other veggies at about 7.5g net carbs per 100g. So those limiting carbs may want to watch portions. Otherwise, onions enhance flavor and nutrition no matter how you prepare them – raw, baked, grilled, or caramelized.


Garlic has actually been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. Here’s why:

  • Contains allicin, a compound with antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects
  • Also provides organosulfur compounds that support detoxification
  • Has been studied for benefits on immune function, heart health, and cancer prevention
  • Adds delicious flavor to any savory dish

Some tips for getting the most out of garlic:

  • Crush or chop garlic and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before cooking to activate the allicin compound
  • Can be consumed raw or cooked
  • If digestive problems occur, try reducing portion or cooking garlic before eating

How to Get More Veggies In Your Diet

Focusing on these top 10 vegetables is an excellent place to start improving your health through nutrition. In addition to these powerhouse veggies, eating a rainbow of produce every day will ensure you get a wide range of valuable plant compounds. Here are some simple tips to eat more veggies:

  1. Shop seasonally and buy veggies on sale to reduce cost
  2. Roast a tray of vegetables at the beginning of the week to have easy leftovers on hand
  3. Try spiralizing vegetables like zucchini or carrots for healthy pasta alternatives
  4. Add spinach, arugula, mushrooms or onions to scrambled eggs or omelets
  5. Include vegetables in soups, stews, chilis, burrito bowls, and casseroles
  6. Enjoy a salad full of nutrient-dense greens and vegetables every day
  7. Snack on raw veggies like bell peppers, snap peas, celery, and broccoli with healthy dips like hummus, salsa, or guacamole

Focus on eating for nutrition rather than counting nutrients or chasing the latest “superfood.” Consistently including these top vegetables and other produce you enjoy will go a long way in improving and maintaining long-lasting health.

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