Its golden-hued flesh provides vitamin C as well as potassium, a mineral that helps maintain normal blood pressure. To save time, pierce and microwave squash first, then split, scoop out seeds, stuff with wild rice and dried fruit, and bake.
A source of beneficial antioxidants. Artichokes also supply fiber, folate, and vitamins C and K. Steam and serve with a dip of tangy vinaigrette dressing.
Spear this excellent source of folate, a B-vitamin essential for healthy red blood cells. Sprinkle asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper, then roast until tender and brown.
Though used like a veggie, avocados are really a fruit. They’re one of the few with monounsaturated fat, which may help promote normal blood cholesterol levels. They also supply antioxidants. 1/4 of a medium avocado provides 65 calories, so watch portion size. Mash and use as a sandwich spread.
Vitamins A and C are in the bag with baby spinach. Both vitamins are beneficial antioxidants. Pile spinach leaves onto sandwiches, use in salads, or chop and add to meatloaf mix.
Green, red, yellow or orange, bell peppers are plentiful in vitamin C and fiber. Fiber may help benefit heart health. Add peppers to fajitas and stir-fries, skewer on kabobs, or stuff with lean ground meat and rice. Roasted peppers are great layered on sandwiches.
Along with fiber and potassium, broccoli contains a “bunch” of unique antioxidant compounds that may help protect body cells from damage. Serve steamed florets with a squeeze of lemon, stir-fry with ginger, or add to pastas and soups.
Sprouting with vitamin C, fiber and folate. Folate is a B-vitamin that helps form healthy red blood cells. Brussels sprouts are delicious roasted plain or threaded on kabobs and grilled. For a kid-friendly dish, toss halves with olive oil, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, then bake.
Grab a head for vitamins A and C and folate. Use the broad leaves to make Asian lettuce wraps: pile chopped cooked chicken breast, cooked thin noodles, shredded carrots and chopped peanuts on leaves. Drizzle with Asian-style sauce, fold and enjoy!
Bountiful in vitamins A and C, fiber and magnesium. Magnesium helps nerves and muscles to function properly. Add peeled squash chunks to stews and curries, or roast with potatoes, parsnips and carrots for a nutritious side.
Red or green, cabbage offers vitamin C and fiber. Fiber helps promote a healthy digestive system. Mix shredded cabbage with fat-free yogurt and chopped cilantro to top fish tacos or stuff blanched leaves with cooked ground turkey, spices and tomato sauce, then bake.
Grab a bunch for vitamin A, which helps promote healthy vision and helps regulate the immune system. Glaze carrots with orange juice and honey or shred and add to salads, meat loaf and spaghetti sauce.
Along with folate, cauliflower contains vitamin C, which may help protect cells from damage and may contribute to healthy immune function. Try mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes for a lower-carb side dish.
From chipotle to habañero and jalapeño to poblano, chili peppers’ heat ranges from mild to hot. Capsaicin, the compound that provides their fiery taste, is being studied for several potential health benefits. Add chili peppers to salsa, chili and Asian-style curries and rice dishes.
A southern tradition, collards are full of fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium and folate. Folate is a B-vitamin that helps form red blood cells. Make a healthier “mess o’ greens”—simmer chopped collards in reduced-sodium chicken broth and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes until tender.
A medium-size ear provides vitamin C, thiamin, folate and fiber, along with antioxidants that may help maintain healthy vision. Enjoy whole ears off the grill or mix kernels with black beans, canned diced tomatoes and Mexican spices for a Southwestern side.
Eggplant’s deep purple skin color comes from antioxidants called “anthocyanidins,” which may also help protect body cells from damage. Stack meaty grilled eggplant slices with other vegetables to make a delicious panini sandwich.
This “stinking rose” contains antioxidants that may help protect body cells from damage. The antioxidants are most potent when cloves are chopped or crushed. Add garlic to pasta sauce, marinades and rubs. Or roast a whole head, and pop out the soft cloves for a mellow bread spread.
Green and Red Leaf Lettuce
Supplies antioxidants and vitamin C, which help protect body cells. The delicate taste and mild crispness of leaf lettuce is ideal tucked into sandwiches or tossed in a salad with orange segments, sliced almonds and light citrus dressing.
Both the white bulb and green leaves are edible and delicate in flavor, and contain antioxidants and vitamin A. Vitamin A helps promote a healthy immune system. Slice thin to garnish soups and chili or add to stir-fries.
A top pick for vitamin K, and a source of antioxidants, vitamin C and calcium. Calcium helps build strong bones. Enjoy kale in stir-fries, mixed with hot pasta, or tossed in a salad with sliced beets, grated carrots, green onions and light dressing.
A leading source of selenium among produce. Selenium is an antioxidant that may help protect cells from damage. Mix and match mushroom varieties—add to stir fries, pastas, salads, soups or meat dishes.
Surprisingly high in vitamin C, with fiber to boot. Onions also contain an antioxidant that may help protect cells and benefit heart health. Use as an ingredient in casseroles, stews, salads and soups. Cooking onions caramelizes their natural sugars, lending sweetness to dishes.
This sweet root veggie offers folate, fiber and vitamin C. Vitamin C helps keep cells healthy. Try parsnips roasted, pureed into soup or mashed with celery root as an alternative to mashed potatoes.
You’ll really dig potatoes for their vitamin C and potassium. Potassium helps maintain normal blood pressure. Mash with reduced-sodium chicken broth instead of butter to keep fat and calories in check. Or, toss small new potatoes with olive oil and rosemary for roasting.
Rich in vitamin A, which helps promote healthy vision, pumpkin also provides vitamin C. Scoop the cooked orange flesh into muffins and quick breads, dice and mix with grain dishes, or puree to make pumpkin soup served in its own hollowed shell.
This Caesar salad classic is loaded with vitamin A, which helps promote healthy vision. For a healthier twist, toss chopped romaine with pitted cherries, toasted almonds, grilled chicken breast and light Caesar dressing.
A smaller, milder member of the onion family that offers beneficial antioxidants. Dice fine and add to salad dressings and gravies, or work into hamburgers and meat loaf.
A super source of vitamin A, which may help keep eyes healthy. Sweet potatoes are chockfull of fiber, potassium and vitamin C, too. Enjoy them roasted in their jackets, cubed in casseroles and hash, or sliced and baked into oven fries.
Packed with vitamins A and C and magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that helps keep nerves and muscles in working order. Sauté chopped chard, pine nuts, raisins and minced garlic in olive oil, stir torn leaves into soups, or mix with cooked shredded potatoes for a tasty hash.
Bursting with vitamin C and potassium, tomatoes are also a good source of vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for healthy vision. Dice tomatoes and marinate in olive oil, vinegar, oregano and basil.
Sweet and nutty, yellow crookneck offers vitamin C, which helps maintain a healthy immune system. Grill slices and layer with other veggies in sandwiches, or sauté rounds in olive oil with dried basil and Parmesan cheese.
Equally tasty in sweet and savory dishes, zucchini offers vitamin C, which helps keep cells healthy. Try raw zucchini sticks with low-fat dip or shredded in quick breads and pasta sauce. For a tasty ratatouille, stew with tomatoes, eggplant and onions.