Exotic vegetables are grown in small quantities, and can’t be cultivated in some particular regions /countries. They are now becoming an important part of meals, because of their health benefits. These are rich in many important vitamins and nutrients, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, fiber, iron, and Potassium.
20 Exotic Vegetables to Consider Adding to Your Diet
Exotic vegetables contain a high density of proteins and carbohydrates that help fuel your heart, kidney, muscles, and central nervous system. There are many exotic vegetables that you must consider adding to your diet, that’ll keep you away from many harmful diseases and help live a healthy life.
1. Cherry Tomatoes
You must’ve heard about the health benefits of tomatoes, but Cherry Tomatoes are almost the same and can provide you with many health benefits, despite their small size. They contain lycopene, which is a great fighting agent against disease-causing radicals. Cherry Tomatoes are used in many dishes, including curries and salads, and can be eaten raw too.
The famous cucumber lookalike, Zucchini, can be a healthy addition to your diet. There are many health benefits of Zucchini. It is rich in many nutrients (proteins, carbs, and calories) and antioxidants that protect your eyes, and skin and also protect against certain types of cancer. It can be eaten as a stew with other vegetables and fruits.
Celery is one of the most nutritious exotic vegetables that can increase the health index of your daily meals. This low-calorie vegetable contains many important antioxidants that reduce the chances of inflammation in cells, the digestive tract, and blood vessels. With minerals like iron, magnesium, and sodium, Celery also has a neutralizing effect on acidic foods.
For more information about this nutrient-rich vegetable, give a read to the ultimate guide to celery.
Lettuce is not only used to add some freshness to your salads, but is enriched with antioxidants like Lutein, Quercetin, and Zeaxanthin, which have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. The fiber present in these green leaves helps prevent constipation and Calcium improves your bone health. It also replenishes your thirst with its significant water content.
5. Purple Yam
Commonly known as “Ube”, Purple Yam must be the next exotic vegetable making its place on your eating table. It is filled with all the important nutrients and antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, that help reduce inflammation and blood pressure and also protect your body against type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Taro root was originally cultivated in Asia but is now enjoyed in many parts of the world. It is an excellent source of carbohydrates and dietary fiber, both of which contribute to weight loss and improve the function of your digestive system. One of the most important health benefits of Taro includes its fiber count, which helps reduce the risk of heart diseases. It can be boiled, steamed, stir-fried, braised, and baked.
If you’re wondering what are scallions and why should we eat them, let us answer your query. These onion-lookalikes are another type of exotic vegetable that can be eaten raw, in a slightly cooked form, or enjoyed fresh in salads. It is enriched with fiber that helps you feel full, lowers your chances of diabetes, and also lowers your cholesterol levels.
There are different types and benefits of Asparagus. This exotic vegetable is packed with important minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that neutralize stomach acids. It also improves digestion and helps with weight loss. Asparagus, also known as the best vegetable of spring, can be used in many dishes including pasta, salads, frittatas, and stir-fries.
Broccoli is another member of the cabbage family and is one of the most nutritious exotic vegetables. Increasing the amount of this high-fiber vegetable in your daily meals may reduce the risk of many heart diseases. There are many types of broccoli, that can be eaten raw or cooked, and provide nutrition in both forms.
10. Red Cabbage
Red Cabbage is another type of cabbage, that almost tastes like green cabbage, and is a good source of Vitamin K, and contains small amounts of Zinc, Magnesium, and Calcium, which are vital for bone health. It’ll make the digestion process easier and will be a healthy addition to your diet.
Kale is a leafy and green vegetable, that’s rich in nutrients. You must’ve heard about the kale salad, but this exotic vegetable can also be used in smoothies. It contains antioxidants, Fiber, and Iron, and possesses a lot of potential health benefits.
It is a member of both the potato and tomato family. The major health benefits of Eggplant include its ability to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, because of the large number of antioxidants.
13. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes are vegetables that come in a variety of colors and sizes. They are easy to add to your diet, in the form of microwave sweet potato chips or just grill them and you’re good to go. The antioxidants and fiber in Sweet Potatoes improve your gut health.
Artichokes are exotic vegetables that are rich in many micronutrients that provide energy to your body and allow it to function properly. Their petals can be eaten hot or cold. You’ve to dip the base of the petal into melted butter or sauce, remove its pulpy portion, and spoon out the delicious center at the base.
15. Button Mushrooms
Button Mushrooms come in two colors – brown and white, containing a lot of health benefits. There are different methods of cooking and serving mushrooms. You can make slices and eat them raw, or toss them on a grill, sauté them, or roast them. They are filled with natural Vitamin D that strengthens your immune system.
Learn more about different types of mushrooms.
16. Baby Corn
Baby corns are picked before maturing. Because of their crunch texture and nutty flavor, Baby corn can also be eaten raw, by slicing them into cold noodles or salads. Its soluble fiber content lowers your cholesterol level and reduces the possibility of artery blockage.
Okra comes in two colors – red and green. You can roast it with garlic and olive oil or dredge in cornmeal and egg and then fry it. Okra is rich in many antioxidants, essential vitamins, and minerals that the body needs.
18. Bitter Melon
Bitter Melon packs several important nutrients. It is rich in Vitamin C, an important micronutrient that is involved in bone formation, disease prevention, and wound healing. It can be enjoyed raw or cooked in various recipes.
19. Chili Peppers
Chili Peppers can be eaten raw or they can be grilled, roasted, stuffed, or toasted. They improve your digestive health and metabolism and decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.
For a vitamin and mineral-rich diet, add Fiddlehead to your everyday meals that taste like Asparagus and contain Vitamin A and C, Potassium, and Phosphorus and help you fight infections. It can be cooked in many ways, but can’t be eaten raw.
Increase the Health Index of Your Meals – with Exotic Vegetables
Adding exotic vegetables to your everyday meals will prevent you from uncountable diseases, and also improve your eating patterns. Loaded with carbohydrates, proteins, and essential nutrients, many exotic vegetables can help you lose weight and some of them even eliminate the chances of bone and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, incorporate them into your diet, and live a worry-free and healthy life!