Guide to the Different Types of Vegetables

People absolutely love meaty delights. However, meat is not always a healthy choice for you. On the other hand, vegetables tend to provide more benefits with minimum to no harm to the human body. Those of you who are planning to move to a more healthy diet should learn all about the different types of vegetables including their nutritional content. 

Ultimate Guide to the Different Types of Vegetables

Types of Vegetables

Vegetables are classified into four biological groups.

  • Leafy greens 
  • Flower or Cruciferous 
  • Marrow 
  • Root
  • Bulb

Leafy Greens Vegetables

Spinach

The name spinach is given to the vegetable from its botanical name “Spinacia oleracea”. Spinach is a leafy dark green vegetable that originated from Persia. In many countries, spinach is considered one of the staple foods and is a very important part of their diet. One cup (30 grams) of raw spinach provides all the vitamin K your body needs in a day. Furthermore, this leafy vegetable is full of vitamin A, iron, and antioxidants, all of which provide you with numerous health benefits

A case study performed in 2015, indicated that spinach has a high content of beta-carotene and lutein, which is beneficial for eliminating cancerous cells. Additionally, it also showed that including spinach in daily routine improves heart health. 

Besides, this vegetable has also got its popularity among kids due to the famous show “Popeye” which shows that a weak sailor becomes quite strong as soon as he consumes spinach.

There are multiple ways to eat spinach. You can have it raw as a salad, or cook it with some pasta and lasagna. In many countries, people consume spinach with eggs for breakfast too.

1 cup of spinach includes 

  • 7 kcal of calories 
  • 25% of vitamin A Daily Value Intake (DVI)

Kale

Kale originated from the eastern Mediterranean, and according to studies, was considered one of the holiest foods in ancient times. Kale leaves are dry, and crunchy, and have a strong earthy taste.  Like other green leafy vegetables, a cup (65g) of kale can fulfill your entire day’s requirement of vitamin A, C, and K.

A study done in 2008, showed that drinking 150 ml kale juice daily for 12 weeks as well as it can decrease cholesterol levels up to 10%. The study also showed an increase in the subject’s antioxidant activity. Kale is going to be quite helpful in improving bone health as well as the overall immune system of the body. There are various other benefits of kale as well.

100 g kale contains

  • 49 calories
  • 1021% RDI of Vitamin K
  • 308% RDI of vitamin A 
  • 200% RDI of vitamin C.

Cruciferous-Flower Vegetables

Cabbage

Cabbage belongs to a flower family of vegetables and originates from the Mediterranean. There are two types of Cabbage available in markets; Green and Red Cabbage.

Green Cabbage is found commonly in Asian countries and is famous for being used raw in salads. They can also be cooked in soups and gravies to enhance their flavor. It is also used in burgers, wraps, and other fast food as well. Green Cabbage is light so people generally eat it in higher quantities.

A study done in 2012, showed that the daily intake of green cabbage can prevent certain cancers and liver damage.

Red Cabbage, when compared to the green variety, offers more nutritional benefits and better taste. A study in 2014 shows that red cabbage can reduce inflammation and cholesterol. However, red cabbage is not as commonly consumed as green one. 

100 g of cabbage contains 

  • 25 kcal of calories
  • 95% vitamin K
  • 61% vitamin C 
  • 11% of folate
  • Additionally, red cabbage has an additional 22% RDI of vitamin A, but no folate content.

Broccoli

Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables, and is native to the Mediterranean, and was introduced to the Americans in the 1700s. Broccoli’s flavor can best be described as grassy, with a hint of bitterness to it.  These green vegetables can be enjoyed both raw and cooked. However, according to studies, it is better to steam them to get the most health benefits.

Research in 2012, showed that broccoli is a rich source of sulforaphane, which plays a vital role in eliminating cancerous cells. Broccoli is one of the most liked veggies by Americans. However, in Asian countries, it is quite expensive as it is imported. 

100 g of broccoli contains

  • 34 calories
  • 120% RDI of vitamin K 
  • 140% RDI of Vitamin C.

Marrow Vegetables

Zucchini

The origin of Zucchini can be traced back to Mexico in 7000 BCE, where it was an important part of people’s diet. Zucchini is also known as courgette in most parts of France, Ireland, and New Zealand. One of the famous dishes made by zucchini is zoodles, spaghetti made from zucchini. While the noodles may be popular, people adore zucchini in its raw form too. 

Research done in 2015 showed that zucchini contains a high amount of vitamin C, which helps in curing asthma-related problems. Zucchini is also high in terms of antioxidants as well as helps in improved heart health. Since it can be easily added to almost any dish, it becomes one of the easily consumed vegetables. There are many varieties of Zucchini as well.

100 g zucchini contains

  • 17kcal calories
  • 28% RDI of vitamin C
  • 11% RDI of vitamin B6.

Eggplant

In the UK, eggplant is also known by the name Aubergine. Eggplants were originally from India, but are now enjoyed all over the globe. 

The eggplant is a versatile marrow vegetable that can easily be added to your daily diet. You can have it grilled, sautéed, fried, or stewed. This purple vegetable contains a lot of Vitamin A and fiber, which helps in promoting healthy cells. Moreover, some research shows that eggplants are a great source of polyphenols, which help in reducing sugar absorption and increasing insulin secretion. There are many other benefits of eggplant as well. 

100 g eggplants contain

  • 25 kcal calories
  • 10% RDI of Vitamin A
  • 8% RDI of vitamin K.

Bulb – Roots Vegetables

Onion

Botanists believe onions originated from central Asia, but they have become a very important part of every cuisine.  Onions vary in size, shape, and color, but the most common type of onions are yellow and red onions. Both onions work well in cuisines and can easily be added to soups, salads, eggs, rice, or pasta. It is a famous saying that no dish can be made properly without the use of onions. 

Yellow onion, also known as white onion in some regions, is spicy-sweet in flavor. Red onions, as understandable by their name, are pinkish-red in color and a bit sweet and mild in flavor.

Comparatively, red onions offer more nutritional benefits than yellow onions. Research shows that a regular intake of 3.5 ounces of raw onion can significantly reduce the risk of diabetes.

Garlic

Garlic originated from ancient China and Egypt and was used in history for its medical benefits and is now considered an integral part of every dish. Garlic has a powerful, pungent flavor to it, and it is added in many dishes as an aromatic, to enhance their flavors. 

The main active ingredient in garlic is allicin, which is significant in promoting heart health. Several studies show that regular use of garlic can also increase immunity and insulin secretion. One of the main ways in which garlic is consumed is via the garlic mayo sauce.  

100 g garlic contains

  • 146 calories
  • 62% RDI of vitaminB6
  • 52% RDI of vitamin C
  • 84% RDI of Manganese

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are vegetables native to tropical America and are grown at warm temperatures. Sweet potatoes are one of the main food crops in the southern United States and Asian countries.

These fleshy roots come in two different colors, white and orange. White sweet potatoes are found in Asian countries and are beneficial for decreasing blood sugar levels. On the other hand, orange sweet potatoes are abundant in vitamin A and carotene. Carotene is beneficial to eye health. 

100 g sweet potatoes contain

  • 86 calories
  • 284% RDI of vitamin A
  • 13% RDI of manganese
  • 10% RDI of potassium

Conclusion

There are many types of other vegetables as well but the ones we mentioned above are available globally. You can easily get them from a local vegetable market or shop. However, it is always good to explore further. We recommend that you make vegetables a part of your daily diet as they provide you with numerous health benefits.

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