“Eat your veggies” few phrases hark back to one’s childhood in a more haunting way than the call to gorge on your greens.
While as a kid, you obviously felt assaulted by this incessant command, as you grow older, you begin to realize that there’s nothing mean about eating green.
In fact, veggies will probably save your life. But what exactly is it about greens that keeps us clean?
The obvious answer is that they are healthy, containing many essentials especially vitamins. But this isn’t the only reason, in fact, some essential nutrients cant be obtained from plants alone naturally and require a decent animal source.
Plants are great because of two things. Fiber and phytochemicals.
Fiber is a form of non-digestible starch, only found in plant tissue and essential to healthy digestion.
Phytochemicals are plant-specific nutrients which include some of the most potent antioxidants.
While this is all fine and dandy, the plant sources we are exposed to come with many limitations when it comes to optimizing health.
The major problem with modern fresh produce is the variety we have access to and the way it is grown.
In terms of access, we typically only see a handful of different plant types, most of which come from the same plant family and hence carry the same nutrient profile.
This lack of diversity and variety in the food we have access to is a contributor to today’s rampant nutrient deficiencies.
In terms of how food is grown, we have fine-tuned the agricultural process to such an extent that it is now more harmful than beneficial.
Heavy use of harsh agrochemicals introduces toxins such as heavy metals into our bodies. These toxins accumulate little by little over time, eventually building up to a point where significant.
In this article, we’re going to go through a few lesser-known, even exotic vegetables you can try as an addition to your existing diet profile.
The reason we’ve selected some of the more rare and unique vegetable choices is because the demand for them is low.
That means they don’t undergo the same mass-production practices that most common fresh produce items undergo.
They also bring variety to the table, making your overall diet more balanced
This summer squash variety stands apart from its traditional cousins the pumpkin and the butternut.
This is because of its relatively thin, soft skin, which makes it easy to eat without peeling.
It’s also a low calorie, low carb alternative to other starchier vegetables.
It is also a great source of potassium and healthy cholesterol
The sunchoke or Jerusalem artichoke is the bulbous root of a plant by the same name.
This root bears a striking resemblance to ginger and turmeric. The sunchoke is packed with many essential micronutrients and phytochemicals. It is known for its high iron content.
There are the immature, folded leaves of fern plants.
This curled profile is what gives them the name fiddlehead since they resemble the curved scroll at the top of a violin neck.
These little “fernlings” are packed with vitamin C, A and manganese
This root plant resembles a turnip but packs way more.
Rich in fiber and prebiotics, this one is a gut health hero that also comes with a healthy dose of vitamin C
Cassava is a root vegetable (tuber) similar to potatoes. It’s nutrient profile, however, has a bit more to it.
It contains several B vitamins, making it an awesome plant source for the essential nutrients.
The title for the biggest naturally growing fruit goes to the jack fruit!
But besides holding a size title, this meat textured plant is making waves as an adelicious alternative to meat-based on texture.
Also a great source of fiber.
The romanesco is known as much for its beauty as for its value as a food.
This plant belongs to the same group as broccoli and cauliflower, but unlike its cousins, romanesco has a near-flawless fractal arrangement in its flowering buds.
A fractal is a self-repeating pattern with infinite divisibility.
But enough of that, we’re here for the nutrition. Romanesco is a cruciferous vegetable and therefore comes packed with many amazing vitamins as well as the compound indole-3-carbinol.
Useful in the production of male testosterone.
This edible root comes from a flowering plant native to South America.
It’s nutrient profile includes a cocktail of antioxidants as well as some antimicrobial compounds.
Taro root, natively known as “madumbe” or “amadumbe” in Southern Africa is like a pre-flavored potato when talking about taste and texture.
When talking about nutrient value, its like a fortified potato. Coming packed with vitamins B and E as well as electrolytes magnesium, potassium and phosphorous
This one is related to the banana, albeit a starchier and less sweet version, making it a perfect cooking companion as it is commonly used.
The plantain comes in packing vitamins C and B6 as well as being a great source of magnesium, fiber, and potassium.
So here’s your new grocery list. We want you to explore more food options, not just for the obvious exotic taste experience you will encounter, but also for the sake of a well-rounded nutrient profile.