Can there be such a thing as an unhealthy vegetable? The answer is NO, especially compared to junk food. However, some vegetables are healthier compared to other vegetables. This brings us to our list of the nine least healthy vegetables! They each have their own benefits and nutritional value, or their lack of. Do you need to replace some of the veggies you’re eating with healthier vegetables? Let’s find out!
Celery has a subpar micronutrient profile. It is a good source of antioxidants that help protect cells, blood vessels, and organs from oxidative damage. Celery also reduces inflammation and prompts digestive health. Celery is a diuretic that helps eliminate excess liquids in the body. Besides that, no notable feature separates this vegetable from the lot.
Leeks have an average micronutrient content. Leeks are a great source of antioxidants, specifically kaempferol, which lowers the risk of chronic diseases, especially cancer. Leeks also promote eye and heart health and brain and digestive function. One disadvantage of this oniony-tasting vegetable is that it has oxalates, but the level is reduced when cooked. However, leeks are more nutritious when eaten raw.
Have you ever thought about eating your water? Well, you can with cucumber! Cucumbers have a low micronutrient profile. Cucumbers obviously help to fight dehydration. They also help combat chronic diseases with their antioxidant content. This crunchy vegetable is a natural diuretic to help clean out excess liquids in the body and aid with digestion. The only downside is, comparing this vegetable to others, it has lower nutrients.
Now I know why corn is so good; no food that tastes good is good for you. But not really; corn is fine. Corn has high carbohydrates, but most of it derives from starch. Corn has a less than stellar micronutrient profile. Corn is one of the greatest sources of B1, which helps the body form energy from nutrients. Corn also promotes eye health. A downside of this vegetable is that it has phytic acid and lectins; however, when corn is cooked, it reduces the antinutrient content.
5. Green Beans
I must admit, I love green beans, especially when boiled; however, green beans have a lower than average micronutrient content. They are a decent source of vitamin K. Greens beans also promote healthy digestion, bones, and heart. Although green beans have both phytic acid and lectins, cooking can reduce them. Ultimately, they are still relatively healthy when prepared properly.
Although I haven’t tried a turnip before, I am sure it tastes fine or even great! But, I’ll look for a healthier vegetable for better health. Turnips have a lower than average micronutrient content. This root vegetable has several antioxidants, giving it anti-cancer and anti-bacterial properties. Turnips also help regulate blood sugar levels. However, this vegetable can interfere with the thyroid gland, especially if you have pre-existing conditions.
Most popularly served fried, we have okra! Although they can be pickled and roasted, we’ll look at how raw okra compares to all the other vegetables, and as you can tell, it takes third place. It has an average micronutrient content. Okra has both Vitamins K and C. It also has mucilage, a very thick gel-like substance that binds to cholesterol, preventing it from being absorbed into the body. This following fact may make you think again about eating okra. It contains colanine, a toxic compound that can lead to joint pain. Okra also has oxalates and lectins, but you can cook it to lower the concentration of both.
Although large in size, it’s lacking in micronutrient content. Eggplants are nightshades, meaning that people with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases should be careful when consuming this vegetable, if at all. Eggplant also has some antinutrients, specifically tannins, oxalates, and phytic acid. However, if you cook eggplant, it reduces the potency of the antinutrients.
1. Iceberg Lettuce
With a nonexistent micronutrient profile, we have the vegetable made of mostly water, iceberg lettuce! They do have tiny amounts of vitamin K and carotenoids, but overall, they are lackluster. Don’t be misunderstood; there is a place for this vegetable outside of the local fast-food salad, and it is to add some crunch or filler to a meal.