Banana is athlete’s favorite healthy snack, due to good fiber and mineral content and natural sugars excellent for restoring energy levels. Starch from unripe bananas gradually turns into sugar as they get more yellow and mature. Banana is rich in pectin giving it its soft, spongy texture. Pectin can help regulate blood sugar levels after a meal and together with resistant starch reduces appetite. However, both pectin and resistant starch concentration drops as the banana ripens. Banana is great for digestion and good bacteria in our guts and is a rich source of vitamin B6 and potassium. Potassium from banana improves heart and kidney health and regulates blood pressure and is also believed to reduce muscle cramps due to exercising. High antioxidant levels, particularly dopamine, make banana a great choice for heart disease and degenerative illnesses.


Apple has high content of polyphenols – powerful antioxidants present mostly in the peel, helping regulate blood sugar and fat levels. Apples are very filling and help reduce appetite when consumed before a meal. That makes them an important food in weight management and obesity prevention. They are beneficial to heart health and lower risk of stroke and heart disease due to high soluble fiber content. Apples contain fiber pectin, feeding good bacteria in our guts and lowering cholesterol. They are considered to lower risk of type 2 diabetes and widely believed to reduce risk of cancer.


Cabbage is low in starch and high in fiber, which, together with low glycemic index make it an excellent choice for diabetes treatment. It also contains anthocyanins, especially found in red cabbage, that help reduce blood sugar levels and keep heart healthy. Although it can cause excessive gas, it is very high in vitamins K and C and antioxidants like polyphenols. It is good for digestion and lowering cholesterol levels. Cabbage is one of the best medicines for inflammation and promotes gut health, especially in fermented form or as famous ‘kimchi’.


Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable high in fiber and low in calories. It is one of the most filling vegetables and promotes fullness and weight management. It is rich in antioxidants, especially in glucosinolates and sulforaphane helping slow down growth of cancer cells. Cauliflower is good for heart and blood vessel health and contains high amounts of vitamin C. It is also rich in choline, a nutrient promoting brain development and nervous system health and protecting liver from excessive cholesterol accumulation. It contains decent amount of folate that promotes blood cell formation and enables healthy cell growth and function.


Zucchini is non starchy and very low in calories. It is rich in antioxidants and great for digestion due to high water and fiber content, preventing constipation and improving overall gut health. A lot of healthy compounds in zucchini are found in its skin, especially for anti-inflammatory effect. It lowers and stabilizes blood sugar levels and is a great choice for people with diabetes. Zucchini brings many benefits to eye health due to relatively high levels of vitamin A and promotes weight loss and feeling of fullness. Thanks to high levels of potassium, it helps lower blood pressure and keeps blood vessels healthy.


Eggplant is one of the vegetables you shouldn’t eat raw and it has the highest amount of nicotine among edible plants. Thanks to phenolic compounds, it is great for bone health and increases bone density. As such, it is used to prevent osteoporosis. Fiber content in eggplant is quite high which makes a great choice for keeping your sugar levels low. It regulates cholesterol levels and keeps your brain healthy due to many phytonutrients. Eggplant is especially rich in antioxidants, which give it its purple color.


Corn is rich in starch, which is its main carb. Containing relatively small amount of water compared to other vegetables, it is very high in fiber and promotes digestion. Due to presence of antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, it is good for eye health. High in calories, but on the other hand, it contains high amounts of vitamin B and minerals like phosphorus, manganese, zink and magnesium. Due to high content of sugar, it is not the best choice for people with diabetes. Unfortunately, corn used in nutrition is often genetically modified.


Although unpopular with kids because of its slightly bitter taste, broccoli is favorite among athletes due to its many health benefits. Packed with vitamin C and K, it is necessary part of every healthy diet. Just 100g of broccoli provides sufficient daily dose of vitamin K and it is an excellent choice for bone health and osteoporosis prevention. Since boiling destroys vitamin C due to high temperatures, it is best consumed steamed. It is very rich in fiber and protein, low in fat and contains only 35 calories per 100g. It reduces cholesterol levels and is great for keeping the heart healthy and contains good amounts of folate.


Tomato is an essential part of Mediterranean cuisine. It is rich in vitamins A, C and K and loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant good for the heart and fighting some cancers, especially prostate one. When cooked, tomato releases more lycopene and therefore is more effective for fighting cancer when consumed in this form. It is good for diabetes management and digestion due to its fiber content. Since it helps burn fat, it is on everyday food list for those trying to lose weight and is very low in calories. Oh, and don’t forget that it pairs well with vodka. Bloody Mary anyone?


Who said that Capricciosa on Friday night can’t be good for you? This looker among vegetables originates from Mediterranean and dates back to ancient Roman times. Artichokes are one of the oldest consumed foods, considered a medicinal plant as well as aphrodisiac. Artichokes belong to vegetables with highest protein intake. They are packed with fibers, improve digestion and lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. They are especially rich in fiber called inulin which is beneficial to preventing constipation and overall gut health. Artichokes boost immune system and they are great for heart and liver health.

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