GAA-Blog-PowerVegetables-061314

Mom always told us to eat our vegetables to grow up big and strong.
While veggies are always a good idea, there are a few “power vegetables” that pack an extra punch in keeping you healthy and preventing disease. Add these six superfoods to your diet and your body will thank you.

Tomatoes: Scientific studies have shown that lycopene, the phytochemical that gives tomatoes their appealing, bright red color, also makes them extra healthy. Lab tests have shown that lycopene can stop cancer cells from growing and seems to also help protect cells from the type of damage that can lead to cancer by boosting the immune system

Spinach: This leafy green vegetable that worked so well for Popeye is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat – either cooked or raw. Each bite of spinach gives you fiber and folate, a compound your body needs to produce new cells and repair DNA. The veggie also has high levels of carotenoids, compounds that remove free radicals –those unstable molecules that scientists believe are responsible for the start of several types of cancers.

Asparagus: In addition to being one of the tastiest early summer foods, asparagus is known for its detoxification qualities. The green spears help your body fight inflammation and boosts the filtering ability of the liver, helping it drain better and get rid of toxins from things we eat or drink.

Kale: Everyone has been talking about this nutritious super veggie in recent years for good reason. Kale helps protect against heart disease, is full of cancer-fighting antioxidants and even seems to help brain function. Each serving is low in calories, high in fiber and packs in plenty of Vitamins A, C, and K, plus potassium, iron and calcium.

Beets: This natural energy food gradually releases natural sugars and vitamins and minerals into your body, helping you maintain your blood sugar and energy level throughout the day. Scientists think that beets may also help your mental health, providing betaine and trytophan, substances that help fight depression, relax the mind, create a sense of well-being and lower your blood pressure.

Broccoli: Each serving of broccoli provides incredible cancer-fighting properties, including sulforaphane, a compound that cleans out cancer-causing chemicals and may even target cancer stem cells. Providing protein, fiber, vitamins and anti-inflammatory properties, broccoli is one of the healthiest foods you can eat.