The 14 Healthiest Vegetables on Earth

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2. Carrots

Carrots are packed with vitamin A, providing 428% of the daily recommended value in just one cup (128 grams). They contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant that gives carrots their vibrant orange color and could help in cancer prevention. In fact, one study revealed that for each serving of carrots per week, participants’ risk of prostate cancer decreased by 5%.

Another study showed that eating carrots may reduce the risk of lung cancer in smokers as well. Compared to those who ate carrots at least once a week, smokers who did not eat carrots had a three times greater risk of developing lung cancer. Carrots are also high in vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium.

Summary: Carrots are especially high in beta-carotene, which can turn into vitamin A in the body. Their high antioxidant content may help reduce the risk of lung and prostate cancer.

3. Broccoli

Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables. It is rich in a sulfur-containing plant compound known as glucosinolate, as well as sulforaphane, a by-product of glucosinolate. Sulforaphane is significant in that it has been shown to have a protective effect against cancer.

In one animal study, sulforaphane was able to reduce the size and number of breast cancer cells while also blocking tumor growth in mice. Eating broccoli may help prevent other types of chronic disease, too. A 2010 animal study found that consuming broccoli sprouts could protect the heart from disease-causing oxidative stress by lowering levels up to 116%.

In addition to its ability to prevent disease, broccoli is also loaded with nutrients. A cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli provides 116% of your daily vitamin K needs, 135% of the daily vitamin C requirement and a good amount of folate, manganese and potassium.

Summary: Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that contains sulforaphane, a compound that may prevent cancer growth. Eating broccoli may also help reduce the risk of chronic disease by protecting against oxidative stress.

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