Most vegetables are very low in calories and carbs, while being high in healthy fiber and the valuable vitamins and minerals your body needs for good health. Eating a lot of vegetables can help reduce your risk for many chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.
Here are leafy greens and vegetables that are particularly low in carbs..
As a cruciferous vegetable, it may help reduce the risk of certain cancers, including esophageal and stomach cancer. It also provides 54% of the RDI for vitamin C and 85% of the RDI for vitamin K.
Researchers report that it can help prevent damage to DNA. It also protects heart health and may decrease the risk of common eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration.
Spinach is an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals. They are also low in carbs, but the carbs become more concentrated as the leaves are cooked down and lose their volume.
3. Sunflower Seeds
Rich in vitamin E, copper, B vitamins, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Sunflower seeds also contain one of the highest levels of phytosterols of commonly consumed nuts and seeds.
Although technically a fruit, avocados are typically consumed as vegetables. They’re also high in fat and contain very few digestible carbs.
They are also rich in oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat that has beneficial effects on health. Small studies have found that avocados can help lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Avocados are also a good source of vitamin C, folate and potassium.
5. Bell Peppers
Also known as sweet peppers or capsicums, Bell peppers are incredibly nutritious. They contain antioxidants called carotenoids that may reduce inflammation, decrease cancer risk and protect cholesterol and fats from oxidative damage.
It provides 93% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin A and a whopping 317% of the RDI for vitamin C, which is often lacking on very low-carb diets.
Mushrooms are extremely low in carbs. Also, they’ve been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory properties. A one-cup (70-gram) serving of raw white mushrooms contains just 2 grams of carbs, 1 of which is fiber.
Tomatoes are also low in digestible carbs. They are a good source of vitamins A, C and K. In addition, they’re high in potassium, which can help reduce blood pressure and decrease stroke risk.
It’s a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes kale, Brussels sprouts, radishes and cabbage.
Studies show broccoli may decrease insulin resistance in type 2 diabetics. It’s also thought to protect against several types of cancer, including prostate cancer.
Radishes are low-carb vegetables with a sharp, peppery taste. They’re fairly high in vitamin C, providing 29% of the RDI per serving. Radishes are one of the Brassica vegetables, which have been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women by modifying the way the body metabolizes estrogen.
Cucumbers are low in carbs and very refreshing. Although cucumbers aren’t very high in vitamins or minerals, they contain a compound called cucurbitacin E, which may have beneficial effects on health.
Lettuce is one of the lowest-carb vegetables around. Depending on the type, it may also be a good source of certain vitamins.
For instance, romaine and other dark-green varieties are rich in vitamins A, C and K. They’re also high in folate. Folate helps decrease levels of homocysteine, a compound known to increase heart disease risk.
12. Green Beans
They are a member of the legume family, along with beans and lentils. However, they have significantly fewer carbs than most legumes do. Green beans are high in the green pigment known as chlorophyll, which animal studies suggest may help protect against cancer.
In addition, they contain carotenoids, which are associated with improved brain function during aging.