Tuesday, August 13, 2013

13 of the Healthiest Vegetables to Grow in Your Garden


Want to greatly reduce your risk of a whole host of diseases including cancer? Grow broccoli, a fall and spring vegetable that grows best in a sunny site, in well-drained soil.


Frost actually enhances the taste of this cool weather crop. Packed with vitamins and minerals, this dark, leafy green, sometimes referred to as "the queen of greens" is low in calories, high in fiber and antioxidants and rich in iron, vitamin K, A and C.

Sweet Potato

Swap out your Idaho spud for a delicious sweet potato, one of the best sources of vitamin A and great topped with some vanilla yogurt, nuts and a touch of brown sugar.


Take a cue from Popeye and be strong to the finish when you eat your spinach. Easy to grow, spinach aids in preventing age-related macular degeneration and keeps artery walls free of cholesterol which can help in the prevention of heart attacks.


Rich in beta carotene, cool-weather garden favorite carrots are a vitamin powerhouse and come in a variety of hues beyond orange including purple, yellow and white.

Brussels Sprouts

Best when not overcooked, Brussels sprouts are loaded with nutritional value and provide nutritional support for the detoxification and anti-inflammatory functions of the body, which can aid in fighting cancer. This hardy, slow-growing cool weather crop—which does well in even freezing temperatures—is a member of the cabbage family.


Though we have learned to associate brightly colored or dark green vegetables with greater health benefits, the pale cauliflower is surprisingly good for you. High in vitamin C and manganese—two powerful antioxidants—cauliflower is linked to cancer prevention especially of bladder, colon, breast, prostate and ovarian cancers.


A relative of the onion, the fall crop garlic contains phytochemicals which can help in reducing high blood pressure, lowering cancer rates and fighting infection.


Avocados are full of heart-protective properties and taste incredible to boot but these subtropical trees tend to do best in garden zones below 8.


Packed with the antioxidant lycophene, tomatoes can protect against breast cancer and heart disease. Better still, they are adaptable to any number of forms from sauces to salads and they are relatively easy to grow.


A real superfood, blueberries are packed with antioxidants and can help with memory loss and reduce eye strain, among many other benefits. Better yet, as they ripen in your garden you can easily add a handful or a few—depending upon your yield—to a bowl of cereal or to a smoothie


Rich in potassium and calcium, figs grow quickly in the garden and you don't need another variety for pollination (make sure you are buying a self-pollinating cultivar). Fig trees can also be easily grown in containers, making them ideal for gardens with limited space.


This Marner Early Red, is an early cabbage with medium sized heads. This variety has great flavor either raw in salads or cooked. Cabbage has been found to have cholesterol-lowering and cancer-prevention benefits.

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