At the peak of summer, all the markets are filled with what seems like dozens of fresh veggies. While it's best to eat a variety of foods -- buy and eat them all, if you have the urge -- sometimes it can seem like we have too many choice.
Here's fresh news about which vegetables have the most anti-oxidants (disease-fighting substances) and therefore deserve starring roles on our plates.
A recent study of close to 30 different types of veggies put these three at the top of the list: broccoli, beets, and bell peppers (the red kind). Yep, the top-notch veggies all start with B. Makes it easier to remember, doesn't it?
The recent tests measuring total antioxidant content of the veggies revealed that they were particularly high in phenols -- that category of disease-fighting plant compounds that does everything from bolstering artery function to inhibiting the kind of cell damage that might lead to cancer or Alzheimer's. Broccoli and bell peppers are also a top source of antioxidant vitamin C. And beets are full of blood-pressure-friendly potassium.
Why They're Better than POTATOES
Though broccoli, bell peppers, and beets were tops in the recent study, it turns out we get most of our antioxidants from . . . potatoes. Not because they are more nutritious, but because we eat so many of them. (Alas, mostly French fries, too.) So the next time you reach for the potato sack for your side dish, try one of these recipes on for size instead.
- Skip the usual potato salad at your next picnic and serve this quick 20-minute salad: Broccoli Slaw.
- Forget the baked potato and make this: Lemon-Herb Roasted Beets.
- Bright bell peppers become a colorful side or vegetarian main with this recipe: Greek Orzo Stuffed Peppers.