By Jennifer Poindexter
Are you trying to eat a diet rich in nutrients? Would you like to know which vegetables and herbs are the most nutrient-dense?
Understanding a plant’s nutritional value is important because it can help you plan your garden and ensure you’re growing more of what you need.
Eating a nutritious diet is important for many reasons. The most obvious reason is it helps our bodies have what they need to function properly.
If you’re interested in growing a home garden filled with vegetables and herbs high in nutrients, here are the plants you should consider:
1. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a great crop to grow if you’re considering the amount of nutrients in one vegetable. This crop is a great source of fiber, protein, and potassium.
Plus, it’s high in beta carotene. Sweet potatoes are also a great source for vitamins B and C. If you need a vegetable that grows well in warmer temperatures and brings plenty of nutrients to the table, sweet potatoes could be for you.
Basil is a delicious herb that’s great for growing indoors or outdoors. You may use it to make tea, add it to marinara sauce, or use the herb for garnish.
However, basil is a great choice for your garden for more reasons than its versatility. This herb is a good source for calcium, antioxidants, and vitamin K.
Kohlrabi is a unique vegetable that some people love and grow regularly, while others tend to stay away from it. If you’re on the fence as to whether you should add kohlrabi to your garden, maybe its nutrient profile will help you decide.
When you grow kohlrabi, you’re growing a plant that’s a great source of vitamin C. Whether you dislike citrus or aren’t in the right planting zone to grow it, consider growing kohlrabi as a backyard source for this vitamin.
4. Collard Greens
I love collard greens. Not only are they tasty, but you can eat them fresh, freeze them, or preserve them by canning.
By growing collard greens, you’re growing a vegetable that’s a wonderful source of fiber. These plants also are high in protein and calcium. Plus, they’re rich in antioxidants.
Cilantro is an herb that you get two products for one. You may eat the original foliage of the plant, but should you allow cilantro to go to seed, you receive coriander.
When consuming cilantro, it’s thought to help lower blood sugar levels. According to WebMD, coriander seeds may stimulate our bodies in such a way that sugar is removed from our bloodstream. Therefore, they recommend those using diabetic medication to use this herb with care.
Onions are a delicious vegetable that are easy to grow and preserve. You may dehydrate them, turn them into powder, freeze them, or hang onions in a cool, dry location for use over winter.
When you consume the onions you’ve grown, they become a valuable source for antioxidants. Antioxidants are important because they form a protective layer for our cells against free radicals which are thought to cause disease and cancer.
Mint is a delicious herb that should be grown in containers to help keep it growing in one place and avoid it from consuming an entire growing location. However, once the herb is ready for harvest, it could provide many benefits.
One benefit mint is thought to provide is a natural source of energy. You may enjoy this herb as a topping to your food or as a tea to try to receive this natural energy. According to WebMD, mint is also considered good for your gut health.
Spinach is a cold-hardy, simple crop to grow. It can be direct sown and as long as it’s watered regularly and weeds are kept to a minimum, you should have few problems with this crop.
When eating spinach, you’re consuming a vegetable that’s rich in antioxidants, is a great source of vitamins A and K, and is also thought to be a heart-healthy food.
Garlic can be grown in the ground, in beds, and in containers. It’s a low-maintenance crop that provides a tasty punch with each recipe it’s used.
Should you grow and consume garlic, this food is a good source for manganese, selenium, fiber, and vitamins C and B6.
Broccoli is a great vegetable to have around. It’s delicious in soup, when used as a side dish, or when incorporated into a salad.
Plus, this vegetable is high in nutrients as well. According to WebMD, broccoli is considered a natural anti-inflammatory food that helps reduce inflammation throughout the body. It’s also a good source of vitamin K, C, folate, potassium, and manganese.
11. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts have a similar flavor to cabbage and are delicious when used in a variety of recipes. My favorite recipe calls for the Brussels sprouts to be coated in a mustard-based sauce.
However you choose to fix this vegetable, know that you’re receiving beneficial nutrients with each bite. Brussels sprouts are high in antioxidants, manganese, potassium, folate, and vitamins A, K, and C. Plus, they’re a great source of fiber.
Carrots are an easy crop to grow and can be used raw or cooked. If you amend your soil prior to planting, sow the seeds directly, thin the sprouts when necessary, and water the crops regularly, you should be able to start carrots on the right foot.
If you need a good reason to grow carrots, consider this plant’s nutrition profile. This vegetable is a great source of beta carotene and vitamins A, C, and K. Plus, carrots are high in potassium.
13. Red Cabbage
I love red cabbage. It’s delicious when cooked, used in a salad, or fermented. Plus, it adds a splash of color to a meal.
If you need a few reasons to grow and consume more red cabbage, you might be happy to know that this vegetable is a great source of vitamin C. It’s rich in antioxidants and fiber as well.
14. Green Peas
Green peas are a great way to start your gardening season. These plants do well when the temperatures are still too cold to grow other vegetables.
Not to mention, the harvest is tasty and packed with nutrients. Green peas are a great source of plant-based protein and fiber. Plus, they’re rich in thiamine, folate, niacin, and vitamins A, C, and K.
Beets are great vegetables to grow because they produce quickly, and you may enjoy the root crop and their green tops, too.
When eating beets, you’re enjoying a vegetable that’s high in fiber, nitrates, and is a wonderful source for manganese and folate.
Kale is a sturdy green that’s wonderful when cooked or in a salad. One of my favorite ways to enjoy this green is to cut it up and mix with romaine lettuce when eating a grilled chicken Caesar salad.
Should you like to add kale to your garden and diet, know that it’s a great source for potassium, copper, calcium, and vitamins A, B, C, and K. Plus, the vegetable is high in antioxidants.
Asparagus is a wonderful perennial crop that can last up to two decades, if cared for correctly. If you’d like to incorporate this plant around your landscape, be advised that it may not only beautify your home, but it could boost the nutrients in your diet as well.
This plant is naturally high in selenium, thiamine, riboflavin, and folate. Plus, it’s an excellent source of vitamin K.
18. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is another delicious green to add to your garden. You may grow the regular Swiss chard or the rainbow variety to add even more color and nutrients to your diet.
This vegetable is known for being a good source of fiber and plant-based protein. Swiss chard is also high in magnesium, manganese, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, and K.
Cauliflower is a more difficult crop to grow because of its sensitivity to temperature changes. However, if you’re able to master the gardening technique of this plant, it could be a nutritious addition to your garden plot.
When growing cauliflower, you’re producing a crop that’s high in fiber and is a good source for plant-based protein. Plus, it’s high in folate and vitamins C and K.
20. Bell Peppers
Our final nutrient-dense crop to add to your garden is a bell pepper. This vegetable comes in a variety of colors which means you can consume a variety of nutrients in a single meal.
Bell peppers are high in vitamins A and C. Plus, they’re an excellent source of antioxidants, potassium, fiber, and folic acid.
You now have twenty vegetables and herbs that could make a wonderful addition to your growing space. Not only are the crops beautiful, but they contain many vitamins and nutrients our bodies need.
If you’d like to grow your garden based around nutrient-density, hopefully, this information will help. Begin by picking the vegetables which meet your nutritional needs (and that you enjoy) and begin the growing process when viable in your planting zone.