For you to embark on a healthy meal plan, you need vegetables. There is no getting around this. “We should all be eating fruits and vegetables as if our lives depend on it - because they do,” says Michael Greger, a physician at Cornell University.
The human body can only function properly when fed with the right nutrients in reasonable proportions and this includes vegetables.
As we shall see in this article, vegetables have many important benefits including some you will not have known of. Now when it comes to the Keto diet, vegetables become crucial. This is because some of them, as we shall later discover, contain low carbohydrate levels and high fat content. This makes it crucial knowing what vegetables to eat and having a Keto vegetables list.
If you are looking to go green, you may well benefit from knowing what my absolute top vegetables on Keto diet are, read on and all will be revealed.
A Quick Keto Diet Guide
Basically, when you are on a keto diet you tend to eat foods with low carb. In place of the carbohydrates, you take in more fats. This is to stimulate a metabolic process known as ketosis. During this process, the body burns fat to produce energy due to the deficiency of carbohydrates. Through this, you lose weight.
A Keto Diet Vegetable Balance For Success
When following a Keto diet, you have to balance your nutrients. You'll need proteins, vitamins and alternative energy giving nutrients. Most Keto diets consist of animal products like beef, bacon, chicken, mutton and fish.
All these types of meat are low in carbs and high in both fat and proteins. Ketogenic vegetables provide the body with vitamins and vegetable oil. With these foods, you'll have all the nutrients needed to keep a balanced diet.
The Top 13 Vegetables On Keto Diet
Below are some of the vegetables that you might want to consider to put on your Keto vegetables list. These are all readily available at most supermarkets and easy to prepare when making Keto vegetables dishes.
When going ketogenic you can't miss to add spinach to the menu. This dark green, Persian vegetable is packed with many nutrients. 100g of fresh spinach contains 20 calories of energy and like other dark green veggies, spinach is loaded with vitamins. A serving of spinach contains the following nutrients:
Iron (35.1%), vitamin B2 (32.3%), vitamin C (23.5%) and calcium (29%.)
Spinach contains tons of antioxidants which helps in regulating the amount of free radicals in your body minimising your chances of getting cancer. The calcium present in spinach also help to keep high blood pressure at bay.
Lastly and most importantly, spinach is low in carbs. A serving of spinach contains only 4 grams of carbs. However, I would advise you to avoid overcooking it. Cooking spinach shrinks it increasing the concentration of carb per serving.
2. Bell Pepper
As the name suggests, this is a bell-shaped vegetable packing lots of goodness. 100 grams of bell pepper contains 3 grams of carbs making it a good nutritional low carb vegetable as it is a good source of vitamin A. This vitamin improves eyesight and night vision. It is also packed with vitamin B6 which helps in the regeneration of red blood cells in the red bone marrow hence preventing anaemia.
Bell peppers also contain an antioxidant known as lycopene. This chemical is responsible for its bright red colour. Lycopene does not only make bell pepper look appealing, but it also helps to destroy cancer cells.
This is an Italian vegetable commonly known as the 'green summer squash'. It is a very versatile vegetable that can fit in almost any diet plan. You can eat it raw or grill it to bring out its awesome savoury flavour.
In addition to that, it is ultra-low in calories as one serving will only yield 19 calories.100 grams of zucchini has 2.1 grams of carbs. It also has high water and electrolyte content. This will help with digestion and prevent chronic illnesses along the gut. If you haven't tried it out, what are you waiting for!
4. Green Beans
In a Keto diet, you should also consider some legumes. Green beans also known as string beans is a good option for you to look at. A serving of green beans contains 31 calories and 3% of proteins making them a very Keto-friendly legume.
Green beans have been proven to contain the lowest percentage of carbs in the legume family. 1 cup of green beans (100g) contains only 4.3 grams of carbs. It contains antioxidants known as carotenoids. Neurologists claim that these antioxidants reduce the rate of memory loss during old age. In addition to that, this legume is high in folate. Folate is a compound that reduces the levels of homocysteine in the bloodstream. (the causative agent of depression).
Finally, green beans contains a green-colouring pigment called chlorophyll which can help the body to fight cancer cells.
Olives though known as fruits, are usually eaten as vegetables. Most people following Keto diets focus so much on avoiding carbs they forget the fact that they will still need energy. It is for this reason that you should incorporate veggies with energy-giving properties in your diet.
Olives have olive oil making them a good energy snack. In one serving of olives, you will be able to get 115 calories. This makes it a good substitute for carbs. The same 100g of olives contain only 23 grams of carbs.
Olives are also rich in vitamin E which in turn improves general body metabolism. The main component of olive oil is Oleic acid. This fatty acid decreases inflammation in the gut and also improves skin and hair health.
This tasty fungus has many health benefits.100 grams of dried mushroom contains 2.3 grams of carbs. It is a good source of proteins. Edible mushrooms contain proteins known as lectins which fight breast cancer cells.
The Department of Food Science in the University of Florida established that eating mushrooms on a daily basis significantly boosts immunity. In fact, many pharmaceutical companies use mushrooms to manufacture chronic illness drugs. This is because edible mushroom species have many chemicals with healing properties.
Like other dark green leafy veggies, Kale is a great option to look at when preparing a Keto diet. A serving of fresh garden Kale (3 cups) contains 20 calories and like spinach, it is also packed with vitamins namely vitamin A and C.
Kale also contains antioxidants that will specifically help your skin from breaking and ageing. This leafy vegetable has a very low carb count as 100 grams of fresh kale has only 5.2 grams of carbs.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable. Most cruciferous vegetables usually have low percentages of carbs. One serving of raw broccoli(90 grams ) contains 6 grams of carbs and is packed with important nutrients.
Apart from being rich in vitamins A, B1 and B2, like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli contains an important antioxidant known as lutein. This antioxidant aids in protecting your eyes from the sun's UV radiation. Broccoli is also known to reduce prostate cancer risks.
When you consider all of these health benefits, you might just want to have Broccoli on the top of your shopping list when going Keto.
Asparagus is another low carb veggie that packs a punch. For 100g of asparagus( 5 Spears), you will only take in 2 grams of carbs. It is loaded with vitamin A, C and K.
Asparagus is also a good source of folic acid and therefore improves mental health.
With only 2 grams of net carbs per serving, lettuce is one of the lowest carb vegetable in the market. This crispy vegetable is a great source of vitamin A (beta-carotene), this vitamin is vital for maintaining moist and healthy skin.
Lettuce is however a low calorie vegetable.100 grams of lettuce will only yield 15 calories. Nevertheless, you should try it once or twice when preparing your Keto die plan.
Be sure to check out the Keto lettuce wrap sandwich recipe further down this article!
Whether a vegetable or a fruit (some would argue) cucumbers are highly nutritious. They are loaded with vitamin K (62% of the Reference Daily Intake) as well as many other nutrients.
300 grams of unpeeled cucumber contains 2 grams of proteins 2.5 grams of fibre, potassium (13% of the R.D.I.) and Manganese (12% of the R.D.I.).
However, cucumbers contains no trace of fat. You will need to eat these with a high fat food like avocados or fatty fish to keep your diet balance. 100g grams of cucumber contains 3.1 grams of carbs. This qualifies it to be a Keto friendly vegetable.
Cumcumbers also have high water content (96% of water) which promotes hydration and healthy digestion. As well as that cucumbers contain antioxidant properties that reduce the risk of chronic diseases and according to a recent study, zoologists suggest that they can also protect brain health.
Cauliflower is a very bulky vegetable. It has a subtle and mild taste. This makes it a good substitute for high carb vegetables like potatoes.
100g of cauliflower has 5 grams of carbs. Cauliflower contains a lot of fibre ans this helps in digestion by preventing constipation and chronic illnesses related to the alimentary canal.
This is a very common vegetable; one that you find in every kitchen. Tomatoes are packed with flavour allowing you to make delicious Keto vegetable soup and numerous other great dishes, however, did you know that tomatoes are also awesome antioxidants?
The lycopene found in them (responsible for the red colour) is a powerful antioxidant that can keep your entire bodies metabolism in check. Tomatoes are also It is rich in vitamin A and vitamin K1, Vitamin K1 aids in blood clotting and scab formation.
Great Tasting Keto Vegetables Recipes You Need To Try
Many usually assume that keeping up with a Keto diet is a struggle due to the dietary constraints. That is simply not the case, with the right recipe you will will quickly forget what you have become accustomed to.
There are many amazing Keto combos that will leave your taste buds wanting more. However, you should maintain a balanced diet while following the Keto vegetables recipes. Using some of the Ketogenic veggies mentioned above, you can try out the following simple yet delicious Keto vegetables recipes, such as;
Keto Lettuce Wrap Sandwich
This is a mouth-watering gluten free snack that packs enough calories to take you for 4 hours. You can have it as an in-between meals snack. With these few ingredients and simple instructions you will be able to make it in a snap.
8 frozen lettuce leaves
A teaspoon of mustard
2 slices of chicken breast
1 parchment paper
5 slices of cucumber
4 half cut tamotoes
1 small red red onion
1 (2-oz.) Halloumi cheese
Put the parchment paper on a chopping board. Place the frozen lettuce leaves in layers (One on top of the other). Ensure that there is no space left between the lettuce leaves. Add the chicken breast slices on top. You can then add the tomato, cucumber, red onion slices and halloumi cheese pieces over the chicken slices. Finally, wrap it all up using the parchment paper. When you are done, remove the paper and slice the lettuce wrap with a knife. Bon appetit!
Ground up beef steak with chopped up ball peppers
If you are a ground beef lover, this combo is just for you! It is very easy to prepare and it won't cost you more than 30 minutes
500 grams of Ground-up
3 bulbs of grounded garlic
half a teaspoon of hot
3 leaves of frozen spinach
2 slices of bell peppers
Dice up the onions and add the olive oil on the pan and heat it up. Add the onions and stir them until they become translucent. Next, you can add the ground garlic together with hot pepper. Season with salt for taste. Add the ground-up beef steak and stir gently until it makes an even mixture with the ingredients. Add the spinach and stir everything for consistency. Stir fry it and let it cook for 5 minutes. When ready, serve hot with sliced bell pepper. You can also take it with some kale smoothie.
As I mentioned before, cauliflower can serve as a great substitute for potatoes. From its texture to its colour you won't be able to tell the difference.
500g of cauliflower
100g of dairy butter
70 grams of cheese
30g of Kale
Slice the cauliflower into quarters. You should then transfer them to a pan. Season them with a tablespoon of salt. Boil it under medium heat for 15 minutes (until the flowers become tender) when boiled, discard the water using a colander. Use a food processor to mash the cauliflower. Using your index finger, feel its texture (should feel like plasticine). As you mash, add olive oil to smoothen the cauliflower. Once you are done, add lemon zest to taste and finally garnish with a touch of finely chopped kale.