You can’t go wrong with eating vegetables. In fact, according to the Harvard School of Public HealthA diet that includes plenty of vegetables on a regular basis can help you prevent heart disease, control blood pressure, improve your digestion, and help you control your blood sugar levels.
In addition to these health benefits, vegetables can also help you achieve your weight loss goals. A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that increasing your consumption of vegetables can contribute to more weight loss.
To find out more, we asked some expert dietitians to determine which vegetables are the best for weight loss. And for more healthy weight loss tips, check out 5 Best Breakfast Habits for Belly Fat Loss.
Broccoli is a versatile vegetable that people like to eat raw, steamed or baked. And in addition to its versatility, it’s also a great addition to your diet plan if you’re trying to lose a few pounds.
“Broccoli contains antioxidants, which are known to reduce inflammation in the body, among other things. These nutrients in broccoli are unique in their effect,” says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD at Balance One Supplements.
“This vegetable also supplies the body with sulforaphane, an antioxidant plant compound that gives this vegetable most of its anti-inflammatory benefits. Sulforaphane works by lowering cytokines and NF-kB, the substances that drive the inflammatory process. When these are abundant in the body and let it persist dangerous levels of inflammation can be reached.” Because research shows that chronic inflammation can cause weight gain, reducing it can help you lose weight.
Peppers are a delicious vegetable with a mild flavor, so they are great to add to a variety of dishes.
Peppers are ideal vegetables to add to a weight-loss diet. They are low in calories and high in nutrients, while also helping to create a feeling of fullness after meals. This combination can help prevent overeating during the rest of the day.” says Dear.
In addition to aiding weight loss, bell peppers are also packed with nutrients that benefit the body in important ways, but most of the general public doesn’t know how healthy they actually are. Red bell peppers contain more vitamin C than oranges, which is an important nutrient for immune-supporting benefits, but also improves iron absorption.
Things like onions, garlic, scallions, shallot, leeks, and chives are considered alliums. Packed with flavor, these veggies are great for a healthy meal plan, and because they have so much flavor, they can make up for the high-calorie flavor additives you can add to foods.
“These low-calorie, flavorful veggies can be used in so many ways, from soups to sauces, condiments and salads, and more. One of the easiest ways to cut total calories is to go for a whole food flavor and cut it out. swap out ultra-processed dressings and sauces, soups, and other packaged foods that may provide you with familiar flavors but very few nutrients and lots of extra empty calories,” says Jonathan Isbill MS, RD, LDMaster in Nutrition and Dietetics, Registered Dietitian, Holistic Health Coach and Educator.
As a bonus, Isbill notes that onions “are also a great source of whole food prebiotics to support healthy microbiome balance and happy digestion.”
If you’re someone who can take a little spice in the kitchen, you might want to try adding some hot peppers to your next meal to aid weight loss!
“I love adding hot peppers and chilies to someone’s meal plan to enhance the flavor and heat of their dishes. The interesting thing about vegetables that come from the bell pepper plant genus is that they capsaicin, known to boost mood, metabolism and reduce inflammation, while also promoting endorphins release and giving some people an extra calorie burn. Capsaicin can raise body temperature and cause you to burn a few extra calories thanks to this thermic effect of these foods,” says Isbill.
Some people love beets, others hate them. But if you’re a beet lover, you’ll be happy to know that they’re packed with beneficial nutrients to aid in weight loss.
“Since they are rich in nitrates, beets have long been valued by athletes and high performers as a way to increase nitric oxide levels in the body. This extra boost of NO can help fuel exercise, support blood flow, maximize recovery and may even improve performance for some,” Isbill says. And when you get more out of your fat-burning workouts, you can support your weight loss goals.
“Many people like beet juice and you can also stir-fry their vegetables, add them to a salad, or blend them into a smoothie,” he adds.