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The Top 15 Most Nutritious Vegetables for Men

By: Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.,

Writer at The Fit Father Project

most nutritious vegetables
Eating the most nutritious vegetables is an excellent way to drop unwanted pounds, stay slim and trim, and meet daily nutritional needs. While all vegetables are healthy, a few top the list as being the most nutritious vegetables of all time.

Most Nutritious Vegetables
#15: Carrots

carrots most nutritious vegetablesCarrots are known for being good for your eyes and rich in vitamin A, which is one reason this vegetable is one of the healthiest you'll find. Nutrition information for 1 cup of raw carrots is as follows:

  • 50 calories per cup
  • 1 gram of protein
  • 12 grams of carbohydrates
  • 3 grams of fiber
  • 40 milligrams of calcium
  • 15 milligrams of magnesium
  • 43 milligrams of phosphorous
  • 390 milligrams of potassium
  • 7 milligrams of vitamin C
  • 23 micrograms of folate
  • 1,019 micrograms of vitamin A
  • 1 milligram of vitamin E
  • 16 micrograms of vitamin K

Carrots go well with just about any dish. Cook carrots and season them with salt, roast carrots with olive oil, dip raw carrots in hummus, use carrots in soups or salads, or add this nutritious vegetable to casseroles.

Most Nutritious Vegetables
#14: Broccoli

Broccoli is a non-starchy veggie that makes the list of the most nutritious vegetables for numerous reasons. This healthy veggie is low in calories but rich in fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K — making it the perfect addition to weight loss meals and menus. The calorie breakdown of 1 cup of raw broccoli is as follows:

broccoli soup most nutritious vegetables

  • 31 calories per cup
  • 3 grams of protein
  • 6 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2 grams of fiber
  • 43 milligrams of calcium
  • 1 grams of iron
  • 19 milligrams of magnesium
  • 60 milligrams of phosphorous
  • 288 milligrams of potassium
  • 81 milligrams of vitamin C
  • 57 micrograms of folate
  • 28 micrograms of vitamin A
  • 1 milligram of vitamin E
  • 93 micrograms of vitamin K

Broccoli goes with just about any dish. Eat it as a side dish, dip it in hummus, try a roasted broccoli recipe — or mix it into salads, casseroles, or stir fry.

Most Nutritious Vegetables
#13: Tomatoes

Tomatoes are low in calories, but rich in antioxidants like vitamin C. This nutrient-dense veggie is also a good source of vitamin A, potassium, and fiber, which is why tomatoes make the list of the most nutritious vegetables. A cup of raw red tomatoes provides:

cherry tomatoes most nutritious vegetables

  • 32 calories per cup
  • 2 grams of protein
  • 7 grams of carbs
  • 2 grams of fiber
  • 18 milligrams of calcium
  • 20 milligrams of magnesium
  • 43 milligrams of phosphorous
  • 427 milligrams of potassium
  • 25 milligrams of vitamin C
  • 27 micrograms of folate
  • 76 micrograms of vitamin A
  • 1 milligram of vitamin E
  • 14 micrograms of vitamin K

Tomatoes go with just about any meal and menu, and taste great when eaten raw! Add tomatoes to omelets, soups, or salads. Top sandwiches, turkey burgers, or veggie burgers with tomato slices. Consider using tomatoes in a tomato mozzarella salad recipe.

Most Nutritious Vegetables
#12: Red Cabbage

Red cabbage is a low-calorie vegetable ideal for weight loss as it's packed with fiber, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. The nutrient breakdown for 1 cup of chopped red cabbage is:

red cabbage most nutritious vegetables

  • 28 calories per cup
  • 1 gram of protein
  • 7 grams of carbs
  • 2 grams of fiber
  • 40 milligrams of calcium
  • 1 gram of iron
  • 14 milligrams of magnesium
  • 27 milligrams of phosphorous
  • 216 milligrams of potassium
  • 51 milligrams of vitamin C
  • 16 micrograms of folate
  • 50 micrograms of vitamin A
  • 34 micrograms of vitamin K

To reap all of the nutritional benefits red cabbage offers, eat it as part of a sauerkraut recipe, leafy green salads, vinegar-based coleslaw, or in red cabbage soup.

Most Nutritious Vegetables
#11: Swiss Chard

You probably realize that leafy greens are some of the most nutritious vegetables out there, and Swiss chard is no exception. That’s because it contains numerous vitamins and minerals, but provides just 7 calories per cup! The nutrition breakdown of each 1-cup portion of Swiss chard is a follows:

swiss chard most nutritious vegetables

  • 7 calories
  • 1 gram of protein
  • 1 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1 gram of fiber
  • 18 milligrams of calcium
  • 1 gram of iron
  • 29 milligrams of magnesium
  • 17 milligrams of phosphorous
  • 136 milligrams of potassium
  • 11 milligrams of vitamin C
  • 5 micrograms of folate
  • 110 micrograms of vitamin A
  • 1 milligram of vitamin E

Add Swiss chard to salads or soups, cook Swiss chard with garlic, or blend it into protein smoothies to pack in some extra nutrients.

Most Nutritious Vegetables
#10: Sweet Potatoes

A starchy vegetable that boosts satiety, sweet potatoes make the list of the most nutritious vegetables due to high fiber, potassium, and vitamin A content. A 1-cup portion of cooked sweet potatoes (mashed) provides the following:

sweet potatoes most nutritious vegetables

  • 176 calories
  • 3 grams of protein
  • 41 grams of carbohydrates
  • 3 grams of fiber
  • 62 milligrams of calcium
  • 1 gram of iron
  • 37 milligrams of magnesium
  • 77 milligrams of phosphorous
  • 664 milligrams of potassium
  • 1 milligram of zinc
  • 16 milligrams of vitamin C
  • 39 micrograms of folate
  • 1,836 micrograms of folate
  • 1 milligram of vitamin E
  • 4 micrograms of vitamin K

Choose baked sweet potatoes as a side dish, mash sweet potatoes, or add this healthy veggie to soups. Try a roasted sweet potato recipe to wow dinner guests.

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Most Nutritious Vegetables
#9: Asparagus

Green-colored veggies are some of the most nutritious vegetables you’ll come across, and asparagus is a favorite among many Americans. This healthy vegetable is rich in protein, fiber, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. The nutrient breakdown for 1 cup of cooked asparagus is:

asparagus salad most nutruitious vegetables

  • 40 calories per cup
  • 4 grams of protein
  • 7 grams of carbs
  • 4 grams of fiber
  • 41 milligrams of calcium
  • 2 grams of iron
  • 25 milligrams of magnesium
  • 97 milligrams of phosphorous
  • 403 milligrams of potassium
  • 1 milligram of zinc
  • 14 milligrams of vitamin C
  • 268 micrograms of folate
  • 90 micrograms of vitamin A
  • 3 milligrams of vitamin E
  • 91 micrograms of vitamin K

Asparagus works well on top of salads, mixed into asparagus omelets, used in soups or casseroles, or roasted in olive oil and sesame seeds (or slivered almonds).

Most Nutritious Vegetables
#8: Green Peas

Green peas are rich in plant-based protein, fiber, potassium, and carbohydrates. Therefore, you can count this nutritious veggie as a starch when dividing your plate into food groups. A cup of cooked green peas provides the following:

green peas most nutritious vegetables

  • 134 calories per cup
  • 9 grams of protein
  • 25 grams of carbohydrates
  • 9 grams of fiber
  • 43 milligrams of calcium
  • 2 grams of iron
  • 62 milligrams of magnesium
  • 187 milligrams of phosphorous
  • 434 milligrams of potassium
  • 2 milligrams of zinc
  • 23 milligrams of vitamin C
  • 3 milligrams of niacin
  • 101 micrograms of folate
  • 64 micrograms of vitamin A
  • 41 micrograms of vitamin K

Eat green peas as a side dish, or add this veggie to salads, a split pea soup recipe, or casseroles.

Most Nutritious Vegetables
#7: Black Beans

There are numerous reasons black beans make the list of the most nutritious vegetables of all time. This healthy starchy veggies is packed with fiber, protein, potassium, and iron, which makes it an excellent meat alternative for vegetarian and vegan dieters. A cup of cooked black beans provides the following:

black beans most nutritious vegetables

  • 227 calories per cup
  • 15 grams of protein
  • 41 grams of carbs
  • 15 grams of fiber
  • 46 milligrams of calcium
  • 4 milligrams of iron
  • 120 milligrams of magnesium
  • 241 milligrams of phosphorous
  • 611 milligrams of potassium
  • 2 milligrams of zinc
  • 256 micrograms of folate
  • 2 milligrams of vitamin E
  • 6 micrograms of vitamin K

Add black beans to burritos, casseroles, cold bean salads, soups, or breakfast omelets to reap all of the nutritional benefits these legumes offer.

Most Nutritious Vegetables
#6: Red Peppers

Believe it or not, red peppers are an excellent vitamin C source. These non-starchy, low-calorie veggies are also rich in fiber, potassium, folate, and vitamin A. A 1-cup portion of red bell peppers provides:

red peppers most nutruitious vegetables

  • 39 calories per cup
  • 2 grams of protein
  • 9 grams of carbohydrates
  • 3 gram of fiber
  • 10 milligrams of calcium
  • 1 grams of iron
  • 18 grams of magnesium
  • 39 grams of phosphorous
  • 314 milligrams of potassium
  • 190 milligrams of vitamin C
  • 69 micrograms of folate
  • 234 micrograms of vitamin A
  • 2 milligrams of vitamin E
  • 7 micrograms of vitamin K

Try adding red peppers to soups, salads, omelets, tacos, stir fry, or burritos — or dipping red pepper slices in hummus for a nutritious mid-day snack.

Most Nutritious Vegetables
#5: Kale

Kale is in the leafy green family, which is why it’s one of the most nutritious vegetables of all time. Raw kale provides just 7 calories per cup, and is a good source of calcium, potassium, and vitamin K. The nutrient breakdown for 1 cup of raw kale includes:

most nutritious vegetables

  • 7 calories per cup
  • 1 gram of protein
  • 1 gram of carbohydrates
  • 1 gram of fiber
  • 53 milligrams of calcium
  • 12 milligrams of phosphorous
  • 73 milligrams of potassium
  • 20 milligrams of vitamin C
  • 13 micrograms of folate
  • 51 micrograms of vitamin A
  • 82 micrograms of vitamin K

Use kale in leafy green salads, casseroles, or soups, on top of veggie or turkey burgers, or as part of an energizing protein-rich kale smoothie recipe.

Most Nutritious Vegetables
#4: Portabella Mushrooms

Portabella mushrooms are an excellent source of protein and niacin, which is why this nutritious vegetable is often used as a plant-based meat alternative among vegetarian and vegan dieters. The nutrition breakdown for 1 cup of grilled portabella mushrooms is:

Portabella most nutruitious vegetables

  • 35 calories
  • 4 grams of protein
  • 5 grams of carbohydrates
  • 3 grams of fiber
  • 4 milligrams of calcium
  • 16 milligrams of magnesium
  • 163 milligrams of phosphorous
  • 529 milligrams of potassium
  • 1 milligram of zinc
  • 8 milligrams of niacin
  • 23 micrograms of folate

Portabella mushrooms work well in soups or omelets, on top of salads, and as part of a grilled portabella mushroom recipe used for a main dish!

Most Nutritious Vegetables
#3: Spinach

Spinach is one of the most nutritious vegetables you'll find due to its low calorie content (7 calories per cup) and high nutritional profile. It's rich in potassium, folate, and vitamin K. Nutrients in 1 cup of raw spinach worth noting include:

spinach most nutruitious vegetables

  • 7 calories per cup
  • 1 gram of protein
  • 1 gram of carbohydrates
  • 1 gram of fiber
  • 30 milligrams of calcium
  • 1 gram of iron
  • 24 milligrams of magnesium
  • 15 milligrams of phosphorous
  • 167 milligrams of potassium
  • 8 milligrams of vitamin C
  • 58 micrograms of folate
  • 141 micrograms of vitamin A
  • 145 micrograms of vitamin K
  • 1 milligram of vitamin E

Add raw spinach leaves to fresh spinach salads, casseroles or soups, veggie omelets — or blend spinach into nutrient-dense weight loss protein smoothies.

Most Nutritious Vegetables
#2: Beets

Deep red-colored veggies are usually packed with nutrients, and beets are no exception. This nutritious vegetable is an excellent source of protein, fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K, making beets a top pick. The nutritional content of 1 cup of beet pieces includes:

beets most nutruitious vegetables

  • 39 calories per cup
  • 4 grams of protein
  • 8 grams of carbohydrates
  • 4 grams of fiber
  • 164 milligrams of calcium
  • 3 grams of iron
  • 98 milligrams of magnesium
  • 59 milligrams of phosphorous
  • 1,309 milligrams of potassium
  • 1 milligram of zinc
  • 36 milligrams of vitamin C
  • 20 micrograms of folate
  • 552 micrograms of vitamin A
  • 3 milligrams of vitamin E
  • 697 micrograms of vitamin K

Beets have a naturally sweet flavor, and work well as a side dish for just about any meal. Use beets in salad recipes, add them to soups, or blend beets into healthy protein smoothies.

Most Nutritious Vegetables
#1: Brussels Sprouts

Containing just 56 calories per cup, Brussels sprouts top the list as the healthiest vegetable of all. It’s loaded with fiber, folate, iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin K. This nutritious veggie even provides protein! The nutrient breakdown of 1 cup of cooked Brussels sprouts is:

brussel sprouts most nutruitious vegetables

  • 56 calories per cup
  • 4 grams of protein
  • 11 grams of carbs
  • 4 grams of fiber
  • 56 milligrams of calcium
  • 2 grams of iron
  • 31 milligrams of magnesium
  • 87 milligrams of phosphorous
  • 495 milligrams of potassium
  • 97 milligrams of vitamin C
  • 94 micrograms of folate
  • 61 micrograms of vitamin A
  • 1 milligram of vitamin E
  • 219 micrograms of vitamin K

Brussels sprouts taste great roasted in olive oil, salt, and other seasonings — and work well in soups, casseroles, and salads.

How to Roast or Grill Vegetables

Roasting or grilling vegetables is an excellent way to make your favorite veggies taste delicious. Simply sprinkle nutritious vegetables of your choice with one or more of the following ingredients:

most nutruitious vegetables

  • Olive oil
  • Red or white onions
  • Garlic
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, or rosemary

To grill or roast your favorite non-leafy vegetables, use one of the following methods:

  1. Grill oil-coated veggies for 4 to 10 minutes (cooking time varies by vegetable) over medium-high heat on the grill.

OR

  1. Roast oil-coated vegetables on a baking sheet in the oven (at 425 degree Fahrenheit) for 10 to 20 minutes or until tender.

You can use a grilled vegetables recipe or a roasted vegetables recipe for some ingredient ideas to get you started.

How Many Vegetables Should I Eat?

When following a weight loss plan for men containing about 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day, aim to eat at least 2 – 3 cups (or more) of veggies daily. Another way to think about it is to fill each plate:

  • 1/2 full with non-starchy veggies
  • 1/4 full with healthy protein foods
  • 1/4 full with starches

If you’re still unsure about how to incorporate veggies into weight loss meals plans or simply don’t have extra time to do so, sign up for Fit Father Project’s free 1-day meal plan to get you headed in the right direction. A healthy weight is within reach!

>>> Click here to download our meal plan! <<<

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Erin Coleman B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer at The Fit Father Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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