When it comes to losing weight, veggies are one of your BIGGEST allies. MyPlate recommends that you make half your plate fruits and veggies, popular meal plans and diet programs often include them as an unlimited choice, and dietitians, medical professionals and scientists the world over promote the health benefits of fruits and vegetables – from losing weight to preventing heart disease and cancer.
But even with all these benefits, all this glory, and the diet-friendly fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals, sometimes, we just don’t want to eat them… That same old lettuce, spinach, carrots and celery can get a little old after a while, even when you know how good vegetables can be in your weight loss efforts.
If that’s the case for you, it may be time to give your healthy diet a little flare (and a boost) with these exotic vegetables loaded with fiber, flavor and all the good stuff you need to reach and maintain a healthy weight without feeling deprived:
Kohlrabi – Popular in India, this veggie has been making inroads in the U.S., thanks to its mild flavor and crisp texture. Chop it up and add it to stir-fries or slice it and enjoy raw with a little hummus for added fiber in your diet to keep you feeling full.
Nopales – These cactus pads may not look all that tempting on the cactus, but once the spines are removed, they can make a tasty and lower calorie addition to your meals, especially if you’re a fan of Mexican cuisine. Try them cooked or raw in salads, tacos and soups. Get started with this Nopales Salad recipe.
Artichoke – With a history rooted in Greek mythology, how could we leave this veggie off the list? Artichoke can be a little intimidating with its prickly exterior, but it is definitely well-worth the effort, thanks to a unique and well-loved flavor plus lots of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and antioxidants. Roast, grill, boil or buy the hearts packed in water as a topping for salads, pizzas, sandwiches or a side dish all on its own.
Calabaza – If you like your veggies a little on the sweet side, this may be the exotic vegetable for you. This slightly sweet squash is low in fat and calories and can add fiber and flavor to your meal as a savory sweet side or as part of a comforting stew and more. Get started with a recipe like this.
Find these exotic vegetables and so many more at restaurants across the country! Search for choices near you on HealthyDiningFinder.com.