We all know veggies are good for us, but nutritional values make some of the better vegetables for weight loss. Not that you need to lose weight, but we can all use a little help getting or staying in shape, right?
I’ve picked some vegetables to grow for weight loss to help inspire you. If you don’t grow your own then you know how expensive it is to purchase organic veggies, if you can find them. Growing your own is easy and can be done in all kinds of different spaces.
When we think about weight loss, one of the first things to come to mind is the tomato. What’s a salad without one, right? A BLT wouldn’t be the same without it or one of my personal favorites, a tomato sandwich.
The tomato isn’t truly a vegetable, it’s classified as a fruit, but what vegetable garden would be complete without it? Since everyone already thinks of the tomato as a vegetable for weight loss, I didn’t pick it and other obvious ones to share with you.
The water and mineral value of the cucumber is underrated. My husband once told me how good they are for you and I questioned the validity of his statement. I had never considered them nutritious.
He had to prove it to me so we looked it up. Yes, as usual, he was right.
We enjoy adding them to smoothies and juicing them. Cucumber is a mainstay in our garden because of its versatility. You can add them to salads, eat them by themselves, soak them in vinegar, or preserve them as pickles, even grilled cucumber is good.
I like to dehydrate them and add them to my salads for a little something crunchy. It only takes a few cucumber plants to ensure a bountiful harvest for pickling and dehydrating.
You probably already know celery, like cucumber, is mostly water and contains almost no calories. You’ll burn more calories while eating it than the stick of celery contains!
Celery does offer fiber and a shot of protein. If you add peanut butter, almond butter, or cream cheese to your celery, be sure to keep it healthy. Yummy!
Broccoli contains slow-release carbs and no fat. This means your energy levels stay up long after you’ve eaten it. Eating broccoli as part of a healthy lifestyle or a weight management program will help prevent your body from feeling it’s being starved.
If your body thinks it’s starving, it will go into a cycle of binge eating which results in the failure of most “diet” plans. It’s tempting to smoother your broccoli in sauces or cheese, but we like to keep it lighter by eating it raw in a salad, chopping it up to make broccoli salad with homemade mayo, or steaming it and adding butter and real salt.
There are so many varieties of beans and we like them all, at least all the ones we’ve tried. Beans are known as a mainstay of providing protein for the body. Keeping the body supplied with protein will stop dreaded food cravings.
Beans are easy and fun to grow. I’m sure you know they’re a companion plant to corn. We wait until our corn is knee-high and then plant a variety of climbing beans between the hills. The beans grow up the corn stalk and enrich the soil by fixing nitrogen that the corn has used.
We usually plant at least 4 kinds of beans. Once the beans are up and it’s time, we plant pumpkins and butternut squash around them to form the group known as “the three sisters.”
Me in our cucumber and squash patch a couple of years ago
Spinach is probably my favorite green to grow in containers. The nutritional value of spinach makes it a superfood. It’s low in calories while among the highest in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, A, C, B2, B6, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, potassium, as well as protein. It’s a good source of fiber, omega-3, copper, and many more trace elements.
As one of the more versatile greens, spinach can be grown almost anywhere. We like to add it to scrambled eggs, omelets, smoothies, juices, sandwiches, and salads. It’s loaded with flavonoids which act as antioxidants that help protect against cancer-causing free radicals. Who doesn’t need more of those in today’s toxic world? I guess Popeye was a wise man after all!
The health benefits of spinach just keep on going. It’s a heart-healthy food and helps maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract. It helps fight inflammation for those who suffer from arthritis, osteoporosis, migraines, and asthma. Studies have proven it helps maintain brain function as we age!
In 2005, I had dangerously low iron levels due to hemorrhaging from another health issue. I want to say this was before we learned about GMOs and the toxicity of our food supply. Once we made the lifestyle change to remove these from our diets, our bodies healed of all manner of diseases. This is a story shared in another post.
Anyway, I used spinach, along with liver and blackstrap molasses, to boost my iron levels to be able to undergo surgery. Iron carries oxygen to your cells, which keeps your energy level up. Because spinach is one of the foods most heavily sprayed with pesticides, it’s important to eat only organic spinach.
6) Bell Peppers
Did you ever think of bell peppers as weight-loss food? One cup comes in at around 40 calories a serving. Bell peppers provide enough vitamins A and C to supply your daily needs.
They help control my sweet tooth as they have a natural sweetness all their own. I use them in all kinds of dishes as well as raw. Preserving them by dehydrating them makes it easy to store them for years to come.
If you’ve never had dehydrated bell pepper, you’re missing out. The flavor becomes so sweet and rich, I add them to everything from salads to gumbo.
Squash is one thing we grow a lot of. We like it in soups, salads, raw, grilled, and baked. We also grow it to feed livestock during winter. We grow crookneck yellow, butternut, zucchini, upper ground sweet potato, spaghetti, pumpkin, and acorn squash.
Spaghetti squash is a delicious, nutritious substitute for almost any pasta. Butternut squash is scrumptious when cut in half and baked in the oven or diced and steamed. I like to add butter and cinnamon to mine for a special burst of flavor.
One cup of yellow squash contains only 35 calories, 7 grams of carbs, 1 gram of protein, and less than one gram of fat. Squash is a great choice when trying to achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
To me, squash is one of the easiest vegetables to preserve. Butternut, spaghetti, acorn, and upper ground sweet potato are hardy winter keepers. I like to dehydrate zucchini and crook-neck for soups, salads, and casseroles.
You’ll need a little more garden space for some of these. Upper ground sweet potato, for instance, spreads far and wide. I’ve seen photos of people growing zucchini and butternut vertically, but I’ve never done it myself.
Onions are a part of our daily diet in one form or another. Onions contain a large amount of sulfur and are especially good for your liver. When partnered with protein-rich foods, they facilitate the actions of amino acids to help the brain and nervous systems function at their best.
Onions aid in detoxifying your body from heavy metals. Red and yellow varieties are the richest dietary source of quercitin which, among its many many health benefits, guards against stomach cancer.
It would be impossible for me to list all the vegetables good for weight loss. We could have discussed radishes, turnips, kale, or my favorite, the sweet potato. I decided to take a look at some not well-known for their weight-loss potential.
What other veggies do you consider good for achieving or maintaining a healthy weight?