Vegetables are an essential part of every meal, and you can make your meals healthier by choosing these great summer vegetables:
Cucumbers belong to the gourd or squash family, and in scientific circles, they are referred to as fruits. However, they are generally considered vegetables in markets and households. Cucumbers are made up of 90 percent water, and they are often eaten in their raw green state. Their outer skin is rich in potassium, magnesium and fiber, which bring a wide range of health benefits to the body. Cucumbers also contain Vitamin C and Silica, which are important for tissue growth and skin cleansing. Their high water content makes them the ideal summer vegetables, and they are usually used as ingredients in salads, sandwiches and soups.
Mushrooms are all-season vegetables, but they are especially abundant during summer. The healthiest types of mushrooms are the Chanterelles and Porcinis. These mushrooms are rich in a number of nutrients and minerals, including fiber, potassium, riboflavin and niacin. It has been proven that these substances can promote the body's immune system. Mushrooms can be taken raw, or they can be prepared with other foods without interfering with the nutritional balance of the diet. They are commonly used in salads or added to other foods as accompaniments. When selecting mushrooms, you should make sure that they are dry and firm.
Zucchini is a summer squash vegetable that is rich in Vitamin A, B, C, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, protein and manganese. This vegetable has the same shape as the cucumber, but it is larger and it can grow to a maximum length of 3 feet. Zucchini is tastier when it is cooked. It can be grilled, boiled, steamed, stuffed, fried or even baked. It can also be eaten raw in a salad or sandwich. Zucchini flowers are also edible, and they can be deep-fried to make a tasty delicacy.
4. Broad Beans
Broad beans are also known as Fava beans or Faba beans, and they are one of the most common types of summer vegetables. These beans originate from northern Africa and southwestern Asia, but they are also cultivated in other parts of the world. Broad beans contain high amounts of fiber, protein, iron and potassium, as well as vitamins A and C, and they can help reduce blood pressure, relieve sores and enhance skin health. They are best eaten while they are still green, fresh and tender. Their leaves can be consumed raw or cooked, just like spinach. To get the most nutrition out of your broad beans, you have to steam them gently. They can also be used in salads and stews or served as a side dish.
Shallots come from the same family of vegetables as leeks, garlic and onions. They can reduce risk of cancer as they contain a very high concentration of antioxidants. Moreover, they contain anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties, which are important in preventing liver and colon diseases. They are the best alternative to onions, and they are usually used as a base for sauces and soups.