Vegetables make a huge difference in any diet as they are full of fiber, low in calories and full of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. They help keep you feeling full for a longer time, and are perfect for low-carb diets. While all vegetables are beneficial, these 11 low carb veggies are especially beneficial for you and easy to work into any low carb diet.
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1. Bell peppers
Bell peppers, or capsicum, contain antioxidants which help reduce inflammation and prevent the oxidative damage of cholesterol and fats. While green, yellow and orange have similar nutrients; red peppers are higher in some antioxidants.
Inspiration: One cup contains 9gm of carbs of which 3gm are fiber and provides 93% of your daily vitamin A and 317% of vitamin C. Pair with some hummus or nice dip, and they make a great snack.
Mushrooms are very low in carbs- a cup contains just 2gm of carbs where 1 gm is fiber. They also have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Inspiration: I personally love mushrooms in soups, pasta, stir fry, or basically anything at all. Of course, raw is the best way to get all the nutrients, and are great in salads or slightly grilled with olive oil.
A leafy green vegetable, spinach offers many significant health benefits like preventing DNA damage, protecting heart health, and reducing the risk of common eye problems like cataracts and macular degeneration. Spinach is low in carbs but provides more than 10 times the recommended daily intake of vitamin K.
Inspiration: Spinach is an easy addition to any pasta, curry, or soup. A personal favorite is making a strawberry spinach salad with a light honey mustard or poppy seed dressing.
Though a fruit, avocados are more commonly consumed as vegetables. A cup of chopped avocados contains 13gm carbs, of which 10gms are fiber. Avocados are a great source of folate, potassium, vitamin C and oleic acid and help lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Inspiration: While avocados are high in calories, they are useful in weight management as they make you feel full. Burgers, salads, wraps, toast, plain, whatever form they’re in I just can’t get enough of this super food.
One of the lowest-carb vegetables around is lettuce as a cup contains only 2 gm carbs, and 1 gm is fiber. Different types of lettuce have different sources of vitamins like romaine, and other dark green varieties are rich in vitamins A, C and K and folate which may lower the risks of heart disease.
Inspiration: Try switching out your pre-made salad mix for some fresh romaine or opt for more caesar salads with dressing on the side while eating out.
Ok, onions actually aren’t super low regarding carbs, but since they’re not often consumed in super large quantities, they’re still really good for you. Onions are high in the antioxidant quercetin which helps reduce blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels.
Inspiration: Onions are my other favorite veggies besides mushrooms. Raw red onions are perfect in salads, dips, or on top of tomatoes with a little olive oil on bruschetta. White onions are an easy addition to any type of sauté in pasta, potatoes, sauces, or side for steak.
Kale is full of antioxidants and helps improve the body’s immune function, reduces blood pressure and protects against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other health problems. Kale also has more than 100% of the RDI for vitamins A and C.
Inspiration: Just one cup of raw kale gives 7 carbs of carbs where one 1 is from fiber. Some tasty ways to eat kale is making kale chips, in salads, or blending it into smoothies.
The radish is another low-carb vegetable where a cup of raw slices contains 4 grams of carbs of which 2gms are fiber. It has a sharp, peppery taste and has a rather high amount of Vitamin C, about 29% of the RDI per cup.
Inspiration: Add a little crunch to your salads, dips, or into some soups for a touch of color and plenty of health benefits.
A cup of chopped celery contains 3gm carbs of which 2gms are fiber. It’s an excellent source of vitamin K and contains the antioxidant luteolin which has anti-cancer properties. Smudge on a tiny bit of peanut butter and kids won’t be able to resist this tasty treat either.
A cup of chopped cucumber contains 4 gms carbs where about 1 gram is in the form of fiber. Though cucumbers don’t contain as many vitamins or minerals as some other veggies, they are very low in carbs, refreshing and contain vitamin A, B, C, D, and E.
Inspiration: Salads, dips, raw, or in water are great ways to enjoy cucumbers.
While a medium-sized artichoke contains about 14gms of carbs but has 10grams is from fiber, it is considered to be low in carbs. The fiber in artichoke contains inulin, a prebiotic which feeds on healthy gut bacteria for improved gut health. It also protects heart health by improving blood vessel functioning and reducing inflammatory markers.
Inspiration: Steamed or grilled with a nice pesto or garlic dip are a healthy and delicious way to enjoy artichokes. Artichokes hearts, which are many people’s favorite part, are often used in pasta, salads and stir fry as meat substitutes.
Now you see why these 11 vegetables are so popular in low-carb diets. They are not only low in carbs; they all contain fiber and their individual health benefits which make a huge difference to your health when consumed! Pick your favorite or get creative by adding any or all of these veggies into your eating routine.