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The 10 healthiest vegetables and how to cook with them

6. Sweet potato

Sweet potato soup
Image: Avital Pinnick/Flickr

This root vegetable has dozens of anti-cancer nutrients, like vitamin A, C and manganese. They’re also a good source of fiber and iron, so not only do they give you energy, but they can also help regulate your digestive system.

How to eat them: Sweet potato soup

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7. Eggplant

Eggplant Parmesan
Image: Jean-François Chénier/Flickr

High in heart-healthy nutrients, eggplants are rich in antioxidants like nasunin (a unique compound that protects your brain cells from damage). And because eggplants are loaded with fiber and potassium, researchers believe they may reduce your risk of stroke and dementia.

How to eat it: Eggplant Parmesan

8. Bell peppers

Bell peppers
Image: Thomas Hawk/Flickr

Whether you prefer red, orange or yellow, bell peppers are packed with dozens of heart-healthy nutrients like lycopene and folic acid. And recent research suggests digging into a pepper every day may lower your risk of developing lung, colon, bladder and pancreatic cancers.

How to eat them: Pineapple-rice-stuffed peppers

9. Spinach

Image: Westend61/Getty Images

This chlorophyll-packed type of produce is an excellent source of almost every vitamin and nutrient you need. Scientists believe a diet heavy in spinach may be able to prevent everything from heart disease to colon cancer and arthritis to osteoporosis.

How to eat it: Spinach salad

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10. Onions

French onion soup
Image: Lisovskaya/Getty Images

These pungent-smelling veggies are particularly good for people suffering from (or at risk of developing) osteoporosis. That’s because onions are loaded with a peptide called GPCS, which scientists believe slows your body’s loss of calcium. Onions may also be useful in the fight against heart disease and diabetes because they’re loaded with vitamin C and folate.

How to eat them: French onion soup

Originally published March 2009. Updated Sept. 2016.

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