The Healthiest Vegetables to Grill This Summer
If you’re trying to get more vegetables in your diet, the grill may just be the best way to do it.
When you put your veggies on the grill, it naturally preserves their precious nutrients while adding a nice, smoky flavor. And you have to admit that grilling makes pretty much everything taste better.
This makes grilled vegetables an exceptionally healthy (and mouthwatering!) way to spruce up mealtimes.
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The Healthiest Veggies for Summertime Grilling
Grilling vegetables is easy. In most cases, all it involves is tossing them in a little olive oil (which even contains a compound that may help ward off brain cancer) and sprinkling them with a high quality sea salt (instead of table salt) before putting them on the grate.
Some of the top picks for your grill this summer include:
This summer squash is loaded with antioxidant-rich nutrients that help reduce inflammation in the body. They are also high in polysaccharide fibers called pectin. These fibers have been shown to have a positive impact on cholesterol, blood glucose and insulin stability. In addition, pectins bind with metal ions and helps flush them out of the body more quickly.
This hybrid food is a cross between broccoli and Chinese kale. It basically looks like baby-sized broccoli and falls into the family of cruciferous vegetables. The cruciferous class of vegetables contains compounds that are mighty cancer-fighters. They help inactivate cancer-causing cells and keep them from spreading through the body. In fact, research has shown that eating cruciferous vegetables like broccolini on a regular basis can help protect against many common cancers including colon, breast, kidney and prostate cancer.
This veggie is exceptionally tasty when it comes off the grill. And asparagus packs a powerhouse of nutrition. It’s a particularly rich source of glutathione, which is a key detoxification compound and often referred to as the “master antioxidant”. That’s because it has the ability to recycle other antioxidants in your body. When glutathione levels are low, the body has a harder time fending off oxidative stress, disease and infections. As a matter of fact, when researchers compared a group of 120 healthy people against 145 who had chronic illnesses (heart disease, diabetes, leukemia, etc.), they discovered those who were ill had very low glutathione levels compared to healthy individuals.
A little extra work is required before grilling artichokes. They have to be trimmed, the choke needs to be removed, and they should be boiled until tender beforehand. Once that’s done, they can go onto the grill just like any other veggie. And out of all the vegetables listed here, they have the highest ORAC value of all. This makes artichokes somewhat of a “super-antioxidant.” With all of that essential antioxidant power, it’s no wonder the compounds in artichoke leaves are shown to help protect the liver, lower cholesterol, prevent arterial blockages, help regulate glucose metabolism and reduce digestive/bowel problems.
Don’t Forget the “Veggie That Isn’t a Veggie”
Portobello mushrooms aren’t actually vegetables, even though many people think they are. However, they’re still a healthy addition to any diet…and perfect for the grill.
These fungi show the greatest promise when it comes to protecting your gut microbiome. This is where the bulk of your immune system lies. When the microbiota in your gut become imbalanced, it can lead to bowel and autoimmune disorders…along with a wide array of chronic inflammatory-related diseases.
However, portobellos appear to have potent anti-inflammatory properties that may be therapeutic when it comes to protecting against some of the autoimmune and bacteria-induced inflammatory diseases that are so prevalent today.
Given all of these fantastic health benefits, there’s no better time than now to pull out that grill, fire it up and throw on some veggies.
Wikiera A, et al. Health-promoting properties of pectin. Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2014 Jan 2;68:590-6.
Bosetti C, et al. Cruciferous vegetables and cancer risk in a network of case-control studies. Ann Oncol. 2012 Aug;23(8):2198-203.
Kharb S, et al. Glutathione levels in health and sickness. Indian J Med Sci. 2000 Feb;54(2):52-4.
Ben Salem M, et al. Pharmacological Studies of Artichoke Leaf Extract and Their Health Benefits. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2015 Dec;70(4):441-53.
Kohno K, et al. Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties of 2-amino-3H-phenoxazin-3-one. Biol Pharm Bull. 2008 Oct;31(10):1938-45.
Dana Nicholas is a freelance writer and researcher in the field of natural and alternative healing. She has over 20 years of experience working with many noted health authors and anti-aging professionals, including James Balch, M.D., Dr. Linda Page, “Amazon” John Easterling and Al Sears M.D. Dana’s goal is to keep you up-to-date on information, news and breakthroughs that can have a direct impact on your health, your quality of life… and your lifespan. “I’m absolutely convinced that America’s misguided trust in mainstream medicine – including reliance on the government to regulate our food and medicine supply – is killing us, slowly but surely,” she cautions. “By sharing what I’ve learned throughout the years I hope I can empower others to take control over their own health.”