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Healthy Vegetables that Didn't Make the 'A-List' (Carbohydrates)

Not Quite as Sexy as the 'A-List' Vegetable List

This list is another installment among our popular/best food lists.

These healthy vegetables are solid but fell short of making our exclusive "Best Vegetables to Eat" (A-List).

By no means is the following to suggest that any of these vegetables are "bad" for you.

They just aren't as sexy (nutritious) as the 'A-List' vegetables.

Many on this list are either mainly water, difficult to find as high-quality organics, take a while to prepare or don't have any super special nutrients/antioxidants/phytochemicals that serve a unique purpose.

Our recommendation is to pick 2 powerhouse vegetables a week from the 'A-List' and rotate them every few weeks while supplementing with the best supplement money can by. If you don't particularly like the taste of the vegetables or don't have the time to prepare them, you can toss them in protein shakes.

Simply by doing that, you'll be consume more high-quality vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals and probiotics (in the supplement) than 98% of people in the universe. That percentage is just a rough guess but perhaps a realistic one if you consider nearly 100% of people don't get enough vegetables, let alone eat the best ones or supplement the deficiencies.

If the vegetable if not on the A-List or the "Not as Sexy" list - you're probably better off ditching it for something that is.basket of organic vegetables

The 'Not As Sexy as the A-List' Healthy Vegetable List
(Best of the Rest)


Helps digestion. Cleanses liver (rich in the active compound in milk thistle- silymarin). High in fiber.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

Realistically, you'd have to prepare and eat quite a few artichokes to really reap the nutritional benefits. As you probably know, eating an artichoke is time consuming because you don't eat the leaves.

It is not as versatile as other vegetables because you have to dig for the meat or the heart, which contains most of the nutrients. And they take 25-30 min to cook. The nutrient profile isn't quite as powerful as the A-list vegetables. But it still provides many nutritional benefits!

ArugulaArugula Salad

Leafy green, has a lot of vitamin K. Anticancer properties. This one is usually found in salad made with romaine lettuce and salads at nice restaurants.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

Doesn't contain as many highly concentrated nutrients as other leafy greens, like spinach.


Touted as an aphrodisiac, very nutritious, makes your pee smell funny. Anti-inflammatory and anticancer benefits. Organic not necessary.

Interesting fact- Asparagus is one of the only vegetables that have distinct male-female version. If the asparagus plant stays planted- it will blossom into a flower.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

Not quite as nutrient-dense as most of the A-list. Not as convenient either since it is normally cooked, which takes time.

We suggest you stick with green asparagus, even thought the white asparagus look cool, they aren't as nutritious.


Anticancer. Heart-healthy. Protect blood vessels. Packed with nutrients. The green leaves are even more nutritious than the roots.

The bold red color in beets (that will permanently stain your clothes) comes from a powerful cancer-fighting compound called betacyanin. This compound will turn your urine (and poop) reddish. Don't mistake this for blood, there's nothing wrong with you.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

Would be on the 'A-List', not a weight loss vegetable since the GL is somewhat high (15-25). High in sugar for a vegetable. If you aren't trying to lose weight, you can eat all the beets you want.

It been argued that the glycemic load (15-25) is overestimated and beets has a lesser effect on your insulin levels.

Broccoli Rabebroccolirabe

Distant relative of broccoli that is closer to a turnip. Bitter taste. Helps inhibit cellular degeneration. Packed with nutrients. Protects bones and vision.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

Not as widely available. Not as versatile as other cruciferous vegetables because of the taste and other cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, provide even more nutrients. It doesn't actually taste like broccoli - it's very bitter and usually less appealing than broccoli for most.


Powerful phytochemicals that fight cancer. Loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. Cabbage is super low calorie and can be reasonably filing if prepare as sauerkraut or as coleslaw. Note- sauerkraut dishes have several other benefits (loaded with probiotics) that cabbage, by itself, does not.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

May slow thyroid because of the substances- goitrogens. Your thyroid is the main hormone involved in ALL metabolic processes (building muscle, metabolizing fat, etc.). Don't let that get you all upset though - cabbage only presents problems if you have/are prone to hyperthyroidism. If you have (or are prone to) hypothyroidism, you should be on the a thyroid med and 'goitrogens' shouldn't do any harm at that point.


Anticancer and antioxidants. It might also help reduce/prevent rheumatoid arthritis.

When you cook cauliflower, you should steam and not boil it. It's a vegetable that loses it nutrients to heat VERY QUICKLY. Don't steam it beyond 5 minutes.

Make mashed "potatoes" with it by steaming and [s]mashing it up.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

Good overall profile but not close to powerful green veggies. Contains a moderately high amount of purines, which can lead to gout in certain people that aren't able to break it down efficiently.


Dietitians vouch for celery to be a hangover cure. May be the best food for treating high blood pressure because of certain phytochemicals. Anticancer.

There been a endless persisting rumor that celery is a "negative calorie food," meaning- that your body burns more calories by digesting it than the actual food itself. This is not true and there is no such thing as a negative calorie food. Celery is super low in calories though.

Most people like celery and natural peanut better or fat free cream cheese - it's a healthful snack for those losing weight. I don't like that though.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

Mainly water.

Quality concerns, highly contaminated with pesticides (buy organic). The average celery at most grocery stores will do your body more harm than good.

Collard Greenscollard-greens

Anticancer. Rich in nutrients. High in fiber. Support eye health.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

Good overall profile but not a powerhouse like broccoli, spinach or kale.

Organic collard greens are rarely found in grocery stores, the majority of families that eat collard greens buy the lowest-of-the-low-quality frozen greens.


Truthfully, this should be on the A-list, in overall profile it only trails Kale, Broccoli and Spinach. If you use steroids, dandelion is one of the very best foods to help with ugly water retention. Use the root as a detox tea.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

It's rather uncommon to find good Dandelion (or any at all). 



Decent overall profile, the deep purple pigment is from a substance called 'nasunin' a powerful antioxidant that won't be found in other vegetables.

Make sure you grab firm, shiny, smooth eggplant that has a deep purple skin. Eggplant that is cracked, has shriveled skin or has a brown, blue or yellow "off shade" color is not a healthy eggplant.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

Not a nutritional powerhouse. Contains solanine- a substance that could be toxic if not killed in the gut, which it normally is. But people with osteoarthritis may have trouble destroying this substance. Eggplant probably won't kill you though.



High in nutrients, low in calories. Supports bonehealth.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

Like Dandelion quality endive is hard to find, it has a pretty good overall profile but not like the green powerhouses.


Fennel is thought to have cognitive benefits. It can also act as a diuretic and remove excess water.

The best part of 


fennel is the naturally occurring compound 'anethole' which reduce the inflammation and cancer catalyst "NF-kappaB". This awful molecule is the one that tells your cells to mutate and triggers the spread of cancer. A lot of doctors will tell you that NF-kappaB is the one that causes the cancer to start.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

Quality fennel is not super common at grocery stores. It is not as nutritionally-dense as most of the A-list vegetables. It's unique profile makes it, well - unique.

Green Beans

Good overall profile. Improves brain function, metabolism of cholesterol, insulin and sugars.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

Despite the green, these guys aren't anywhere close to the other green powerhouses. They age fast and need to be eaten soon after they're harvested. Skip the canned green beans, you probably know that... but for some reason a lot of families serve their children canned greens and tell them, "eat your vegetables!"

jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem Artichokes

One of the only vegetables to have high levels of probiotics that may prevent you from getting a common cold. May fight cancer. Good luck finding it though!

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

Not easily accessible. May cause flatulence. 


Member of the cabbage family.

Contains cancer-fighting phytochemicals. High in fiber.  Eat

kohlrabi vegetable

 the stems and the leaves.

Kohlrabi isn't reserved just for salads, from this versatile little plant you can make fries that taste very close to French fries. I think that vegetables like this are awesome but it's usually only girls that making dishes like this.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

Not a nutrient powerhouse as compared to other green vegetables.


Kohlrabi French FriesLooks like greasy French fries but it's actually a healthful dish of kohlrabi fries. Recipe in the NY Times.

Leeks leeks

Protect against cancers. Lower cholesterol.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

Like light green veggies, leeks aren't as potent in nutrients as most dark green veggies. 


Fresh OkraTypical light green profile but has more fiber than oatmeal. Definitely one for weight loss. Contains a rare, powerful antioxidant.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

Okra is a pain to prepare and unlike a lot of vegetables it isn't considered very appetizing in the raw form. 

Peppers (Hot)

It's true that hot peppers can raise your metabolism- but it's only for about 10 minutes. Apply to the skin to relieve pain. Help stomach lining release protective liquids.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

Nothing wrong with hot peppers. They tend to be more for flavor/spice than actually eaten in-full as vegetables.

Peppers (Sweet)Bell peppers

A decent overall profile but mostly water. Buy organic, regular sweet peppers are covered in pesticides. The riper the pepper the higher its nutrition.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

If you've noticed, sweet peppers are generally less expensive than other vegetables and they are generally "bigger" and more aesthetically pleasing because they are several colors.

In reality, red-orange-yellow-green peppers lack the nutritional punch that they're more sexy, dark and handsome counterparts do. I think most people know that sweet peppers aren't a headline vegetable.

If you do grab peppers- grab the red ones. A red pepper is a riper version of the green carrot and has twice as much vitamin C and eleven times more beta-carotene. The green peppers will eventually turn red though. This is one of the only times that the red color is going to be better than the green.

PurslaneSONY DSC

Considered a nuisance by farmers because it can be mistaken for a weed. Packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, highest concentration of any green leafy vegetable. Has other nutrients but but not quite as well-rounded (nutrition wise) as other leafy greens, like kale.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

It's a good vegetable. You'll want to turn to fish (or fish oil) for your omegas-3 however. Eating a whole plate of purslane every day isn't realistic. Purslane is usually treated as a garnishment to a salad and you probably won't find it in most grocery stores. A unique, nutritious vegetable that is just disregarded as an obnoxious weed.


Snow Peas

Typical light green vegetable profile, snow peas are more nutritious when eaten raw. High in fiber.

Snow peas are popular in stir-fry and Chinese dishes. Be careful not to overcook these little guys, they can lose their green power quickly.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

Not a nutritional powerhouse. Need to be eaten as soon as possible and should only be stored in the fridge for three days. 

winter squash high in fiberWinter squash is higher in fiber, more filling but has more calories

Squash (Summer & Winter)

(Winter Squash Medium Glycemic Effect)

Packed with fiber. If you have acne, butternut squash might help because is has an insane amount of Vitamin A.

If you are losing weight- stick to summer squash, it's lower in calories.

Make "fries" with it by slicing it up, adding extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt and put them in the oven for about 30-40min.

Why it's not on the 'A-list' 

summer squash groupSummer squash is lower in calories but has less nutrients.

Higher GL than most green vegetables. Not a nutrient powerhouse.

While squash, particularly winter squash, will raise your blood sugar more than other vegetables - lets not pretend that it's soda or candy.

Still, you should avoid winter squash while you are trying to lose weight. There are better options.


The color of the tomato (red, orange, yellow or green) doesn't really matter. You should pick whichever tomatoes that are deepest in color and leave the 'faded' tomatoes on the shelf.

The anti-cancer benefits of tomatoes are enhance if you eat them with them with healthy fats (olive oil). Cooking them, specifically, baking them, makes the anti-cancer compound 'lycopene' more abundant. Lycopene has has cardioprotective, antimutagenic, anticarinogenic and

anti-inflammatory benefits.

I'm not big on rumors but supposedly taking a bath in tomato juice can help get rid of eczema.

A lot of grocery stores don't carry tomatoes that are particularly ripe (you should be eating RIPE tomatoes), you can speed up the ripening process by putting them in a paper bag with the stem-side up with a banana or apple.

tomatoesLook for organic Tomatoes on a vine, preferably not from Mexico.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

This is the only one on the 'Not Quite As Good List" that is likely to cause an uproar. Tomatoes are good, they just aren't great.

It's not a superstar veggie simply because it's mostly water and it's most vitamins (especially Vitamin C) that you consume in other areas of your diet.

Botanically speaking, we know tomatoes are a fruit - they are actually a berry since they have seeds. Legally speaking, however, they are a vegetable because "they are used as one," as the Supreme Court decided in 1893. Until this decision is overturned we will classify tomatoes as vegetables in order to avoid going to jail.


heirloom tomatoes in a basketHeirloom, sometimes called "Ugly" Tomatoes are an excellent choice too.


This is the vegetable for strong bones (calcium and vitamin A). Above-average overall profile.

Why it's not on the 'A-list'

Only weird people like how turnips taste.

Rutabagas are actually cooler though, technically they are Swedish Turnips and a pretty versatile vegetable even though you are most likely to encounter them in vegetable soup. They can replace starchy white potatoes that will raise your blood sugar. It's mainly a nice source of

potassium, magnesium and vitamin C - it's not an explosion of phytochemicals or anti-cancer compounds that other vegetable are.

difference between turnips and rutabagas


What Are the Best Fruits to Eat and Why? (The A-Li...
What Are the Best Vegetables to Eat and Why? (The ...

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Comments (3)

[...] Here is a list of the Not Quite as Sexy as the A-List Vegetables [...]

  1. Skurge

Holy good vegetable list Chris!

Strangely, I can't visualise you gathering purslane and digging up dandelions

  1. Kel

I actually mixed cauliflower with my potato last time I made mash because my fiance is a child when it comes to eating veggies and I have to resort to hiding them in his food.

He never noticed and even commented on how good the mash was. I had a...

I actually mixed cauliflower with my potato last time I made mash because my fiance is a child when it comes to eating veggies and I have to resort to hiding them in his food.

He never noticed and even commented on how good the mash was. I had a bit of a giggle to myself!

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