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Counting Calories In Vegetables - Food Calories

Written by Diet Bites


When dieting, counting calories can render awesome results on your weight scales. 

Vegetables are tops for dieters because most all are ultra-low in calories and contain zero-minimal fat. Oh my, there is a pretty picture developing here - and that picture is YOU!  

What a hearty display of healthy vegetables that are naturally low in calories! Just take a peek at the calories in celery - virtually zero calories!  

In fact, all of the vegetables listed below are ultra low in calories except for a few such as corn, potatoes and yams.

But don't count corn or yams out while dieting as they are very filling and contain the fiber your body needs for good health. Due to the fiber content food sourcesthat are rich in fiber content leave you feeling fuller for longer periods of time.

If you're not a meat lover - eggplant just might fit the bill.

Mushrooms are another great choice. If you're a meat lover, portobella mushrooms can be substituted as 'buns' for those who enjoy hamburgers thus saving 100 - 300 calories, depending upon the size and variety of hamburger bun that would have been used.

Vegetable calories are amplified when we become too busy with preparation. Oils, batters and dips are delicious but add a plethora of calories to our innocent vegetables. Vegetables as close to Mother Nature as possible make a healthy choice for anyone - dieting or not! Steaming your vegetables or enjoying them raw without added sauces/oils is the absolute healthiest means of preparation, though because they are so low in calories, a bit of sauce/glaze will certainly keep vegetables well within 'diet calorie range'.  

Be sure to wash all vegetables well  before use to remove harmful bacteria and insecticides. No calorie butter spray can be used generously, so squeeze that bottle and in turn, squeeze those unwanted pounds away by enjoying something healthy and diet smart!

Healthy Benefits of Vegetables

All of the vegetables on this page are associated with healthy benefits.

Greens are natural cancer fighters as they are packed with fibery goodness. Garlic can naturally lower cholesterol. Ginger root has been found helpful in relieving digestive upsets. Kale fights cancer. And kelp can even help prevent dental decay.

Calories In Vegetables

VEGETABLE, 1/2 Cup

KCALS

HEALTH BENEFITS & NUTRITION NOTES

Alfalfa Sprouts

5

Contains folate; also contains substance that inhibits the absorption of trypsin, a digestive enzyme necessary for digesting protein. If uncooked, will counteract vitamin E and may damage liver or muscles.  Eat only sprouted or cooked. Large quantities should be steamed at least 3 minutes.

Amaranth Leaves (Pigweed)

14

 Packed with Vitamin C, calcium and vitamin A.  Also contains magnesium and potassium, helpful for lowering blood pressure naturally.  It is prevalent along the roadsides and once considered a weed.  Slightly sweet taste.

Artichoke Hearts

42

 Take heed with bottled or canned hearts as they contain a high amount of sodium.

Asparagus

23

 High in sulfur content, thus causing an unusual scent in urine after ingesting.  Acts as a superior diuretic.  Do not eat if you have gout as the purines in asparagus may contribute to the disease.

Bamboo Shoots

12

 Good source of fiber and zinc.  Raw shoots contain poisonous amounts of cyanogens that will cause cyanide poisoning so cook thoroughly before ingesting.

Beets

26

Ingesting an abundance of beets can cause red urine. Beets act as a great diuretic.

Broccoli

22

Cancer-fighter.  May help lower cholesterol and control diabetes.  Avoid yellow pods.

Brussels Sprouts

30

Cancer-fighter.   Packed with fiber AND gas.

Cabbage

8

 Good source for folate and vitamin C.  Cancer-fighter.  Available in many varieties: red, green, purple, etc.

Carrots

31

Superior source for vitamin A. Eating with 'plant iron-sources' such as beans, will enhance absorption of vitamin A.

Cassava (Tapioca) 3 1/2 ounces, raw

120

 Chief source of iron. Also known as yucca.  Cassava is the starchy tuber of a tropical shrub and resembles a sweet potato.

Cauliflower 3 florets, raw

13

Cancer-fighter; contains purines so avoid if you have gout. Avoid speckled specimens.

Celeriac 3 1/2 ounces

25

Like celery, parsley-scented. Blanch in saltwater and lemon juice to counteract bitter taste.  Vitamin C, builds healthy blood.  May help regulate blood sugar.

Celery

10

Virtually calorie-free.  Avoid if you are allergic to mugwort, birch pollen or fennel.  

Chicory

21

Folate; good source of calcium.  Roots are sometimes used as a coffee substitute.

Chives 1 Tablespoon raw

1

May protect against stomach cancer.

Corn, sweet yellow 1 ear

80

Forms a complete protein when eaten with legumes (beans). May cause allergic reaction in some individuals.

Cucumber 1/2 raw

20

Cancer-fighter. Always peel waxed cucumber.  Avoid if you are allergic to pollen or aspirins.

Eggplant - Popular in Mediterranean dishes

13

Substitutes nicely for meat.   Good for flushing excess sodium from the body, thus helping to lower blood pressure. Tends to absorb oil when cooking.

Endive

4

May cause skin rash in some individuals.  Tastes a bit stronger than lettuce.  Wilted heads can be revived in cold water.

Garden Cress (Field Cress)

8

Cancer-fighter.  Relative to the cabbage.  Grown in marshes.

Garlic, 1 clove raw

4

Lowers cholesterol; acts as a natural blood thinner. Also acts as a mild antibiotic and digestive aid.  Do not eat if you take blood thinners.

Ginger Root 1 Tablespoon raw

4

Flavor enhancer with little nutrients.  Helps relieve heartburn, stomach gas, nausea and vomiting.

Greens (Beet, Collard, Dandelion, Mustard, Turnip)

15

 Cancer-fighter.  People with kidney stone disorders should eat beet greens sparingly.  As for Dandelion greens, do not harvest by roadway due to exhaust fumes and herbicides. Turnip & Mustard Greens: Eat with beans to boost vitamin absorption. Delicious with cornbread.

Kale

18

Cancer-fighter.  Sometimes grown as an ornamental in the garden. Serve with fennel seeds.

Kelp, 1 ounce raw - Prepared: sushi wrapper, tea

12

A type of seaweed that aids in the regeneration of red blood cells.  Excellent iodine source. Also aids in the prevention of tooth decay.  Japan cooks are very big on seaweed; almost 1/4 of all food prepared there contain some variety of seaweed. Dried seaweed needs to be soaked before use.

Kohlrabi

24

Cancer-fighter.  Resembles turnip, but much sweeter. Leaves also edible.

Lamb's Quarters

29

Nutritious yet rarely-used leafy green.  Cancer-fighter and helps lower blood pressure naturally. Eat with foods high in heme iron (such as lean beef) to maximize nonheme iron absorption.  Individuals with a history of kidney stones should eat sparingly.

Laver-1 ounce raw; sushi wrapper, snack

10

A variety of red seaweed abundant in iodine so do not eat in high doses.

Leeks

16

Cancer-fighter.  Split down its length and wash thoroughly as grit collects within the stalk and leaves.

Lettuce

5 - 18

 

If you are allergy-sensitive, handling lettuce may trigger hives. Caloric content varies depending upon type of lettuce. Lettuce is so low in calories it's a Dieter's Dream!

Mushrooms

21

May lower blood pressure, combat illness and heart disease. May have powerful antiviral, antitumor and anti-cholesterol powers.  Eat with garlic to boost power.  Contain purines so avoid if you have gout.

Okra (Lady's Finger)

26

May help relieve carpal tunnel syndrome and lower blood pressure.  Discoloration may occur if cooked in brass, copper or iron - though harmless.

Onions

30

Cancer-fighter.  May protect against heart attack.

Parsley

10

Good for freshening Dieter's Breath.  Wilted parsley can be revived in cold water.

Parsnips

63

Lowers cholesterol, improves digestive health, great source of folate, cancer-fighter, helps control high blood pressure.

Peppers (Chili, Bell, etc.)

14

May increase metabolism.   Contain vitamin C and A.  Work to speed healing.

Potato, white variety 1-7 ounces

220

Contains 2 times the potassium as a banana.  May help control blood sugar in diabetics.  Do not eat heavily sprouted potatoes; the green eyes are poisonous and the potato can make you very sick.

Pumpkin

41

Abundant in beta-carotene.  Member of the gourd family.  Contains protein, fiber, and iron.  Eat with heme-iron foods such as red meat to boost absorption of nonheme iron contained in pumpkin.  Seeds make a great healthy snack.

Purslane

10

May lower blood pressure.  Avoid if you have a history of kidney stones.  Prepare as you would fresh spinach.

Radishes

10

Cancer-fighter.  Great snack choice.  May grow up to 50 pounds in size.

Rhubarb

26

Potassium, vitamin C, helps control blood pressure.  Avoid if you have a history of kidney stones. The leaves can be fatal.

Rutabagas - mashed

29

Cancer-fighter. Remove any wax on the root before cooking.

Salsify

46

May cause gas so start out small.  Oyster-like taste.  Roots may grow in excess of one foot.

Scallions

16

Cancer-fighter. Eat with beans to enhance absorption of minerals.

Shallots, 1 Tablespoon raw

7

Cancer-fighter. Tastes like a cross between onion and garlic. Choose bulbs that have not yet sprouted.

Spinach

21

Contains iron, but only 2% is readily absorbed by the body. May help prevent migraine headaches.  Contains purines so should be avoided by people with gout.  Also contains oxalates so people with a history of kidney disease should avoid.

Squash (Acorn)

57

Cancer-fighter. Contains iron for healthy blood, as well as fiber, potassium and magnesium thus helping to control blood pressure and ward off strokes.  Perfect food for peak mental and physical health.  Related to pumpkin, though sweeter in taste.

Squash (Butternut)

41

Nutty taste, rich in fiber.  Supplies niacin, a B vitamin that has a vital role in nutrient metabolism.

Summer Squash (Straight Neck, Crookneck)

18

Super low in calories.  The fiber content may help lower cholesterol.

Squash (Hubbard)

51

Helps control blood sugar. Cancer-fighter. Related to the cucumber and watermelon.  Has tough, wart-like rind.  Rind is very tough so do not peel.

Squash (Spaghetti)

45

Great pasta alternative sometimes called vegetable spaghetti. Stores well for several weeks.

Squash (Zucchini)

14

Ultra low in calories.  Purchase smaller specimens as large ones contain big seeds.

Sweet Potato - 1 to 4 ounces

117

High in vitamin A and C.  Helps regulate blood sugar.

Swiss Chard

18

Eat with peppers or cauliflower to enhance iron absorption. People with a history of kidney disease should avoid.  Relative of the beet.

Tomato - 1 to 4 ounces

26

May trigger hives in some people

Turnips

14

Cousin to the rutabaga.  Contains vitamin C and fiber.  May help regulate blood sugar.  Good cancer-fighter.

Wakame

13

A form of seaweed.  Contains iodine and is high in sodium  Soak for 20 minutes before using and discard center vein. Simmer no longer than a minute to preserve nutritional benefits.

Water Chestnuts

35

An edible tuber of a sedge that grows in mud on the banks of ponds, lakes and marshes.  Great in stir-fries.

Watercress

2

Cancer-fighter.  Nutrients best preserved by eating raw.

Yams

79

Potassium, vitamin C, folate, fiber - which helps prevent constipation and regulate blood pressure.  Not related to the sweet potato, though closely resemble in appearance.

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