As mentioned in the previous article, the vegetables on the HCG diet are carefully selected to improve your health and should be consumed as directed in our HCG diet guide (only steamed or grilled) to maintain their natural phytonutrient levels. For more information about our HCG diet guide and program, click here.
The health benefits of the HCG diet in general are tremendous - you lose body fat (which contributes to chronic illnesses) while gaining several health benefits that will improve the quality of your life. The combination of your weight loss and a healthy diet will greatly reduce your chance of developing serious illnesses later on in life and improve your overall health and energy levels dramatically.
We discussed the benefits of asparagus, beet greens, celery, cabbage, cucumbers, chard and chicory. In this article we will go over the health benefits of the rest of the HCG diet vegetables including fennel, lettuce, red radishes, onion, spinach and tomatoes. All of these vegetables are dense with antioxidants, cancer fighting phytonutrients, immune system boosting benefits, and have several other positive health effects. They will improve your cardiovascular and digestive health as well.
Also, if you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure you are likely to see improvements on the HCG diet, as HCG diet vegetables can normalize your blood pressure and reduce your levels of bad LDL cholesterol. Below are more of the health benefits of HCG diet vegetables:
Fennel - fennel has been used in cooking for hundreds of years and it has several impressive health benefits. Fennel is packed with vitamin C, fiber and potassium. It has several phytonutrients including quercitin and rutin which are excellent antioxidants. It also has a unique compound called anethole which has been proven to reduce inflammation in preliminary animal studies and may also prevent the development of cancer. Vitamin C is the main water soluble anti-oxidant that the body uses and helps to prevent free radicals from building up and causing problems with the joints and damage to the blood vessels.
Lettuce - there are many types of lettuce but romaine lettuce is one of the main types of lettuce that can be consumed on the HCG diet, and it is also a popular variety. Romaine lettuce in particular is densely packed with nutrients and is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, beta-carotene, and fiber. It also has several minerals including iron, copper, potassium and vitamin C and B1. Romaine lettuce is good for your cardiovascular system with its high levels of vitamin C and beta carotene, both of which protect the blood vessels from the damaging effect of oxidized cholesterol. The compounds in romaine lettuce can also reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Radishes - red radishes are a great source of vitamin C, E, A K and B6 as well as fiber, folate, magnesium, calcium and other many other vitamins and minerals. Red radishes are a good source of sulforaphane which has shown to inhibit several types of cancers including breast, prostate, colon and other cancers. Red radishes have numerous anti-inflammatory benefits and they have natural antibacterial and antiviral properties as well, boosting your immune system's ability to fight pathogens. Radishes help remove bilirubin from the body and can be used to help treat jaundice. A set of unique compound that radishes have are called indoles which help detoxify the body.
Onion - onions have sulfur containing compounds that give them their characteristic smell but also are responsible for their many health benefits. They are also a great source of polyphenols. The sulfur compounds in onions help prevent clotting in the blood vessels and may also lower cholesterol levels. Onions support a healthy bone density and can help women going through menopause reduce their bone density loss. They also have anti-inflammatory benefits, reducing health problems that result from high inflammation levels such as arthritis and allergies. Just a small intake of onions on a regular basis also reduce a person's risk of several types of cancer, and it may also have blood sugar normalizing benefits.
Spinach - spinach is regularly considered to be a "superfood" and it is one of the richest foods in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Spinach protects against cancer, cardiovascular illnesses, inflammatory issues, and much more and it is an excellent vegetable to consume as a part of a detoxifying diet. Spinach is unique amount other vegetables and fruits because it has dozens of phytonutrients and one of the highest concentrations of phytonutrients per calorie than any other vegetable or fruit. The phytonutrients in spinach protect against the development of several types of cancer including prostate, breast, skin and other types.
Tomatoes - tomatoes are known to be rich in lycopene, which gives them their characteristic red color, but all varieties of tomatoes have high levels of lycopene including orange tomatoes. Studies have shown that the lycopene in tomatoes may also improve bone health while providing antioxidant protection for the body. Tomatoes have also been shown to reduce dangerous LDL cholesterol level, and lower triglyceride levels. Tomatoes also prevent platelets from aggregating in the blood which can reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke. They are also proven to lower the risk of certain cancers such as prostate cancer and are currently being researched for their ability to prevent other cancers.
Purchase organic vegetables if you can
Although all of the vegetables mentioned have amazing health benefits and can help prevent a wide range of chronic illnesses, it is important that you purchase organic vegetables if you can. Organic vegetables do not have synthetic pesticides, sludge or petroleum based fertilizers, and they are normally not bioengineered.
Foods like tomatoes, celery and spinach are some of the highest sprayed crops, and these foods specifically should be purchased organic if possible. The chemicals and pesticides in non-organic foods can add a negative component to what would otherwise be a healthy food to consume. Organic food is usually fresher as well.
The accumulation of chemicals and pesticides from non-organic foods in the body may lead to health problems such as a weakened immune system and is a chemical burden on the body. To get the most out of the HCG diet vegetables try to find an affordable organic store in your area and stick to them for your vegetable purchases. Our HCG recipe book and diet guide has detailed information on how to consume HCG diet vegetables and delicious recipes for the diet. Get started with the HCG diet now and experience the benefits of the HCG diet for yourself.