5 Most Underrated (But Powerful) Vegetables

We cheer for the underdog in movies. We love the comeback hero in stories. The same thing applies when it comes to vegetables. Some of the most overlooked, passed-over, not-thought-about veggies out there are some of the most powerful, good-tasting and good-for-you foods on the planet.

Here’s our list of five to start including in your meal today:

1. Cabbage
While we tend to only think about eating green cabbage every now and then (maybe with corned beef), you may want to reach for it all year. This cruciferous vegetable contains a phytochemical called glucosinolates, which is broken down during cooking and digestion and transformed into active compounds that may help fight cancer. Instead of eating the traditional (and bland) boiled cabbage, try roasting it for a culinary delight. Simply slice a head of cabbage into four wedges; brush them with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic; and roast them in a pan for 30 minutes at 450 degrees F.

2. Peas
Yes, peas may be small, but they pack a powerful punch. A cup of green peas provides more protein than a 1-ounce serving of chicken (for real!). Plus, peas, which are considered legumes, come with a bonus boost of vitamin K, which you need not only for your blood to clot, but also to keep your bones strong. Buy them frozen and add them to soups, salads and stews to help meet your daily non-meat protein quota.

3. Celery
Dieters count on celery because it’s low in calories—only 10 calories in a large stalk—but it also delivers phthalides, which are thought to act as a natural diuretic. Those same phtalides support the circulatory system, and can help to reduce high blood pressure.
But the best reason to add celery to the grocery list: it just might rev up your sex life. According to Alan Hirsch, M.D., Director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, celery contains pheromones, airborne sex chemicals, that are released when you chew on a stalk of the green stuff.