10 Keto-Friendly Vegetables You Should Eat More Of

These low-carb vegetables can help you stay in ketosis.

Vegetables are the foundation of any healthy eating plan, including the keto diet. They provide much-needed nutrients and fiber; eating a keto diet with few vegetables and a lot of processed animal products can make you feel tired, cause constipation or diarrhea, and increase your risk of developing heart disease or diabetes.

If you are not careful, you might accidentally cut out too many fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to stay compliant with a keto diet. The aim of this diet is to get most of your energy from fat instead of carbohydrates—this sends your body into ketosis, a state where it burns fat for energy instead of carbs. However, this means people who follow a keto diet severely restrict how many carbs they eat. If you want to try a keto diet, talk to a healthcare practitioner about how to follow it safely.

In general, most vegetables are calorie-poor and nutrient-rich (packed with fiber, essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients), making them excellent additions to a healthy diet. To incorporate vegetables into a keto diet, avoid ones that contain a lot of carbs like potatoes, corn, carrots, beets, and squash. Non-starchy veggies, however, can be enjoyed in large quantities. Learn more about some vegetables that you can try in your keto diet.

Arugula

Net carbs: 2 grams

Also known as rocket, this leafy green has a peppery flavor. A serving (four cups of fresh arugula) contains 20 calories and 2 grams of net carbs. Nutritionally, arugula is an excellentsource of vitamins A and C, and a good source of folic acid and calcium.

Asparagus

Net carbs: 2 grams

A serving of asparagus (5 spears) contains 20 calories and 4 grams of total carbs, or 2 grams of net carbs. The veggie is a good source of folic acid,d, fiber, and vitamins A, C and E. Additionally, it could help prevent UTIs and depression.

Bell Peppers

Net carbs: 4 grams

Bell peppers are another low-calorie source of vitamins. A medium bell pepper has 25 calories, 4 grams of net carbs, and 190% of your daily vitamin C requirement.

Broccoli

Net carbs: 3 grams

A serving of broccoli (3 ounces raw) has 30 calories and 3 grams of net carbs. Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is considered a great source of nutrients: it contains vitamins A and C, B-vitamins, magnesium, and potassium. Broccoli therefore can help you protect your heart, brain, and bone health, and could prevent inflammation and cancer.

Brussels sprouts

Net carbs: 3 grams

A cousin to broccoli, Brussels sprouts are another excellent source of nutrients. One serving (1 cup or about 4 sprouts) has 40 calories, 3 grams net carbs, 2 grams protein, 3 grams fiber, and more than the amount of vitamin C and K you need in a day. As a bonus, they have anti-cancer, heart health, blood sugar-regulating, and anti-inflammatory benefits, too.

Cauliflower

Net carbs: 3 grams

Another member of the cruciferous family, cauliflower is a versatile low-carb vegetable that can be used as a stand-in for rice, mashed potatoes, and even pizza crust and baked goods. One serving (3 oz) of cauliflower has 25 calories, 3 grams of net carbs, 100% of the vitamin C you need in a day, and a good amount of folic acid. Like its cousins, broccoli and Brussels sprouts, cauliflower can also protect your heart health and help fight cancer.

Kale

Net carbs: 1 gram

A serving of this green, leafy vegetable (3 cups fresh kale) provides 20 calories and 1 gram of net carbs. Like most leafy greens, kale is a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, vitamin K, calcium, and magnesium. It can therefore protect your bone and heart health, reduce inflammation, protect your eye health, and help prevent cancer. The green is also packed with beneficial antioxidants that may help protect against chronic diseases associated with aging.

Mushrooms

Net carbs: 2 grams

Mushrooms are another flavorful and nutritious low-carb vegetable. One serving (5 medium mushrooms) has 20 calories, 2 grams of net carbs, and 3 grams of protein. Plus, the fungi are rich in B-vitamins, copper, vitamin D, and selenium. According to a 2014 Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal article, the agaricus, lingzhi, caterpillar, turkey tail, and maitake mushrooms could bolster immunity and may have anti-cancer benefits.

Spinach

Net carbs: 4 grams

Spinach is another good source of several nutrients. A serving of spinach (1½ cups of fresh leaves) has 40 calories, 4 grams of net carbs, and 2 grams of protein. With 6 grams of fiber per serving, spinach helps you feel fuller for longer and is also an excellent source of vitamins A and C, iron, folic acid, and magnesium. As such, spinach could help lower your risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, eye conditions, and cognitive degeneration.

Tomatoes

Net carbs: 4 grams

Tomatoes are a healthy addition to any eating plan because they're a rich source of lycopene, a phytonutrient that has potent heart health and anti-cancer properties. A medium tomato has just 20 calories, 4 grams of net carbs, and contains vitamins A and C. It is also a good source of potassium.

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