The healthiest veggies

The smallest vegetable beds can pack in lots of nutrients ― and great flavor ― if you choose plants carefully

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Nutritionists say that you get major health benefits from eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. That sounds like a lot until you grow your own; then those servings become some of life's delicious little pleasures.



Beans. Cooked dried beans (you can let them dry on the vine) provide protein. Fresh beans contain fiber, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. 'Purple Peacock' is a flavorful pole bean whose green leaves contrast with its purple pods, stems, and flowers; it's also very heat tolerant. 'Helda' is a tasty Romano type of bean.

Peppers. Rich in vitamin A, peppers get even better when you allow them to ripen fully and develop their colors, which can range from yellow and red through purple. Try Jewel Tone sweet bell pepper mix.

Squash and pumpkins. Grow 'Hi-Beta Gold' spaghetti squash ― it has high levels of beta-carotene ― and near-black 'Raven' zucchini for high antioxidant levels. Winter squashes also have abundant beta-carotene. Try the mildew-resistant 'Cornell's Bush Delicata' or Cornucopia Mix.



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