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8 ingredients to add color and nutrition into your sandwich

8 ingredients to add color and nutrition into your sandwich

Eating nutritiously is hardly a black and white undertaking. How do you know you’re getting the nutrients your body needs? “When it comes to fruits and vegetables, the more colors you consume, the richer your diet will be in beneficial nutrients,” says Lanette Kovachi, MS, RDN, corporate dietitian for Subway ®.

Here's how 8 veggies stack up in terms of body benefits. Most vegetables are also a great source of fiber.

1. Spinach

Spinach is full of iron, vitamin C, and lutein, which reduces your risk of chronic diseases. Spinach is full of iron, vitamin C, and lutein, which reduces your risk of chronic diseases. (Photo: Djero Adlibeshe/Shutterstock)

These green leaves are packed with iron, vitamin C, and an antioxidant called lutein, which benefits your eyes.

2. Cucumbers

Leave the skin on your sliced cucumber for maximum nutritional benefits. Leave the skin on your sliced cucumber for maximum nutritional benefits. (Photo: sommail/iStock)

Cucumbers contain lignans, which may help lower the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Keep the skin on to up the nutrition content, says Kovachi. (At Subway, the cukes aren’t peeled, so consider adding them to your sandwich.)

3. Red onions

Onions contain sulfur, which is an antioxidant. That's where onions get their smell. Onions contain sulfur, which is an antioxidant. That's where onions get their smell. (Photo: 1MoreCreative/iStock)

Yes, they look purple, but red onions get their royal hue from their antioxidants, which can prevent cancer. They also have sulfur-containing compounds which cause that pungent smell. Plus, onions also contain a significant amount of vitamin C.

4. Jalapeno peppers

Jalapenos Spicy jalapeno peppers can add capsaicin, a metabolism booster, to your sandwich. (Photo: thepixelchef/iStock)

Jalapeno peppers are stuffed with a variety of nutrients, including vitamins A and C and potassium. Bonus, jalapenos are spicy peppers and that means you'll reap the benefits of capsaicin, a compound that studies suggest can boost metabolism.

5. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which can lower your risk of cancer and heart disease. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which can lower your risk of cancer and heart disease. (Photo: garysludden/iStock)

Tomatoes boast a wealth of antioxidants. They’re especially rich in lycopene, which can lower your risk of cancer and heart disease.


6. Bell peppers

Sliced green bell pepper All colors of bell peppers can come from the same plant, but green peppers have more vitamin C than the other hues. (Photo: Gert Lavsen/Shutterstock)

Whether they're red, green, yellow, or orange, bell peppers can all come from the same plant. However, they differ in their degree of ripeness and their nutritional benefits. For example, red peppers have more lycopene, green peppers have more vitamin C, and yellow peppers have more lutein. So pick a color (or better yet, multiple colors) and pile them on.

7. Black olives

Black olives Like olive oil, black olives are a great source of monounsaturated fats. (Photo: Jultud/iStock)

Black olives, which have been allowed to ripen on the vine, contain monounsaturated fats — just like the oil that’s made from them. Eating foods with monounsaturated fats instead of foods with saturated fat can lower "bad" (LDL) cholesterol, which in turn lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke.

8. Red cabbage

Shredded red cabbage is high in favor and adds lots of crunch. Shredded red cabbage is high in favor and adds lots of crunch. (Photo: HandmadePictures/iStock)

Red cabbage, which has a purple hue, is a surprising sandwich topper with high crunch power. Cabbage is high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K, which is good for bones.

Top Image Credit: Aneta_Gu/Shutterstock

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