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9 Vegetables Every Keto Diet Should Include

Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, veggies are a crucial component of any balanced and nutritious diet. However, fitting a variety of veggies into a ketogenic diet can be challenging. In fact, fill your plate with starchy veggies like potatoes, peas, and corn, and the extra carbs can kick you right out of ketosis and press ‘pause’ on your progress.

Fortunately, you can still enjoy plenty of low-carb veggies on keto. Here are my top choices—and how to add them to your diet.

1. Kale

Net carbs: 5.5 grams per cup

One of the most well-known superfoods on the planet, kale is a cruciferous veggie that’s packed with health benefits. This curly, leafy green is a great source of several key nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin K, calcium, and manganese. Plus, though low in carbs, it’s high in fiber.

Besides adding kale to smoothies, salads, and stir-fries, you can also bake a batch of kale chips for an easy keto snack.

2. Cauliflower

Net carbs: 3 grams per cup

Also low in carbs but loaded with fiber, cauliflower provides a hearty dose of fiber, B vitamins, and vitamin K in every serving. It can also be easily swapped in for high-carb foods to make keto-friendly versions of rice, pizza crust, and even mashed potatoes. 

Toss chopped cauliflower in the food processor and pulse to make cauliflower rice, or puree, butter, and season it for a satisfying mash.

3. Spinach

Net carbs: 0.5 grams per cup

This nutritious leafy green is low in carbs and calories, but rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, and an array of antioxidants. It’s also versatile and delicious; easy to incorporate into salads and side dishes alike! 

Related: What Makes Antioxidants So Good For You, Anyway?

Try making creamed spinach with grass-fed butter or Greek yogurt to squeeze in some extra veggies and healthy fats simultaneously.

4. Cucumbers

Net carbs: 1.5 grams per ½ cup

If you’re looking for an easy way to boost your daily veggie intake without ramping up the carbs, cucumbers are the way to go. This popular, snackable vegetable has a crispy texture and mild taste—and also helps keep you hydrated.

Use cucumber slices to snack on healthy, high-fat eats like guacamole, almond butter, or smoked salmon. 

5. Zucchini

Net carbs: 3 grams per cup

Zucchini is high in energy-boosting B vitamins, such as riboflavin, folate, and vitamin B6, which help your body fuel itself through busy days. It’s also high in fiber. 

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A great alternative to carb-heavy pasta, try pairing zucchini noodles with your choice of keto-friendly sauce, like pesto or Alfredo.

6. Tomatoes

Net carbs: 4 grams per cup

Along with an assortment of vitamins, antioxidants, and carotenoids, tomatoes bring a bright pop of color to your plate. 

Watch your portions and you can enjoy tomatoes raw on their own or in salads, or cooked into sauces and spreads.

7. Garlic

Net carbs: 1 gram per clove

Garlic not only adds a burst of flavor to your favorite dishes, but also offers a host of health benefits and nutrients, as well. In fact, studies show that garlic could help improve heart health, support your immune system, and promote healthy blood sugar.

Toss a minced clove or two into vinaigrettes, marinades, and stir-fries to give your favorite recipes a healthy twist.

8. Broccoli

Net carbs: 3.5 grams per cup

As with other cruciferous veggies (like kale ad cauliflower), broccoli brings a lot to the table when it comes to nutrition. In particular, broccoli is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, and folate. 

Steam, sauté, or roast broccoli and top with olive oil and your favorite seasonings for an easy, keto-friendly side. 

9. Mushrooms

Net carbs: 1.5 grams per cup

Long-revered for their health-boosting properties, mushrooms boast a range of diverse nutrients, such as copper, niacin, and riboflavin (depending on the specific type of mushroom). 

Related: 7 ‘Shrooms You Should Be Eating For Major Health Benefits

Thanks to their rich and meaty flavor, mushrooms make an excellent addition to keto soups, casseroles, and gravies.

Dr. Josh Axe, D.N.M., D.C., C.N.S., is a doctor of natural medicine, clinical nutritionist, author, and member of The Vitamin Shoppe’s Wellness Council. Dr. Axe operates one of the world’s largest natural health websites, sharing healthy recipes, herbal remedies, nutrition and fitness advice, and information on essential oils and natural supplements. Dr. Axe founded one of the largest functional medicine clinics in the world, in Nashville, TN, and has served as a physician for many professional athletes.

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