All vegetables are good for health, no doubt. They are grouped as starchy and non-starchy vegetables. Starch is harmful to many people due to certain health issues and ailments, even those present in vegetables.
Not just for people with health issues, excessive starch is not good for anyone. That is where non-starchy vegetables come in. Non-starchy vegetables contain the same amount of nutrients and vitamins as starchy vegetables.
By eating non-starchy vegetables, you can avoid the ingredient that causes harm by simultaneously reaping all the other health benefits you get by eating vegetables.
Not much difference.
1. What Exactly is Starch?
Starch can be organic as well as inorganic. The starch in vegetables is organic, while the chemical starch in clothes and other materials is inorganic. The main component is the same, though.
Starch is a complex component of carbohydrates. Inorganic starch can be made artificially in the form of a tasteless white powder. Starchy and non-starchy vegetables differ in their carbohydrate content, which is the cause of high starch.
Non-starchy vegetables have fewer carbs and more nutrients in them, while starchy vegetables have more starch and comparatively fewer nutrients.
2. What Exactly Does Starch Do?
Starch is a form of carbohydrate that helps produce energy in the body. Starch is broken down in our bodies to form glucose. As we all know, glucose is the main component that helps fuel our body’s energy.
Glucose is essential for the functioning of our brain as well as our muscles. But what happens if we start ingesting too much starch in our bodies? As well known, starch forms glucose in our bodies. Excessive glucose formation is not exactly good for our bodies.
Too much glucose causes the body to be at risk of heart disease and diabetes.
People often follow a healthy eating diet rich in vegetables and fruits but still find it difficult to lose weight. The problem here could be traced to starch. An increase in starch and glucose in the body also leads to obesity.
We keep consuming all vegetables, not considering whether they are starchy or non-starchy, and thinking that vegetables are always healthy. Starchy vegetables include – corn, potatoes, peas, and many more.
But the fact that non-starchy vegetables provide even more health benefits should be considered, especially for those suffering from blood sugar problems and heart problems (cardiovascular disease).
3. Non-Starchy Vegetables You Could Consider Switching To
3.1. Brussel Sprouts
Topping the list of non-starchy vegetables are the Brussels sprouts. They contain 38 g of calories and can be very filling because of their rich fiber content.
You can eat them cooked, boiled, or even drained. Add your favorite seasoning and gobble it up.
Brussels sprouts have 3 g of protein and 2 g of sugar. You can have them for lunch or dinner.
Mushrooms have a very less amount of sugar and calories, and hence they make it to the list of non-starchy vegetables. The overall calories in mushrooms are – 21 calories.
They also provide phosphorus, selenium, and vitamin D, contain 3 g of proteins, and have zero fat count. Mushrooms can be eaten in several ways and tend to be very tasty.
Apart from being one of the non-starchy vegetables, cabbage is also a weight loss superfood. It contains 22 calories, 1 g protein, and 2 g fiber.
Additionally, cabbage has many essential nutrients like vitamins B6, C, and K, folate, and manganese. You can eat it raw, boiled, or cooked – or add it to your dish as a side.
Next on the list of nonstarchy vegetables is broccoli. An amazing salad food that can be eaten cooked or raw. Broccoli has 31 calories and 2.5 g of proteins. It also has high values of vitamins K and C and fiber, potassium, and iron.
Cauliflowers are always recommended for people that are following a non-starchy vegetable diet. They contain 25 calories and zero fat. Cauliflowers have a very high value in vitamins.
Generally, the dietician would ask you to cut off rice from your diet and add cauliflower rice as an alternative to non-starchy vegetables and foods.
You can make many amazing dishes out of cauliflowers that taste delicious. You can use it in curries or other dishes or make innovative things like pizza crusts out of them.
Cucumber has the largest amount of water content in it and is a part of the non-starchy vegetables. It contains – 137 g of water, 17 calories, and 0.8 g of proteins.
It is packed with essential and filling nutrients like calcium, fiber, and iron. Eating cucumbers every day would also help in aiding digestive problems. Drinking cucumber water has been proven to help reduce weight and provide a cooling sensation to the stomach.
Garlic is very low in saturated fat and has very few calories. People increasing the amount of bad cholesterol in their bodies are recommended to eat garlic. As a part of non-starchy vegetables, garlic helps reduce weight by boosting metabolism.
It contains many nutrients like vitamin C, B12, and B1, iron, manganese, calcium, copper, and potassium. Plus, it also provides great flavor and taste to your food.
3.8. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are the most colorful non-starchy vegetables. They taste great as well and are ideal for your non-starchy diet. With just 31 calories and 1 g of protein, bell peppers are said to keep you full for longer.
Bell peppers can be eaten raw or cooked. They come in a variety of colors like red, green, and yellow. You can give your salad a colorful twist by adding all the colors, or you could cook them into a delicious dish.
3.9. All Leafy Greens
Everyone knows how nutritionally valuable leafy greens are. Adding them to the list of non-starchy vegetables makes them even more valuable. Spinach, kale, asparagus, Romaine lettuce, Watercress, arugula, and many more.
All these leafy greens have fewer calories and starch and more vitamins and minerals, and they can hence help you lower your calorie intake. They keep you full for a longer period of time and will help you keep your diet in control. You could garnish your leafy green salad bowl with any dip or sauce that you prefer and make it even more interesting.
Apart from being part of the non-starchy vegetables, beets have so many other nutrients that make them a must-add to your diet. Containing 43 calories, beets help detoxify the body, improve blood flow, and reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
People having low hemoglobin levels in the body are always advised to eat or drink raw beets or raw beat juice. Beets are an excellent source of manganese, folate, vitamin B12, iron, and Vitamin C.
4. A Proper Diet Is Necessary
Apart from vegetables, other food items like bread, rice, and many more contain high amounts of starch. Ideally, it is important to eat a balanced diet comprising small amounts of all the nutrients and eat a diet comprising both starchy and non-starchy foods.
You can eat these non-starchy vegetables as many as you want as they contain fewer calories, are full of nutrients, and have fewer carbs.
They can also be eaten for a keto diet. If you choose to buy canned, frozen vegetables, make sure to buy the low-sodium ones and wash them before eating.
5. Frequently Asked Questions
5.1. Why Are Vegetables that Are Not Starchy Important?
Non-starchy veggies are crucial to a balanced diet because they include critical vitamins, minerals, and fiber for preserving good health. They can aid in weight loss and weight management and are low in calories as well.
5.2. What Are the Best Ways to Cook and Consume Non-Starchy Vegetables?
Non-starchy veggies can be cooked in a number of different ways, including grilled, sautéed, roasted, steamed, and raw. They can be used as a side dish with a main course or added to salads, soups, stir-fries, and smoothies.
5.3. What Vegetables Don’t Contain Starch?
Non-starchy veggies are those that are high in fiber and water but low in calories and carbohydrates. Leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, and peppers are a few examples.
5.4. What Are Some Non-Starchy Vegetable Examples?
Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and arugula, cruciferous veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, as well as other vegetables like peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, and eggplant, are examples of non-starchy vegetables.
Learn more about organic red rice.