A "plant based diet" is recommended over and over as the healthiest way to eat. But what vegetables are the healthiest? Some vegetables act as antioxidants for the body and antioxidants prevent or delay cell damage. They are nature's anti-aging substances and these are the vegetables we want to eat. A study conducted in Osaka, Japan and published in Food Chemistry quantified 22 vegetables that were high in Organosulfur, the compound that acts as a potent antioxidant.
(You can skim over this paragraph) I read the study and it is extremely complex with citations such as this: "Quantification of sulfane sulfur atom(s) present in polysulfides by alkaline/reductive sulfur elimination protocol. (A) Detection of NEM-adducts derived from GS3G by the alkaline/reductive sulfur elimination protocol. (B) Comparison of the detected liberated sulfur atom(s) from various organosulfur compound standards. Data are presented as the mean ± SE (n = 3–6). GS-NEM, NEM-adduct of GS moiety; NEM-S-NEM, bis-sulfur-NEM-adduct."
(Read this one) They found that komatsuna, leeks, onion, brocolli, daikon, Chinese chive, cabbage, garlic, pumpkin, carrot, white sesame seed, shishito pepper, bell pepper, eggplant, spinach, asparagus, tomato, green shiso and ginger were all very high in organosulfur. Onions had a particular ability to scavenge free radicals.
The Brassica vegetables (Broccoli, kale, collard greens, cauliflower, turnips and cabbage) are known for their anti-cancer, anti-free radical and cardioprotective ability. Broccoli and cabbage came in at number 1 on this study.
What is important here? First, the authors had no financial disclosures and the study was not sponsored by the food industry. Second, we have a health crisis that consists of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease that are all preventable with good nutrition. Incorporate these vegetables into your daily intake and prolong your health-span.
ADDENDUM: I had to look it up. Komatsuna is a leafy wild turnip like a spicy spinach. It grows quickly and is supposed to be delicious cooked with garlic.
You can buy Shishito peppers packaged at any market produce (including Trader Joes) and they are really good as a snack or appetizer sautéed in olive oil. Shiso is a herb from the mint family and is often found in sushi and sashimi.