They come in all shapes, sizes and tastes. You can munch on it as a snack, gorge on it for lunch or dinner, and even make a perfect breakfast smoothie. Nothing beats vegetables when it comes to a balanced diet. 

Not that we need a day for celebrating vegetables, but the National Eat Your Vegetables Day, which falls every year on June 17, is a perfect reminder for everyone to continue eating their greens. 

For, vegetables are rich sources of vitamins, provitamins, dietary minerals and carbohydrates. They also contain a variety of other phytochemicals, some of which have antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anticarcinogenic properties. 

This year, let us get introduced to some veggies that are not only exotic but nutritious too. 

1) Bok choy: Also known as Chinese cabbage, this variety is a non-heading cabbage that has thick crunchy white stems and broad green leaves. Bok choy is said to be very delicious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. According to WebMD, bok choy helps to reduce your risk of developing cancer full as it is full of cancer-fighting compounds such as vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, folate and selenium. 

2) Romanesco Broccoli: This broccoli-cauliflower hybrid is full of vitamins and minerals. Identified by its beautiful geometric shape, this vegetable is from Italy and has low calories. A good source of vitamins C and K, and fiber, this one has a slightly nutty flavor and a beautiful yellow-green chartreuse color.

3) Dulse: Heard of Dulse? It is a chewy seaweed that is now popular in health food circles, thanks to its numerous nutrition properties. Since it a seaweed, Dulse is salty and usually comes dried. It is rich in iodine, which can improve overall thyroid gland health. 

4) Fiddleheads: Tightly coiled tips of ferns, fiddleheads are delicate and can quickly lose their flavor and crisp texture. So, it is important to cook them fresh. Fiddleheads also provide a good amount of vitamin C, niacin and potassium and can help fight infections. According to Dove Med, it also helps in weight loss. 

5) Black Radish: This vegetable can be very deceptive. Though it looks black from the outside, the insides are very white and healthy. The root vegetable is a perfect substitute for turnips and is packed with vitamin C and contains vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B1, calcium and magnesium.

bok-choy Representational image Photo: Pixabay