Types Of Vegetables

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Here's an overview of the types of vegetables according to their family relationships. Related vegetables may seem dissimilar due to use of different parts of the plant, such as its stalk, leaves, or fruit.





Closely related vegetables typically have similarities in taste and nutrition, although some will be unique within their family. What is a food family?

The following types of vegetables can have unique properties, but each of these healthy vegetables gives you the excellent health benefits of vegetables.

For other types of foods, see the list of fruits, list of grains, list of nuts and seeds, and list of meats and poultry.


Allium Vegetables

GarlicGarlic

Vegetables in the onion family are anti-allergy, antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-histamine, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral!
(genus: Allium in the Allioideae subfamily of the Amarylidaceae family)

Chives
Garlic
Leeks
Onion
Shallot


Asparagus

AsparagusAsparagus

Asparagus is diuretic, detoxifying, and contains antioxidants.
(family: Asparagaceae)

Asparagus


Buckwheat Family

RhubarbRhubarb

Buckwheat is the basis for soba noodles and for kasha (roasted buckwheat groats). It is unreleated to wheat. Its surprising relative, rhubarb, has toxic leaves but its stalks are used for pies and jam.
(family: Polygonaceae)

Buckwheat
Garden sorrel
Rhubarb


Composite Vegetables

LettuceLettuce

Many of our salad greens are in the Composite family.
(family: Compositae)

Artichoke
Chamomile
Chicory
Dandelion
Endive
Jerusalem artichoke
Lettuce
Romaine
Safflower
Salsify
Sunflower


Cruciferous and Brassica Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables, especially the Brassica genus, are the cancer-fighting vegetables.

Read more on Brassica vegetables



Brassica vegetables

Brussels SproutsBrussels Sprouts

(genus: Brassica in the family Cruciferae or Brassicaceae)

Bok choy
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Chinese cabbage (Napa cabbage)
Collard greens
Kale
Kohlrabi
Mustard greens
Rapeseed oil (canola)
Rapini
Rutabaga
Turnip


Other Cruciferous Vegetables

RadishesRadishes

(family: Cruciferae or Brassicaceae)

Arugula (rocket)
Daikon radish
Horseradish
Maca
Radish
Virginia pepperweed
Wasabi
Watercress


Goosefoot / Amaranth Vegetables

BeetsBeets

The Goosefoot family includes detoxifying roots (beets), seeds used as alternative grains (amaranth and quinoa) and highly nutritious greens.
(family: Amaranthaceae / Chenopodiacae)

Amaranth
Beet
Chard
Lamb's-quarters
Quinoa
Spinach
Sugar beet


Gourd Family

ZucchiniZucchini

In this nutritious family, the colorful squash and melons contain important carotenoids.
(family: Cucurbitaceae)

Cucumber
Pumpkin
Squash
Zucchini

Culinary Fruit
Cantaloupe
Melons
Watermelon


Grass Family Vegetables

Grilled CornGrilled Corn

Grains such as wheat, rice, and corn are in the Grass family, and so are several vegetable and herb forms of these plants. For the grain forms, such as wheat and rice, see the list of grains.
(family: Poaceae)

Bamboo shoots
Lemongrass
Sugar cane
Sweet corn
Wheatgrass juice


Legumes

String BeansString Beans

Beans and the legume family are high in protein and fiber.
(family: Leguminosae)

Alfalfa
Beans
Carob
Chickpea
Green beans
Jicama
Lentil
Pea
Peanut
Soy




Mallow Vegetables

Cacao PodsCacao Pods

Okra is a unique and healthy vegetable used in Southern cooking. Cacao pods contain the "beans" (seeds of the fruit) that are the source of chocolate.
(family: Malvaceae)

Cacao
Cotton
Okra


Morning Glory Vegetables

Sweet PotatoSweet Potato

The sweet potato is a complex carbohydrate, and its orange flesh contains carotenoids and fiber. It is not related to the potato or to the true yam.
(family: Convolvulaceae)

Sweet potato


Nightshade Vegetables

PotatoesPotatoes

The good: colorful nightshade vegetables contain vitamin C and important antioxidants such as lycopene and lutein (and are fun vegetables).

The bad: nightshade vegetables also contain drug-like chemicals called glycoalkaloids. (Nicotine, the glycoalkaloid in tobacco, is one example.) Glycoalkaloids cause joint and muscle pain in some people.

More information on nightshade vegetables

(family: Solanaceae)

Culinary Vegetables

Bell pepper (sweet pepper)
Italian pepper
Chile pepper (examples of varieties):

  • Anaheim
  • Ancho
  • Cascabel
  • Chipotle
  • Fresno
  • Guajillo
  • Habañero
  • Jalapeño
  • Pasada
  • Pasilla
  • Pimiento / Pimento
  • Poblano
  • Serrano

Eggplant
Potato
Tomato
Tomatillo

Spices
Cayenne
Chili powder (some ingredients of)
Curry (some ingredients of)
Paprika

Sauces
Ketchup
Tabasco

Culinary Fruit
Goldenberry (Cape gooseberry)
Goji berry
Pepino
Tamarillo

Other
Tobacco


Umbelliferous Vegetables

CarrotsCarrots

Fiber and phytochemicals combine in carrots, celery, and other umbelliferous vegetables.
(family: Umbelliferae)

Caraway
Carrot
Celery
Cilantro
Cumin
Dill
Fennel
Parsley
Parsnip




Related books





Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini


Colorful reference book of vegetables.




Field Guide to Produce


How to identify, select, clean, and store produce.




Raw Food made Easy for 1 or 2 People


Easy raw food.




Vegetables Every Day


Beginner's encyclopedia of vegetables.


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