Veggie Trend Alert!

Look out for these veggies in 2020.

By Julie Alvira, M.D., MBA Healthcare Management

Still in demand, the humble veggie is on the rise and replacing popular carbs such as rice and flour.

Veggies have been trending for some time. As more people avoid refined grains because of their link to inflammation, vegetables have become a nutritious alternative. The addition of gluten in a diet can cause an inflammatory response in the body that is linked to gluten intolerance. Gluten is mostly found in wheat, rye, farro, and barley. Farro, a trendy grain, also has gluten because it is a type of wheat grain.

You’ve heard of veggies such as cabbage and its relatives: cauliflower, Brussels sprouts (making a comeback), and kale. But, do you know why are people turning to them and what makes them popular? Let’s see.

Cabbage: A plant that is usually eaten as a vegetable, it’s a great source of fiber and is rich in antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin C. You can use it in soups (I personally don’t like soups but a veggie one with cabbage, yes, please!), cut it for coleslaw, and use it to make all sorts of salads. If you slice cabbage, it can be grilled, fried, or steamed. Research needs to continue on its cancer prevention qualities, although there are studies suggesting it can help with prostate and stomach cancer. Be careful of eating too much if you have diabetes because it had been said that cabbage can interfere with blood sugar levels.

Cauliflower: This veggie has become popular because of the keto-eating plan. Low caloric and rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, it also is rich in folate, vitamin K, fiber, and natural compounds that help with oxidative stress. It’s suggested that cauliflower helps with inflammation, premature aging, and prevention of heart disease, cognitive decline, and digestion. Some people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and others without the condition may find it a bit difficult to digest because cauliflower is a FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharide, and polyols food). A popular use for cauliflower is to use it as rice. Cooked brown rice can have 210 calories/46 grams of carbs, while a cup of cauliflower rice has 25 calories/5 grams of carbs.

Brussels Sprouts: As the name suggests, this veggie hails from Brussels, Belgium. In the United States, they are mainly grown in New York and California. High in fiber, folate, vitamin C and K, like its relatives mentioned above, it’s suggested it helps with inflammation, prevention of heart disease, and cancer. Brussels sprouts contain four times more vitamin C than oranges. There are more than 110 varieties of this trendy veggie. Did you know there is an Eat Brussels Sprouts Day? Yes! Every January 31st is a day dedicated to this veggie.

Kale: “America’s superfood sweetheart” since around 2014, this cruciferous veggie had been everywhere. Not only does it help with overall wellbeing but it’s also high in fiber, vitamins K and C, calcium, chlorophyll, potassium, and nitrates.

Note: Like with all cruciferous vegetables, eating too much of them in excess can interfere with medications or bodily functions in many individuals. For example, these vegetables contain thiocyanates, which can affect your body’s ability to absorb iodine. They are also high in vitamin K (helps with blood clotting), which can interfere with blood thinner medications.

Always consult your doctor if you have questions concerning your health before starting a new eating plan or making drastic changes in your eating habits.

Julie Alvira, M.D., MBA Healthcare Management, is the founder of Coach Dr. Julie, LLC – Physician Life and Weight Loss Coaching Services. You can find her on Facebook as Coach Dr. Julie or via email at