Growing up, my mom was someone you'd call a "health guru." She was going to "Whole Foods" when it was still "Bread & Circus," ahead on the whole-organic and all-natural trend, and up on the vegetable, fruit, and lean protein movement before many others. When I was younger, I thought it was crazy how we essentially had no junk/processed food in my house. I would go to a friends house and stuff my face with Oreos, Cheez-Its, and more.

It wasn't until I started putting on weight that I began to notice the true value of eating healthy. The summer before my freshman year in college, I started spinning every day, which effected my metabolism and the foods I was craving. I suddenly was a lot less hungry all of the time, and when I was I craved fresh and healthy foods.

Since then, I have adopted a diet of mainly vegetables, fruits, and protein. My body has never looked and felt better. Here are a list of bomb veggies, their benefits, and a recipe to go along with each that will kickstart your healthy lifestyle. 

1. Broccoli 

broccoli, vegetable, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccolini, salad
Mackenzie Barth

First off, let me just tell you this veggie has me jammin' to this tune. Broccoli is loaded with incredible essential vitamins and minerals, in addition to potassium and fiber, which can help lower cholesterol. Try this yummy Parmesan Roasted Broccoli to get your fix. 

2. Sweet Potato

vegetable, fish
Samantha Gronberg

Sweet potato is a great comfort food that's great for you. They're very high in vitamin A, which helps with a healthy immune system, and cell growth, and vitamin B, which can help boost your immune system. Try these oven-baked sweet potato fries to taste all of that goodness.

3. Kale

vegetable, herb, broccoli, salad, oil, parsley
Christie Bok

Kale to the Victors, am I right? Kale is an unreal power food that is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat. You slay, Kale. Make your kale power moves by eating this yummy kale salad.

4. Carrots

soup, cream, pumpkin
Alexandra Kazimir

I don't know about you, but I'm trying to get 20/20 vision. Carrots contain lots of vitamin A, which helps protect the surface of the eye (the cornea), which is critical for good vision. Make this delicious Vegan Carrot Soup for a tasty way to improve your eyesight.

5. Onion

cereal, rice, sweet
Kendra Valkema

Onions help regulate blood pressure and contain anticancer and antimicrobial properties. Make caramelized onions and add them to your sandwich, salad, pizza, or pasta to get your dose of onion.

6. Tomatoes

mozzarella, vegetable, tomato, caprese salad, basil, cheese, salad
Stephanie Lee

Tomatoes have been linked to helping lower both cholesterol and risk of certain heart diseases. Make these Italian flag inspired Caprese Salad Skewers to get your tomato fix.

7. Cauliflower

meat, rice, sauce, vegetable, pork, chicken
Danielle Weinstein

Cauliflower is a bomb veggie that is anti inflammatory, contains rich vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, and a sulfur compound that has been shown to kill cancer stem cells. Also, if you're Paleo or just trying to avoid carbs, cauliflower can be made into rice and then seasoned however you like. This Vegetarian "Orange Chicken" recipe made with cauliflower will take your breath away. 

8. Butternut Squash

cream, broth, tea, sweet, pumpkin, soup
Alixandra Rutnik

Butternut squash is your quintessential fall and winter vegetable. It gives off some major cozy vibes. Butternut squash is low fat and contains significant amounts of potassium, which is great for bone health. Eat your squash by making some Butternut Squash and Ricotta Toast.

9. Brussels Sprouts

sauce, sprouts, vegetable
Dyan Khor

Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin C, which strengthens your immune system and supports the health of your skin, teeth and gums. This simple yet delicious pan roasted Brussels sprout recipe will have you coming back for more.

10. Eggplant

Helena Lin

Eggplant is unreal. It is low in calories and high in bioflavonoids, which are known to control high blood pressure and relieve stress. Try eggplant with this scrumptious and warm eggplant parmesan recipe or just by simply grilling it with some olive oil, salt and pepper.

Mmm... all of these recipes look so delicious, I just want to make them all at once. It's amazing that food so healthy can also taste so good.