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30 Lowest Calorie Vegetables: A Guide to Nutrient-Packed, Waist-Friendly Choices

Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet is the cornerstone of overall well-being. A diet rich in vegetables offers a plethora of essential nutrients while aiding in weight management.

However, not all vegetables are created equal in terms of caloric content. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the world of low-calorie vegetables, exploring their benefits, nutrient profiles, and versatile uses. Get ready to discover the top 30 lowest calorie vegetables that can empower you on your journey towards optimal health.

1. Watercress – 4 calories

Watercress is an exceptional leafy green that delivers a mere 4 calories per cup. Don’t let its low-calorie content fool you; watercress is loaded with vitamin K, vitamin C, and antioxidants, making it a nutritional powerhouse that supports bone health and strengthens the immune system. Its peppery flavor can add a zing to salads and sandwiches, offering both taste and nutrition.

2. Arugula – 5 calories

Arugula, another leafy green, offers 5 calories per cup and packs a punch in terms of flavor. This cruciferous vegetable is a fantastic source of vitamins A and K, as well as folate. Arugula’s distinct peppery taste complements various dishes, from pasta to pizza, while its low-calorie nature contributes to weight management.

3. Lettuce – 5 calories

Lettuce, a staple in salads and wraps, contains just 5 calories per cup. Its high water content aids in hydration, and it’s a great source of vitamins A and K. The diversity of lettuce varieties, such as Romaine and Iceberg, allows for versatile culinary creations that are both satisfying and waist-friendly.

4. Spinach – 7 calories

Popeye’s favorite, spinach, boasts 7 calories per cup and is abundant in vitamins A, C, and K, along with iron and folate. Its mild taste makes it a versatile addition to smoothies, omelets, and salads. The wealth of nutrients it offers supports cardiovascular health and contributes to robust bone health.

5. Alfalfa Sprouts – 8 calories

Tiny but mighty, alfalfa sprouts contain only 8 calories per cup and are a concentrated source of vitamins C and K, as well as minerals like calcium and magnesium. Their crunchy texture adds a delightful element to sandwiches and wraps, enhancing both taste and nutritional value.

6. Celery – 14 calories

Celery, at 14 calories per cup, is celebrated for its high water content and low-calorie nature. This crunchy vegetable is a prime source of fiber and antioxidants. Incorporating celery into your diet can aid in digestion, promote hydration, and contribute to weight loss efforts.

7. Cucumber – 16 calories

Cucumber, with a mere 16 calories per cup, is composed largely of water, making it an excellent hydrating snack. It provides vitamins K and C, as well as silica, which supports healthy skin. Whether sliced into salads or enjoyed as a refreshing standalone snack, cucumbers offer both flavor and hydration.

8. Radishes – 18 calories

Radishes, at 18 calories per cup, bring a burst of color and a peppery kick to dishes. They’re rich in vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. These crunchy delights can enhance digestion, support cardiovascular health, and contribute to a satisfying, low-calorie meal.

9. Zucchini – 19 calories

Zucchini, at 19 calories per cup, is a versatile vegetable that can be spiralized into “zoodles,” sautéed, or baked. It’s a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. Zucchini’s low-calorie content and high water content make it an ideal choice for those aiming to maintain or lose weight.

10. Pak-Choi – 19 calories

Pak-Choi, or Chinese cabbage, contains 19 calories per cup and is a nutritional powerhouse. It offers vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and iron. Its unique flavor and texture make it an excellent addition to stir-fries, soups, and salads, contributing both taste and health benefits.

11. Mushroom – 21 calories

Mushrooms, with just 21 calories per cup, bring a rich umami flavor to dishes. They’re a source of B vitamins, including riboflavin and niacin, as well as minerals like selenium. Mushrooms are known for their potential immune-boosting properties and can add depth to various recipes, from soups to sautés.

12. Cabbage – 22 calories

Cabbage, at 22 calories per cup, is a versatile vegetable with various varieties, including green, red, and savoy cabbage. It’s a superb source of vitamin K and provides antioxidants that support immune function. Cabbage’s low-calorie content makes it a valuable addition to coleslaws, stir-fries, and even fermented dishes like sauerkraut.

13. Cauliflower – 27 calories

Cauliflower, with 27 calories per cup, has gained popularity as a versatile substitute for high-calorie ingredients. Rich in vitamins C and K, cauliflower can be transformed into rice, mashed “potatoes,” and even pizza crust. Its mild taste and impressive nutrient profile make it a valuable addition to any diet.

14. Asparagus – 27 calories

Asparagus, also with 27 calories per cup, is a springtime delicacy packed with folate, vitamins A and K, and fiber. Its distinctive spear-like shape lends itself to roasting, grilling, or sautéing. Asparagus not only tantalizes the taste buds but also supports healthy digestion and can aid in detoxification.

15. Pumpkin – 30 calories

Pumpkin, at 30 calories per cup, is a fall favorite that goes beyond pie filling. Rich in beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, and fiber, pumpkin supports eye health and immune function. Its naturally sweet flavor lends itself to both sweet and savory dishes, making it a versatile addition to soups, stews, and baked goods.

16. Green Beans – 30 calories

Green beans, with 30 calories per cup, provide a satisfying crunch and are a source of vitamins C and K. They’re also a good source of plant-based protein and fiber. Whether steamed, sautéed, or added to casseroles, green beans offer a low-calorie way to increase your vegetable intake.

17. Broccoli – 31 calories

Broccoli, at 31 calories per cup, is part of the cruciferous vegetable family, known for its potential cancer-fighting properties. Rich in vitamins C and K, as well as fiber, broccoli can be enjoyed raw, steamed, or roasted. Its versatility and nutrient density make it a valuable addition to a balanced diet.

18. Eggplant – 35 calories

Eggplant, with 35 calories per cup, boasts a unique, spongy texture and is a source of dietary fiber. It’s also rich in antioxidants like nasunin, which may support brain health. Eggplant’s mild flavor allows it to absorb a variety of seasonings, making it an excellent canvas for various culinary creations.

19. Tomatoes – 36 calories

Tomatoes, at 36 calories per cup, are a juicy source of vitamins C and K, as well as lycopene—an antioxidant associated with heart health. Tomatoes can be enjoyed fresh in salads, cooked into sauces, or roasted for intensified flavor. Their versatility and vibrant color make them a staple in many cuisines.

20. Turnips – 36 calories

Turnips, also at 36 calories per cup, provide a slightly peppery flavor and are a source of vitamins C and K. They can be enjoyed roasted, mashed, or even raw in salads. Turnips’ low-calorie content and versatility make them a valuable addition to various dishes.

21. Bell Peppers – 38 calories

Bell peppers, with 38 calories per cup, are not only visually appealing but also rich in vitamins A and C. Their vibrant colors—red, green, orange, and yellow—indicate different nutrient profiles. Bell peppers add sweetness and crunch to dishes and can be enjoyed raw, grilled, or sautéed.

22. Brussels Sprouts – 38 calories

Brussels sprouts, also at 38 calories per cup, are miniature cabbage-like vegetables that offer a distinct flavor. Packed with vitamins K and C, as well as fiber, Brussels sprouts are known for their potential anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy properties. Roasting or sautéing them can enhance their flavor and appeal.

23. Winter Squash – 40 calories

Winter squash, at 40 calories per cup, includes varieties like butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash. These hearty vegetables are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as fiber and antioxidants. Their naturally sweet taste lends itself to a wide range of dishes, from soups to casseroles.

24. Onion – 46 calories

Onions, with 46 calories per cup, are not only a culinary staple but also provide flavor and potential health benefits. Rich in antioxidants and compounds like quercetin, onions may contribute to immune support and heart health. Their versatile use in various cuisines adds depth and complexity to dishes.

25. Carrots – 53 calories

Carrots, at 53 calories per cup, are known for their vibrant orange hue and are a prime source of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body. This root vegetable supports eye health and adds a sweet crunch to salads, stews, and snacks.

26. Artichoke – 60 calories

Artichokes, with 60 calories per medium-sized artichoke, are prized for their tender hearts and unique taste. They’re a source of fiber and antioxidants, including cynarin, which may support liver health. Artichokes can be steamed, roasted, or added to dips for a distinct flavor.

27. Potato – 116 calories

Potatoes, at 116 calories per cup of diced potatoes, are higher in calories compared to many other vegetables on this list. However, they still provide valuable nutrients, including potassium and vitamin C. Opt for baked or boiled preparations to minimize added fats and enjoy their satisfying texture.

28. Peas – 118 calories

Peas, with 118 calories per cup, offer a balance of protein, fiber, and vitamins A and C. Whether enjoyed fresh or frozen, peas are versatile and can enhance a range of dishes, from pastas to soups. Their natural sweetness adds a delightful element to various recipes.

29. Sweet Potato – 129 calories

Sweet potatoes, at 129 calories per cup, are a nutritional powerhouse boasting beta-carotene, fiber, and vitamins A and C. Their natural sweetness is versatile, allowing them to be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Baking or roasting sweet potatoes can intensify their flavor and nutritional content.

30. Corn – 177 calories

Corn, with 177 calories per cup, is relatively higher in calories due to its starchy nature. While it’s not the lowest calorie option on this list, corn still provides fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Enjoying corn in moderation and in its whole form can contribute to a balanced diet.


These 30 lowest calorie vegetables into your daily meals not only supports weight management but also enriches your diet with an array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. From the humble watercress to the hearty sweet potato, each vegetable offers its unique flavor profile and nutritional benefits.

Whether you’re seeking to create colorful salads, hearty soups, or innovative side dishes, these vegetables are your allies in achieving a balanced and healthful diet. Remember, embracing the diverse world of low-calorie vegetables can be a delicious journey toward optimal well-being.

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