We hear the message all the time: eat more vegetables. But how do you choose what to eat? Eat what you love, but if you don’t love kale the information below may just inspire you to eat it anyway! Come and cook with us!
Vegetables are the mainstay of our cooking, and we believe this inspiring list of information about them, summarized from the pages of the October 2012 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter, may just help you remember why you want to make them the mainstay of your cooking as well:
- Vegetables are a calorie bargain as they are made mostly of water; many vegetables range from 10 to 50 calories per serving. And they are filling, so instead of putting the vegetables on the side make them the main event.
- Vegetables are packed with vitamins, but so are vitamin pills and vitamin-enriched foods. Vegetables, however, also nourish us with other nutrients such as folate, potassium, lutein, magnesium, vitamin K and fiber as well as other phytochemicals, all helpful in keeping you healthy.
- Research has shown that people who eat more vegetables have a lower risk of heart disease.
- People who eat more vegetables may have a lower risk of stroke. High blood pressure significantly increases your risk of stroke, and a healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruits has been proven to lower blood pressure in several studies.
- One main reason why vegetables are so good for your heart and blood pressure is potassium. Vegetables are packed with this nutrient, and most American’s don’t get enough of it. Experts recommend much more than what is in a banana (almost tenfold). Keep in mind that of the vegetables with the highest level of potassium, only spinach and Swiss chard are low in calories.
- Green vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli and collards are rich in lutein and its related zeaxanthin, which are both important in shielding the lens and retina of the eye.
- While it has not been proven that vegetables lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, eating more of some kinds of vegetables such as the leafy green variety, may make a difference.
- Green leafy vegetables – like kale, spinach and collards – are rich in vitamin K which is best known for its role in helping blood clot. But be sure to talk to your doctor if you take blood thinners such as Coumadin before you eat a large amount of these greens, as you may need to avoid huge swings in your daily intake of vitamin K.
Here is a list of the Top 5 vegetables based on its nutrients:
Vitamin C: Red bell pepper, broccoli, green bell pepper, green chili pepper, Brussels sprouts
Folate: Spinach, asparagus, curly endive, romaine lettuce, turnip greens
Fiber: Artichoke, peas, avocado, lima beans, jicama
Potassium: Sweet potato, lima beans, spinach, Swiss chard, Portobello mushrooms
Lutein: Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, radicchio, turnip greens
Beta-carotene: Sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, kale, spinach
Magnesium: Spinach, Swiss chard, lima beans, arugula, peas
Vitamin K: Kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, Swiss chard
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