Eat Your Vegetables!

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POWERHOUSE

Eat vegetables for robust health. We have always been told to eat our vegetables because they are good for us. Since the benefits of vegetables are profound, they are truly nature’s medicine cabinet. Eating vegetables and fruits can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by lowering blood pressure, possibly prevent some cancers, improve eye health, reduce digestive problems and help to regulate blood sugar and thereby help to keep blood sugar in check. (1) I don’t know of any other food group that can makes such extravagant claims. You can read about the benefits of fruit here .

Eat Vegetables for Variety

Many people have one or two vegetables that they like. Peas and carrots are staples in many diets. Corn is a favorite food of many people but corn is not a vegetable! Corn is a grain. Green peas contain only 62 calories and 7 Net Grams of carbohydrates per half cup serving. Peas are a good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin K. Carrots contain 41 calories and 6.8 Net Grams of carbohydrates per 2 medium carrots. Carrots also contain large amounts of vitamin A and several B vitamins. Both of these vegetables are highly nutritious but the more vegetables that you add to your diet, the better. Eat vegetables of all kinds to cover your nutritional bases.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and rutabagas are all members of this family. Because they contain sulforaphane which has been noted to reduce the size and number of breast cancer cells, they are considered medicinal by some people. They are recognized as a powerful weapon in the war against cancer.  Red cabbage contains anthocyanins which have vast health benefits including anti-inflammatory properties and improvements in blood cholesterol levels.

Allium Vegetables

Garlic, leeks and yellow and green onions are members of the allium family. The alliums are considered to be  powerful cancer fighters by decreasing inflammation. Inflammation is the beginning of almost all disease. Allium veggies add much more than flavor to your meals. Eat vegetables for flavor and nutrition.

Eat Vegetables Super Foods

Asparagus, sweet potatoes, collards and turnips all provide unique benefits including folate, beta-carotene, calcium and Vitamin C. You may notice that all of these different vegetables have their own super nutrition profile.

The key to getting good nutrition from vegetables is to eat a variety. They even enhance your skin by protecting it from cellular damage which can cause wrinkling and age spots. Now if nothing else gives you incentive to eat your veggies, think about that.

(1) Vegetables and Fruits | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

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