Whether you live in Denver, CO, or anywhere in the world, eating healthy is important. You need a healthy diet that consists of lean protein, complex carbohydrates and fat. That means you need to make sure there are vegetables in your diet. If you’re having a tough time finding vegetables you like, start with your favorite vegetable. Potatoes, yams, plantain and cassava don’t count in most five veggies a day plans, since they’re starchy foods, but parsnips, sweet potatoes and other root crops do. Now, with that said, I’ve probably wiped out many people’s favorite vegetable, so here are some you should consider.
Popeye was right.
If you’ve ever watched a Popeye cartoon, you know that when he’s in danger, he whips out a can of spinach and pours the contents into his mouth. That spinach gives him super strength to save the day. There’s some truth to that, since spinach is packed with antioxidants, lowering both the risk of disease, but also has a beneficial effect on blood pressure. It’s low in calories and packed with vitamins and minerals. One cup contains all the vitamin K you need for the day and over half your requirement of vitamin A.
Maybe you prefer carrots, like sassy Bugs Bunny.
That wisecracking rabbit also know how to eat healthy. Just one cup of carrots has over four times the daily allowance of vitamin A. It contains beta-carotene that the body converts. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant and a study shows that only a cup a week could lower the risk of prostate cancer by five percent. Eating carrots every week also lowered the risk of lung cancer. Smokers who ate carrots had three times less risk of developing it.
Crucifers are also important.
Whether its Brussels sprouts, broccoli or red cabbage, crucifers are super healthy. Broccoli is rich in sulfur from sulforaphane that helps prevent cancer and other chronic diseases. It protects oxidative stress of the heart and is loaded with nutrition. Just one cup has over 100% of the vitamin K and vitamin C, with lots of folate, potassium and magnesium. Brussels sprouts provides those but also has kaempferol, that helps prevent damage to the cells. Red cabbage, another member o the cruciferous family, has high amounts of vitamin C and anthocyanins, which gives it the red color and provides loads of health benefits.
- Try some asparagus. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals. Just a half cup provides a third of folate requirements for the day. It has vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin and selenium.
- You can use some vegetables for seasoning. Garlic and ginger are nutrient rich and can add zing to a dull menu. Garlic promotes heart health, aids diabetics and reduces cancer. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, plus other benefits.
- Sweet potatoes are allowed and could be your potato alternative. Caiapo, a white sweet potato, lowers blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels. Orange sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene.
- It’s all about color. You need a rainbow of color in your diet from vegetables. Each color of vegetable offers a different health benefit and nutrient. Choose your favorite from each color group and add it to your meal.
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