Updated: Jun 23, 2020
AS NATURE INTENDED ... Plant Food, especially vegetables are the best nutrients, the right fuel 'designed' to fire up the body - as nature intended !
WHY EAT VEGGIES
WHAT ARE VEGGIES
EATING MORE VEGGIES MADE EASY
NUTRIENTS DIRECT - Why not get you daily nutrients them directly from the source?
But often we choose to eat other foods...
- Processed, incomplete and refined foods, such as white flour and white rice, have much their goodness taken out.
- Food consumed by other beings which we then eat is processed into another format, the original nutrients changed.
- Food that is broken down to individual elements, i.e. vitamins, as additives or supplements is not as nature intended the body to absorb it.
Food far from its natural state
The body cannot absorb these food easily. When it does it get only part of what it needs or the wrong type of food. The body does not function as it should, it gets weak and eventually sick ( the body trying to cure itself ).
The best food for a healthy body is fresh natural, complete plant food - Nutrients Direct !
WHY EAT VEGGIES ?
Because our bodies need them to function properly. Vegetables, even green vegetables have protein, carbohydrates as well as vitamins, minerals and all kinds of other important nutrients. Do you know that of the calories we get from broccoli 45% are made up of protein? onion are 16% protein and cucumbers have 24% ... someone once said to me in a rhetorical question, " ... but aren't cucumbers mostly just water?"
Cucumbers - They were right, cucumbers are mostly of water, but in that water and in that dry matter / fibre is so much else;
What's in a cucumber?
Elements Benefits ( some of them )
water - hydration, life ... we are made up of over 60% water.
protein - for muscles and tissues, blood, for repairing, for hormones
fat - for nutrient absorption and storage, cell growth
carbohydrate - the main energy source
fiber - for digestion and so important for proper gut health
calcium - for our bones, but also for our vital organs, heart, etc...
iron - needed for our blood, regulates energy and digestion
magnesium - for bones, muscles and nutrient absorption
phosphorus - for bone health, kidneys and other organs
potassium - normal function of cells, regulates heart rate
sodium - for fluid balance in the body and blood
vitamin C - helps absorption of iron
vitamin K - for blood clotting and bone health
vitamin B - for growth, the nervous system, oxygen regulation
vitamin A - skin, eyes and cell health
antioxidants - prevents cell damage, good for skin, eyes, heart, etc...
beta carotene - for eyes, skin, mucus membranes
... and more
Each element has many other functions than the ones mentioned. We need all of these for life. Every vegetable has many of the same elements, in varying proportions and different combinations. They all work together to give us healthy living.
So you see how important it is to eat your veggies?
... and yes, carrots are good for your eyes!
But so are many other vegetables. There is not cure-all, magic element, all vegetables are important.
Just eat a variety of them, of different colours. That is where the expression - 'eat the rainbow' comes from, eat the different colours and you will get all the important nutrients you need.
WHAT ARE VEGGIES ?
Most of us know what vegetable are, well at least we know the most popular ones; carrots, potatoes, broccoli ... and we may have heard of spinach, but do we eat any of it?
Vegetables come in varying colours; green, being very important, as well as red, yellow, orange, purple, brown. Each of these colours give us different nutrients, that is why it is best to eat a little of each. Not all together! we could never eat that in one sitting, but throughout the week, at different times.
Our family's tradition is to have a green salad with almost every main meal. But we may also have a carrot salad instead or both, or a tomato salad ... with plenty of garlic. At times I like a mixed salad; spinach greens, grated carrot, chopped onion, a few baby tomatoes, cucumber and a nice sprinkle of fresh green parsley.
And we often cook them as well, root vegetables such as carrots or potatoes, parsnips, turnip, beetroot. Sweet potato is wonderful or butternut squash. And sometimes cooked kale, cauliflower or broccoli.
The key when cooking is not to overcook them. By cooking them you destroy much of the nutrients and most importantly, the wonderful taste.
A reason we do not eat as many veggies as we should is that we may have been introduced to vegetables with overcooked ones ... overcooked broccoli for instance would turn anyone off vegetables for life!
Carrot, Spinach, Kale, Broccoli, Onion, Garlic, Cauliflower, Beet, Courgette, Tomato, Celery, Cucumber, Lettuce, Radish ...
Potato, Sweet Potato, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Tomato, Beet, Courgette, Onion, Garlic, Celery, Kale, Spinach, Bok Choi...
and of course there are many many others.
EATING MORE VEGGIES... MADE EASY
Fast Food veggies!
Have you ever heard of carrot sticks?
A good way to eat more veggies is to have them cut up and ready to eat. You can do this and then put them in the fridge to keep. When you take them out and put them on a plate, they just disappear. Kids and adults walk by and eat them.
Carrot and celery sticks, slices of red, green and yellow pepper, cucumber slices, broccoli florets are perfect for quick eating and snacking.
The obvious condiment to use with all veggies is hummus. Look in the Cooking & Recipe section for hummus recipes
Dressing them up!
At times we may find the raw vegetables need a little sauce. A good salad dressing helps to eat plenty of salad. Vinaigrette such as the one found in Cooking & Recipes will make a great salad. You can just use a drop of vinegar and olive oil, sometimes a drizzle of lemon juice is all that is needed
The Stir Fry
Stir fries are for the most part a lot of fresh veggies quickly fried in a drop of oil with a little tamari / soya sauce. The key is to cook them just a little. High heat, a lot of stirring and only a few minutes. The veggies are a little charred, slightly cooked but retain a little crunchiness and most importantly, the taste.
Stir fried veggies are liked by all.
Cooked, but only a little
When cooking vegetables such as carrots, beets, cauliflower or broccoli, especially broccoli, you want to just barely cook them. They must retain their bright colour and taste.
Steaming works well. Use only a little water and cook until just softening.
Prepare you broccoli, cut into bite size florets
Bring a pot to the boil with only 1/2 cm / 1/4" of water at the bottom.
Toss in the broccoli and cover
Allow to cook for a minute or two, then take off the heat and allow to sit in the covered pot for another few minutes.
It should be ready to eat, bright green and tasty!