Vegetable nutrition facts
Why should we have diet rich vegetable nutrition?
What are the health benefits of vegetables?
- Vegetables, like fruits, are low in fat but contain good amounts of vitamins and minerals. All the Green-Yellow-orange vegetables are rich sources of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, beta-carotene, vitamin B-complex, vitamin-C, vitamin A, and vitamin K.
- As in fruits, vegetables are also home for many antioxidants that; firstly, help body protect from oxidant stress, diseases and cancers, and secondly, help body develop capacity to fight against these by boosting immunity.
- In addition, vegetables contain soluble as well as insoluble dietary fiber known as non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) like cellulose, gums, mucilage, pectin...etc, that absorb excess water in the colon and retain good amount of moisture in the fecal matter, thereby helps its easy passage out of the body. Thus helpful in conditions like hemorrhoids, chronic constipation, rectal fissures...etc.
...Go for greens to help you stay fit and healthy!
Vegetable nutrition has widely drawn the attention of fitness conscious as well as food scientists alike for their proven health benefits. Many vegetables are very low in calories, such as celery which is even as less than 10 cal per 100 g and here is the long list of vegetables whose calorie is less than 20 per 100 g: Bottle gourd, Bitter melon, Cabbage, Bok choy, Eggplant, Endive, Spinach, Summer squash, Swiss chard, etc. Scientific studies have shown that low calorie but nutrient rich foods help body stay fit and disease free.
And, also our body spends considerable amount of energy during digestion of foods which is known as BMR orBasal metabolism rate. So just imagine…..when you add more vegetable nutrition in the diet, in fact you set to lose more weight than you would gain…Right!..This is the concept behind the "negative calorie foods".
Here is the impressive list of vegetables along with their nutrition facts and health benefits:
How much vegetables should be in our daily diet?
Eat at least 5-7 servings of fresh vegetables every day. Seasonal vegetables should be encouraged. Include variety in vegetable type and color in your diet. Yellow and orange color vegetables are rich in Vitamin A, α and β carotenes, zea-xanthins and crypto-xanthins, where as dark green vegetables are very good source of minerals and phenolic flavonoid anti-oxidants.
Selection of vegetables
Whenever possible, go for organic farm vegetables to get maximum health benefits. They are not very expensive if you can find them from the nearby local farm owners. Organic verities tend to have smaller in size but have rich flavor and feature good amounts of vitamins, minerals and stuffed with numerous health benefiting anti-oxidants.
- In the markets, however, always buy small quantities so that they should last within a day or two. There is no point in eating unfit greens!
- Buy that feature freshness, bright in color and flavor and feel heavy in your hands.
- Look carefully for blemishes, spots, fungal mold and signs of insecticide spray. Buy whole vegetables instead of section of them (for example, pumpkin).
How to use vegetables?
First thing- you need to do immediately after shopping, wash them, especially green leafy vegetables. Rinse in salt water for few minutes and gently swish in cool water until you are satisfied with cleanliness. This way you ensure they are free from dust, sand and any residual chemical sprays. Use them early while fresh because firstly, certain vegetables have very short shelf life and secondly, the health benefiting properties of a vegetable declines with time. However, if you need to store them, then place in plastic wrappings or in zip pouches in order to preserve nutrition for short periods until you use them.