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Life and Health


By June 1, 2011No Comments

It’s nothing that your parents haven’t told you a million times, and if you’re a parent, that you haven’t told your own kids: Eat your veggies. It might sound like a broken record at times, but the simple fact is that you decrease your susceptibility to almost every major disease when you incorporate veggies into your daily diet.

Of course, given that you don’t load them down with dips, butter, and sauces, vegetables are low in both fat and calories. However, one of the most important benefits is from the antioxidant properties of vegetables. Antioxidants are substances that have been found to protect your cells against the damaging and disease-contributing effects of free radicals.

If you think veggies are boring, that you don’t like them, or just don’t know what to do with them, then try these tips:

  • Start gradually – you might set a goal for how many servings of veggies you’ll eat each day. One or two servings per day is a good place to start.
  • One new veggie each week – incorporate a variety of veggies into your diet. Don’t be afraid to branch out. It can be a fun project to discover the best way to cook new veggies. You might even find some unique substitutions to make, such as spaghetti squash for pasta.
  • Liquid veggies – drinking your freshly juiced or stocked veggies is one of the easiest ways to squeeze in your veggies. You can always mix and match fruits and veggies, such as carrot and mango juice, for a little added natural sweetness.
  • Do a green lunch – the greener the leaf, the more antioxidants. Try a kale, mixed lettuces, and spinach lunch salad.
  • Have a rainbow in your plate – colorful red, yellow, orange, and purple veggies fight heart disease.
  • Starchy veggies aren’t the enemy – healthy carbohydrates, such as russet potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, corn and peas, are healthy inclusions.
  • Bad breath, good health – freshly chopped garlic and onion make great seasonings for your veggies. Plus, they’re full of phytochemicals.
  • Go raw – with the exception of a few veggies, such as cooked carrots, raw veggies that haven’t had their nutrients destroyed with heat, water, and air exposure are the most healthy. Grilling, steaming, stir frying, and even short periods of microwaving are better cooking methods than boiling and baking.
  • Be creative – if you just don’t like the taste of some veggies, you can always sneak them into the foods you do like; veggie pizza or veggie stew, for example.

Like a car, your body needs fuel to keep going. Think of veggies like the premium grade of fuel, and your body will certainly love you for it.