Did you intend to eat more healthy foods this year but lacked a clear plan or just got bored with your new diet? Here’s guest blogger and Flexitarian cookbook author, Bindu Grandhi, to give us a helping hand when it comes to eating well in 2013!
It’s a New Year and a chance to start fresh with a positive attitude and healthy disposition! From a foodie view, start 2013 right by eating a diet loaded with veggies. I know…..I know you’ve heard this mantra a thousand times but indisputably health is the greatest wealth.
Here are 5 reasons why veggies can enrich your health treasure trove:
- Smart calories. Most vegetables are comprised of water which is why they range from 10 to 50 calories per serving, not to mention filling because of the fiber. Go easy on the rich salad dressings, sauces and butter.
- Vitamins and Minerals. Veggies are rich in vitamins and potassium, lutein, magnesium, fiber, phytochemicals that protect your health. Vitamin pills, vitamin water or energy bars cannot take the place of a bowl of broccoli. Getting these nutrients from nature just can’t be nutritionally beat.
- Protect the heart. People who ate three or more servings of vegetables a day had a 16% lower risk of heart disease.
- Lower risk of stroke. A diet rich in vegetables (and fruits), especially those with potassium, lowers blood pressure and thus reduces the risk of stroke.
- Shield the eyes. Green vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, collards are rich in lutein and its cousin zeaxanthin, the main carotenoids in the lens and retina of the eye. In a study of roughly 35,000 postmenopausal women, those who consumed more lutein and zeaxanthin had an 18% lower risk of cataracts.*
Ready to buy your veggies? To help you with your grocery list, here’s a ranking of vegetables* based on the above-mentioned benefits.
Top 5 Vitamin C: Red & Green Bell Pepper, Broccoli, Green chili pepper, Brussels Sprouts
Top 5 Folate: Spinach, Asparagus, Curly endive, Romaine lettuce, Turnip greens
Top 5 Fiber: Artichoke, Peas, Avocado, Lima Beans, Jicama
Top 5 Potassium: Sweet Potato, Lima Beans, Spinach, Swiss chard, Portobello Mushrooms
Top 5 Lutein: Kale, Spinach, Swiss chard, Radicchio, Turnip greens
Top 5 Beta-Carotene: Sweet Potato, Pumpkin, Carrots, Kale, Spinach
Top 5 Magnesium: Spinach, Swiss chard, Lima Beans, Arugula, Peas
Top 5 Vitamin K: Kale, Spinach, Collard greens, Turnip greens, Swiss chard
*Nutrition Action Healthletter, October 2012
Here’s a recipe for one of the nutritional all-stars:
Roasted Savory Sweet Potatoes
- 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 – 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 450°F. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and toss. Arrange the sweet potatoes in a shallow roasting pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Place on top rack of oven and roast until tender and slightly browned, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
About the Author
Author of Spice Up Your Life, Bindu Grandhi is passionate about healthy and flavourful cooking, especially when it’s flexitarian. She shares her health knowledge with the world by providing practical, healthy and tasty recipes as The Flex Cook.
Yum, this sweet potato recipe sounds delish! I don’t know about you but simply baking sweet potatoes just don’t go down well for me. I can’t wait to try these! If you try ‘em, please come on back here and let us know how you liked them.