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Vegetables


Grandma was right, about a lot of things. Eat your vegetables.   

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Vegetables


Grandma was right, about a lot of things. Eat your vegetables.   

Even cavemen ate Veggies 

If you goal is health and wellness then build every plate around a heaping helping of deliciously prepared vegetables. Yes, protein is required and yes, fruit is nutritious too but nothing tops veggies for nutrition per calorie.

Slather them in butter and spice them up all nice. Good recipes are the key, as is a kick ass salad dressing. Eating them raw is fine some of the time but lightly sautéing, steaming or roasting them, that's is typically your best bet. More tips down below after this list...

All Stars

Greens - chard, kale, dandelion, beet or collard greens and spinach. Break out the olive oil and lightly saute for best nutrition. Worth sourcing organic.  

Salad greens - bok choy, arugula, red lettuce, red radicchio and fresh microgreens - all awesome raw so have a big fresh salad every day.

Brussel Sprouts - very nutritious and delicious too if prepared right. Buying very fresh is the key for good nutrition. 

Broccoli - eat the heads and stems too, good fiber and nutrition. Lightly steamed is best. Buying very fresh is the key for good nutrition. 

Cauliflower - undercook, steamed, oiled and oven roasted.

Red Cabbage - raw, cooked or fermented as live probiotic rich kraut / slaw. Super antioxidant. 

Beets - sweet, flavorful and nutritious. They turn your fingers red when you peel then, your pee red too but all good. Eat the beet greens too.

Bell Peppers - pay extra for organic, eat them raw, use as a hummus scoop or lightly cooked. 

Carrots - heirloom purple and yellow with tops attached are best taste and nutrition. Oil and oven roast for best nutrition.

Asparagus - great fiber and flavor. Buying very fresh is the key for good nutrition. 

Artichokes - great fiber called inulin that's a prime pre-biotic and flavor too. Artichoke hearts in glass jars are convenient and the best nutrition.

Avocado - who cares if it's a fruit or veg - it's super nutritious and an excellent source of good fat. Several per week.

Mushrooms - as much medicine as vegetable. Farmers markets usually have lots of different kinds - eat them all. Maitake, shiitake, oyster, crimini. Skip portabella and the hybrids.  

Shallots - onions more nutritious cousins. 

Onions - raw or gently saute. Sweet reds look and taste divine. Smaller is better. Cooking improves it's nutrition.

 

yes

Sweet Potato - good nutrition, way better than white potatoes. A bit high in glycemic load though so avoid if weight or blood sugar are issues. 

Squash - spaghetti, acorn, butternut and pumpkin.

Tomatoes - cooking brings out their nutrition. Glass jar tomato sauce or cans without BPA liner are best. Tomato paste is also good.

For salads choose small red super nutritious cherry or grape tomatoes. 

Olives - black, Greek, California, not spanish brined though.

 

 

 

skip

White Potatoes - High glycemic load, low nutrition and heavy pesticide loads. 

Restaurant french fries are one of the worst nutritional train wrecks ever invented. 

Iceberg Lettuce - so devoid of nutrition it should get an award for wasting space on American plates.

Corn - high in sugar and low in nutrition. We have cross bred, sprayed and bio engineered all the good out of this crop. Other veggies are a better choice.

Processed Carrots - Frozen or canned carrots or "baby carrots" - too much lost nutrition.

Green beans and green peas - nutritional light weights that often crowd out better choices. 

Tofu - a highly processed soy based food with little positive science to back it up. Fine now and then but not as a staple or main protein source. 

Caution - 80% of soy is GMO, just another reason to go easy on or avoid tofu and soy. Only eat organic / traditionally fermented tofu.

 

 

Go ahead and fill your plate, mostly with veggies
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Vegetable success


Vegetables are powerful - when sourced and prepped properly

Vegetable success


Vegetables are powerful - when sourced and prepped properly

Veggie Power

The phrase "super food" is way overused these days but vegetables in general, and greens in specific truly are nutritional powerhouses. 

Paleo, Mediterranean, Vegetarian - all camps agree; we humans have always eaten lots of vegetables and today we need their health enhancing benefits more than ever. 

No need to become a vegetarian though, at least on nutritional grounds - just get lots of veggies every day. The ironic thing is that many vegetarians come up way short on vegetables and instead fill up on inferior processed foods that just happen to lack meat.

The key is - no matter what label you give yourself get good, fresh, whole, clean vegetables on your plate 3 times a day.

And how to do that? Well dinner is easy, some clean protein plus 2-3 vegetables prepared in interesting flavorful ways. And lunch, even out,  is no problem. A big salad with lots fresh greens, some fruit, vegetable protein like beans and nuts. Top it off with a nice oil and vinegar dressing.

And breakfast? Well why have eggs when you can have Huevos Rancheros or a Denver omelette both packed with savory sautéed vegetables and some salsa on the side!

Farm Fresh

Hit the farmers market, join a CSA, friend a farmer or chat up your local grocer. Chances are you have access to a huge variety of fresh, local and seasonal veggies picked at peak ripeness. 

And surprisingly frozen veggies are great too as they are picked at peak harvest, cheap too. Canned are not so great, waterlogged, lower nutrition, lining of the cans can be an issue.

A fun, easy and super nutritious solution - when a vegetable is in peak season buy fresh a ton at your local farmer's market then slice n dice, bag and freeze for later. Saves time and money plus you know just where your veggies came from.

In a Pickle

Kraut, kimchi, cabbage, cucumbers - fermenting vegetables for later use was always a summertime tradition. It saved the rich bounty of harvest time for winter when food would be scarce. Unknowingly, naturally fermenting vegetables greatly enhanced their nutrition as well which kept folks well and well fed all winter long. Making your own is super easy, books and supplies abound.

Just be sure and skip the vinegar and sugar infused "pickles" and buy traditionally fermented / "live cultures" veggies in your grocer's refrigerator case. 

Dirt, Distance and Variety

Veggies can only offer us the nutrients they can pull from the dirt they grow in. That soil may be rich, fertile and composted or all used up and laden with chemicals. Small farms with compost piles are prime growing spots.

Distance equates to fresh and ripe veggies, both key to ensuring robust flavor and optimal nutrition. Broccoli for instance begins rapidly losing its cancer fighting qualities immediately after harvest. Within 10 days even under ideal storage conditions, broccoli has lost 80 percent of its glucosinolates, 75 percent of its flavonoids and 50 percent of its vitamin C.

It’s hard to tell how old the broccoli is at the supermarket because it can still look great after 10 days. If you purchase your broccoli directly from a farmer, it was likely in the ground yesterday and on your plate tonight.

Variety is underrated on two fronts. Nutritionally speaking, you want as many different veggies as possible and even within the carrot family there are many varieties, colors and flavors - each with its own unique nutritional offerings. Variety is also just plain fun - purple, white and orange carrots all slathered in butter - now that's enticing! 

Find Your Local Farmer's Market

Your local farmer's market nails are 3 keys - dirt, distance and variety. Its also a fun family weekly ritual, a great value to instill in the kids.

Good Prep

No need to eat all your veggies raw. Most vegetables are actually more nutritious when lightly cooked. On a biochemical level cooking releases more of a plant's nutrients, many of which are locked up when raw. Lightly saute, lightly steam, oil and roast - there are so many way to enjoy vegetables beyond that delicious lunch time salad.

Why Cook Um?

Vegetables can't run away from predators, that's us and all the other mamals who want to consume their precious offspring. Thus they engage a chemical warfare / defence strategy of sorts.

Spinach, chard and beets contains oxalates that prevent your body from getting its nutrition blocking calcium and iron absorption. Kale, cabbage and broccoli contain goitrogens which can depress thyroid function. Tomatoes have lots of lycopene but it's tough to absorb, same with carrots and their carotenoids unless...

No worries though, once we whip out the olive oil, a pan and gently saute or steam these vegetables they quite willingly give up all their health enhancing nutrition.