Did you get your Veggies today?
Veggies… We all know them and we all hated eating our peas when we were younger. Little did we know how good those small, soft peas would be for you (I guess there is something to say when you mother makes you eat your peas.)! Green, leafy vegetables are abundant in grocery stores and we simply don’t eat enough. Because most of these vegetables are not sweet (like our fruit counterparts), we tend to stay away from them despite having significantly more nutritional benefits to your body. From broccoli to spinach, and Swiss chard to kale, eating several servings daily of green, leafy vegetables can increase your phytonutrient intake (molecules that include Vitamin C, folate, magnesium, carotenoids to kill cancer-causing cells) and anti-inflammatory load on the body to prevent getting sick, keep your immune system functioning well, and lastly, their nutritional value makes them an excellent snack or food course (low in calories and fat, but high in dietary fiber, and protein). These vital nutrients give us more energy, make us less fatigued, and help us manage stress easier. Additionally, we tend to cooked (roast, saute, broil, etc…) these veggies and by doing so, you remove a lot of the major nutrients that make these veggies so healthy to begin with (try to eat raw or use a blender to break the raw ingredients when you can).
-Common Green, Leafy Vegetables include:
- Swiss/Rainbow Chard
- Lettuce (Boston, Bibb, Romaine, NOT iceberg [there is no nutritional value in consuming iceberg lettuce])
- Mustard and/or Dandelion Greens
- Bok Choy
- Brussels Sprouts
**It is important to note that eating too many green, leafy vegetables over a period of time may result in a buildup of calcium oxalate, possibly leading to kidney stones. Please be mindful of your consumption to avoid developing kidney stones.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health from a study done back in 2005 titled, “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” from the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (in the US Dept. of Agriculture), it states we should eat five to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables a day (2½ to 6½ cups per day), depending on one’s caloric intake (should be 2:1 for veggies:fruits; keep in mind that these are just guidelines). For a person who maintains roughly a 2,000 calorie/day diet to maintain weight and health, this translates into 4½ cups per day (2 cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables).
The next time you think twice about putting down your veggie, you’ll remember how much its helping your body and how you eat your peas! Stay tuned for next month’s blog!