3 Veggies for Optimum Health

The Western diet is like no other diet on the planet. We enjoy a surplus of the finest foods available. As foodies across this part of the hemisphere search for new tastes to savor, veggies can be included in this quest. Here are three vegetables that you may enjoy, just the same.

Purchase organic spinach when possible.
Purchase organic spinach when possible.

Serving Up Veggies

As a child, you remember being scolded by your parents when you didn’t finish your veggies with the rest of your meal. But, you are a lot older now and realize the importance of eating them.

Vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, therefore they should be a main part of your diet, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Why? Veggies can give you that full feeling, minus the excess calories.

True or false: Does every vegetable provide a negligible amount of calories? The answer is, true. Certain ones are very low in calories, but are nutrient-rich. This is good news for you, because you can eat them at any time of the day, along with having nearly unlimited quantities; a claim that many foods don’t have.

Eat, Eat, Eat!

1. No salsa recipe would be complete without a splash of peppers. Red, yellow, green, peppers come in an array of beautiful colors. And, peppers are very versatile, in that they can be used in omelets, salads and stir fries, even. By selecting different colored ones, you can incorporate variety, as well as nutrients into your meal plan.

The benefits of eating peppers doesn’t just stop there. Peppers also offer vitamins A, C, K, plus lycopene. You may recognize lycopene as being a potential cancer-fighting source in ketchup. In the same regard, lycopene has properties which is associated with lowering the risk of prostate cancer in men, says Dr. Jonny Bowden, nationally known expert on weight loss and nutrition.

2. Regardless of whether asparagus is pleasing to your palate or not, we just can’t leave it off the list. Three popular varieties are, ‘Purple Passion,’ ‘Jersey Giant’ and ‘Jersey Knight.’ Asparagus is a perennial vegetable both harvested and known for its tasty young shoots. And, it is very low in calories; about 40 calories to be exact.

This long veggie also is chock full of fiber, one cup of asparagus provides roughly 3.6 grams of fiber. Asparagus is so widely enjoyed, that lovers of this vegetable often grow it in their gardens. If you delight in this veggie, it is suggested that you “Select and prepare your asparagus bed with care; this crop will occupy the same spot for 20 years or more,” according to organicgardening.com.

Peppers offer vitamins A, C, K, plus lycopene.

3. In the popular cartoon, Popeye the Sailor, was able to successfully thwart all of Brutus’s evil attempts to harm both himself and Olive Oyl, because he ate large quantities of spinach. What child wouldn’t want to eat spinach with an endorsement like this?

Moreover, spinach is one of the best nutrient-providing foods that is available; it is packed with vitamins D and K, fat-soluble vitamins that are important for maintaining strong bones.

What you should know is this: Olympic trainer, Charles Poliquin, recommends opting to purchase organic spinach when possible because this vegetable often is sprayed with high amounts of pesticides, which may mean it is pesticide-laden.

Why is this the case? Spinach can become rife with pesticides because it contains a thin skin, which makes it all the more easier for pesticides to penetrate it.

Variety, the Spice of Life

Of course this is only a partial listing of healthy veggies. There are many, many more on the market that you can both grow and buy. Take home a bunch and experiment as you will. Bon Appétit!

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-Kimberly Williams

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