Monday, January 26, 2015

Just like your mom told you—eat more vegetables


“Unlike fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamin A, E and D) that our bodies can store for future use, the water-soluble vitamins (vitamin C and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 and folic acid) can only be stored in small amounts or not at all. Since vitamins cannot be produced by the body and can only be obtained from the food we eat, they are called "essential nutrients." Vegetables' rich concentration of water-soluble vitamins is just one reason why the U.S. government guidelines for a healthy diet recommend filling at least half of your plate with a combination of vegetables and fruits.

Eating a variety of vegetables as a regular part of your meal plan helps you to stay slim and provides the energy and vitality necessary to really enjoy daily life. All of us depend on complex carbohydrates for energy and vitality. The starchy portion of complex carbohydrates is converted into glucose, which is used to produce energy in our cells. However, the energy contained in glucose can only be released in combination with vitamins and minerals.

The most important of these include all of the B vitamins, vitamin C and minerals like zinc. Vegetables are concentrated sources of these nutrients essential for turning carbohydrates into energy rather than storing them as fat, and vegetables provide them for the least calories. So, eating plenty of vegetables rich in complex carbohydrates is a sure way to help you stay both slim and energized.”

From WHFoods Weekly Newsletter, by George Mateljan, Jan. 26, 2015

Last week I made pickled fresh beets, but the best part is the beet tops/greens, which I just love. I think they are tastier than kale, mustard greens, or collard greens, and of course, there’s the bonus of the roots.  I occasionally have a baked sweet potato for breakfast. Also, helps me remember Mom’s garden delights of 30 years ago.

  • The top greens are an excellent sources of vitamin-A; 100 g leaves provide 6326 IU or 211% of RDA. Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Diet rich in this vitamin are known to offer protection against lung and oral cavity cancers.

  • They are excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K; 100 g provides 400 ug of this vitamin that is about 333% of recommended intake. Vitamin K has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

  • 100 g of fresh leaves contain 30 mg or 50% of daily-recommended levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a moderately powerful water-soluble antioxidant, which helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.

  • This leafy vegetable is notably good in many B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, folate, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc., that are essential to the body as part of co-enzymes during the metabolism in the body.

  • Its leaves are also rich source of minerals like magnesium, copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for cellular oxidation and red blood cell formation.

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