Vegetables and why they are essential in your diet.
People who eat fruit and vegetables as part of their daily diet have a reduced risk of many chronic diseases. USDA’s My Plate encourages making half your plate fruits and vegetables.
Vegetables are important part of healthy eating and provide a source of many nutrients, including potassium, fiber, folate (folic acid) and vitamins A, E and C. Options like broccoli, spinach, tomatoes and garlic provide additional benefits, making them a super food!
Potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Dietary fiber from vegetables helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease.
Folate (folic acid) helps the body form healthy red blood cells. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant and those in the first trimester of pregnancy need adequate folate to reduce the risk of neural tube defects and spina bifida during fetal development.
I would like to cover some of the vegetables that I feel are essential for you to incorporate into your daily diet for a healthy lifestyle. Through my research I found countless vegetables and this may have to be a two part series. I will do my best to provide you what are called, “Super foods”.
Known to provide high volumes of Vitamin A, they’re common when it comes to improving vision and eye issues. This vitamin along with tons of antioxidants helps uplift the appearance of skin, providing protection against sun damage. Every bite helps remove plaque off your teeth and stimulates gums to produce more saliva helping to alkaline your system. It’s high content of carotenoids helps lower the risk of heart attacks and suppress abnormal cells helping to treat and prevent cancer.
Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins. Cucumber kills 96% of breast cancer cells in vitro and reduces the risk. Cucumber is rich in the compound “Cucurbitacin B“, which in this study was shown to kill up to 96% of human breast cancer cells in vitro. “Cucurbitacin B”, is a powerful anticancer compound and in lab studies has also been to shown to potently suppress prostate, lung, and pancreatic cancer, as well as leukemia, neuroblastoma and others. Cucumber juice contains a hormone which is needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin which has been found to be beneficial to diabetic patients.
Sweet potatoes are a good source of magnesium, which is the relation and anti-stress mineral. The juice is rich in vitamin B6 which helps reduce the chemical homocysteine which contributes to hardening of the arteries and blood vessels. A medium sweet potato provides you with the complete RDA of vitamin A and then some. They contain phytochemicals including quercetin and chlorogenic acid which have been shown to be effective in fighting cancer.
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A diet plentiful in spinach, kale, collard greens and broccoli, foods rich in lutein (a yellow carotene that is also concentrated in your retinas) offer incredible help in keeping your eyes healthy. Studies confirmed that malacular degeneration was less for those who ate more lutin and other carotene dense foods
Just one cup of peas contain 44% of your vitamin K which helps to anchor calcium inside the bones. It’s B vitamins help to prevent osteoporosis. Peas have such high quality protein that protein powders are starting to use it. This avoids the side effects of soy, or dairy products. Coumestrol, a phytonutrient has been shown to reduce the risk of stomach cancers. Peas support the energy producing cells in the body while playing an important role in adrenal function with the pantothenic acid they supply.
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Tomatoes have been linked with reduced risk of some neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s. The gel that surrounds tomato seeds helps improve blood flow. The antioxidant lycopene has been found to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and free radical damage. Other nutrients in tomatoes help prevent excessive clumping of platelets, reducing the risk of blood clots, while the overall collection of antioxidants have been shown to benefit bone health, decrease depression and help to protect the body from cancerous changes.
Zucchini is known to reduce weight, while holding the nutrient value of your diet. It also helps to promote eye health, and prevent all the diseases that occur from vitamin C deficiency. Zucchini helps to cure asthma and has a content of vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein and fiber while containing worthy quantities of potassium, folate and vitamin A.
Detoxifies the digestive tract by providing potassium and dietary fiber. High in glutathione, an amino acid with potent antioxidants. Folic acid to increase orgasms. Antioxidant flavonoids to combat inflammation related illness. Loaded with B vitamins to support cardiovascular health. It’s aspartic acid neutralizes ammonia within the body, which causes exhaustion and sexual lassitude. Anti-diabetic qualities. Reduces hangovers. Balances electrolytes. Helps breast feeding mothers produce milk.
Onions are good for reducing cholesterol and preventing blood clots, as well as helping treat bronchitis, asthma, rheumatism, gout and for lowering blood sugar because of its powerful diuretic and antibacterial powers.
Brussels sprouts are especially high in vitamin K which promotes bone health, prevents calcification of tissues, serves as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, and is essential for proper brain and nerve function. The high fiber content of Brussels sprouts lowers cholesterol by binding with bile acids produced by the liver. Studies have shown improved stability of DNA inside our white blood cells after daily consumption. Glucosinolstes in Brussels sprouts and their detox-activating isothiocyanates are shown to fight against and even prevent various cancers.
Cauliflower is an excellent source of folate, a B vitamin needed for cell growth and replication. For this reason, pregnant women and women trying to conceive can benefit from eating cauliflower. The vegetable aids development in the unborn child. The anti-inflammatory support provided by cauliflower (including its vitamin K and omega-3 content) makes it capable of providing cardiovascular benefits and may also help prevent and even possibly reverse blood vessel damage.
Celery leaves are high in vitamin A, whilst the stems are an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B6, and C with rich supplies of potassium, folate, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and plenty of essential amino acids. It’s compounds kill 86% of lung cancer cells in vitro as it is rich in the flavonoid apigenin. Celery helps relieve joint pains, lung infections, asthma, or acne. An active compound called phthalides in celery has been proven to boost circulatory health. Celery contains the chemical 3-n-butylphthalide that reduces high blood pressure by eating 1 cup of raw, whole celery a day.
Green beans are good sources of vitamin A, C and K. The dietary fibers present in the beans are helpful in controlling blood sugar levels beneficial for diabetes and hypoglycemia sufferers. They are also capable of lowering high blood pressure. Anti-inflammatory properties of green beans are useful for asthma and arthritic patients. Vitamin C, in conjunction with cartenoids, help to support the immune system and prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals.
Eggplant is an excellent source of dietary fiber and a good source of vitamins B1, B6 and potassium. It has been used as a cholesterol lowering agent and helps protect the lipids or fats of our brain cell membranes. Nasunin, an anthocyanin from eggplant peels, is a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger as well as an angiogenesis related diseases such as cancer, diabetic blindness, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
Cabbage contains some cancer fighting properties, including lupeol, sinigrin and sulforaphane, which may trigger enzyme defenses and inhibit tumor growth. Due to its high amount of vitamin C, cabbage helps strengthen the immune system and fight against free radicals. Red cabbage contains vitamin K and anthocyanin, an antioxidant to help reduce plaque on the brain, thus helping prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Red Bell Peppers:
Red peppers contain 3 times as much vitamin C and 20 times more beta carotene than the other types. Also, helps fight free radical damage to your cells, making them a major health helper against cancer and heart disease. They also greatly boost the immune system.
Turnips are a very rich source of calcium, phosphor, folic acid and magnesium, essential for all around development. It’s greens contain high levels of antioxidants and phyto-chemicals which reduce the risk of cancer. The presence of glucosinolates prevents as well as reduces the effect of cancer. Regular consumption of turnip inhibits joint damage, risk of osteoporosis and the incidence of rheumatoid arthritis. It is also an excellent source of calcium, a mineral that supports the body’s production of connective tissues.
Folate is present in leeks throughout the plant (including the full leaf portion). This distribution of folate throughout the plant makes leeks a cardio protective food from top to bottom. Leeks also provide a generous amount of vitamin K. Vitamin K benefits every tissue in your body, helping to regulate blood flow. The chemical compounds, which help prevent and fight cancer by blocking the hormones and chemicals in the body that can cause cancer. Leeks are a good source of vitamins A, B6, and C, calcium, magnesium, potassium and fiber.
Rutabaga or Swedes have phyto-chemicals which eliminate carcinogens through the body as well as assist the liver process harmful toxins. Glucosinolate, may prevent the development of cancerous tumors and may also be helpful in the stomach process bacteria like helicobacter pylori and give rise to the creation of bile. A serving of rutabaga offers over 50% the RDA of vitamin C reducing wheezing in asthma patients. Rutabagas are a wealth of important minerals, including zinc, calcium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorous, all in which play key roles in the creation and maintenance of bone tissue.
Also known as Gai Lan, it’s loaded with vitamin K, known for helping bone issues relieving things like osteoporosis repairing tooth decay and preventing cancer. High in vitamin C it helps cardiovascular health, increasing blood flow lowering the risk for strokes. The vitamin A in it helps improve eye health and leaky gut helping to repair skin cells.
Foods for fighting cancer:
Nutritional needs are crucial dealing with cancer, and these are beneficial foods: Seaweeds (immune boosting and anti cancer), onions, garlic Microalgae like spirulina, chorella and blue green algae, reishi and shitake mushrooms (one per day), cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, kale and broccoli.
1 cup of Jicama provides 44% of RDA of vitamin C which promotes eye health and can improve the quality of your skin while boosting your immune system. The Inulin in jicama is a “Prebiotic” food source for the guts good bacteria that maintains both a healthy colon and balanced immunity. Jicama is more beneficial than yogurt for certain strains of bacteria. As a rich source of potassium, it is able to manage blood pressure, since it is a vasodilator and reduces the tension on blood vessels and arteries. Its antioxidants help to protect against cancer, inflammation and infections.
The Jalapeno Pepper:
One jalapeno more than a day’s worth of vitamin C which is essential to healthy tissue repair, helps with immunity and fights the effects of aging. Jalapenos also provide iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and manganese. Capsaicin in the pepper aids in weight loss and gives your metabolism a boost. Its anti-bacterial properties help to naturally clear aching congested sinuses. Chemicals in the pepper work against the pain-carrying substance P that’s abundant in arthritis pain and in headaches.
Spirulina is often deemed the most nutritionally complete of all food supplements, containing a rich supply of many important nutrients, including protein, iron, complex carbohydrates and vitamins A, K, and B complex. Spirulina is the highest source of vitamin B-12, essential for healthy nerves and tissue. Reduces allergic reactions from radiation sickness and is rich in GLA, a compound found in breast milk that helps develop healthier babies. Spirulina also increases stamina and immunity levels in athletes, and its high protein content helps build muscle mass. It is the richest beta carotene food, with a full spectrum of 10 mixed carotenoids.
Holy Basil (not the same as the common seasoning) is a counterpart to those commonly prescribed drugs for arthritic pain and inflammation associated with fibromyalgia. Holy basil inhibits the production of the COX-2 Enzyme primarily responsible for inflammation pain. It does so without any side effects. It’s been used in India for ages, plus it’s great for depression and energy levels.
Spinach is extremely high in vitamin A and K, helps your eyesight. Researches have also found out that the chance of a woman breaking her hip could be cut by almost 1/3 with a mere 1 cup of spinach per day.
I am sure most expected to find more on spinach, and you are right there are a lot more benefits that I have not listed.
The importance of listing all these vegetables is a way of preventing disease and if you are suffering from some sort of illness, I just hope you will be able to find some relief by adding these vegetables to your diet.
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