There are many vegetables that pack a powerful punch of nutrition and taste. Eating a variety of vegetables can help one benefit from the different types of nutrition available of certain kinds of vegetables. Often, color is a good guide for choosing veggies. Ideally, one should eat with variety in mind, choosing vegetables that are green, orange or yellow, red, and white.
Of the green vegetables, the must nutritious are foods like kale and spinach. Broccoli and artichokes are great choices too. Kale and spinach are both high in calcium, beta-carotene, and vitamin A. Broccoli is a powerhouse of a vegetable with high vitamin C content and B complex vitamins. Green vegetables like red and green leaf lettuces tend to be better choices that lettuces like iceberg. Iceberg has minimal nutritional content, although it does taste great on a sandwich.
Vegetables with orange or yellow flesh, like winter squash, carrots, or sweet potatoes are also of great benefit. They are high in beta-carotene, making them high antioxidant foods. They’re also high in vitamin A. As well, these vegetables are quite sweet when cooked, which may appeal to those who don’t care for veggies with a bitter taste.
Tomatoes, though technically fruit, and red and green bell peppers, contain lycopene, potassium, and vitamins A and C. Lycopene also has antioxidant and cancer fighting properties, and has been linked to lowering the risk of prostate cancer in men.
White vegetables like cauliflower are high in potassium. Some white vegetables are starchier in nature, like potatoes, white corn, or white string beans. These should be eaten with less frequency than vegetables that are green, orange or red.
Most nutrition organizations recommend at least five servings of vegetables a day. This can be challenging to achieve for many. It can help to think of how to fit vegetables into one’s daily diet. For example, spaghetti sauce easily disguises grated carrot or summer squash. Grated carrot is also terrific on peanut butter sandwiches.
Leafy vegetables like kale and spinach can be thrown into soups or stews, and broccoli is a natural choice for stir-fried fajitas or oriental styled dishes. Instead of french fries made from regular potatoes, consider sweet potato french fries instead. They’re quite delicious.
Also, consider beginning dinner meals with salads. Get the kids involved and try plenty of different ingredients. Many kids are happy to eat what they prepare, and low fat dressings can disguise some veggies people don’t care for.