Healthy Living: Green vegetables for a healthier you

I visited my friend Patricia and she served us a hearty meal of rice and a variety of vegetables.

I visited my friend Patricia and she served us a hearty meal of rice and a variety of vegetables.

The way she mixed all the vegetables was very ingenious and I loved it! Some of these vegetables that she made for us are those are little known, yet are very nutritious. Few people know about these vegetables, yet they are very much available in our local markets. These green vegetables have so many different nutritional values, and we need to eat at least one of these types every day in our daily food intake.

Broccoli

Broccoli contains a high amount of potassium, which helps maintain a healthy nervous system and optimal brain function, as well as promotes regular muscle growth. They also contain magnesium and calcium that help regulate blood pressure. Broccoli contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K both of which are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis. It is helpful in repairing skin damage thanks to the glucoraphanin it contains which helps the skin to detoxify and repair itself.

Aspagarus

Asparagus is an alkaline food. Eating asparagus helps to reduce high acid in your tissues and cleans your blood. The presence of the powerful antioxidant glutathione nourishes the eyes and it may help to prevent or to slow the progression of cataracts. Pregnant mothers are advised to eat asparagus since it is naturally high in folic acid which helps prevent birth defects in your unborn baby. Since it is a diuretic, it also helps with getting rid of excess water. As for nursing mothers- Asparagus may increase milk production.

Green onions

Green onions are often used to enhance the taste of many dishes. I particularly love to use them in most of my foods. They also help to lower and reduce the risk of developing colon cancer and reduce inflammation.  Onions contain quercetin, an antioxidant found mostly in green onions, which offers anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine benefits. These onions are rich in chromium, an essential mineral used by the body to regulate glucose and for the metabolism and storage of macronutrients.

Lettuce

Lettuce consumption increases the total cholesterol end-products excretion and improves antioxidant status due to the richness in antioxidants (vitamins C, E and carotenoids). Regular consumption of lettuce is also known to contribute to improve protection against cardiovascular diseases. The best when it comes to making salads.

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts lower our cholesterol by binding with bile acids that the liver produces from cholesterol for digesting fat. Because many of these bile acids are coupled with fibre, the liver is charged with producing more bile acid to digest fat, and therefore requires more cholesterol to do so, ultimately lowering the cholesterol amount within our bodies.  
 
 Spinach

It is difficult to overestimate the nutritional powerhouse that is spinach. One cup of spinach has nearly 20% of dietary fibre, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating. Flavonoids a phytonutrient with anti-cancer properties abundant in spinach have been shown to slow down cell division in human stomach and skin cancer cells. Furthermore, spinach has shown significant protection against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer. The vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc and selenium present in spinach all serve as powerful antioxidants that combat the onset of osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. Both antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are especially plentiful in spinach and protect the eye from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Next time you go shopping, make sure you include these vegetables in your shopping basket.

 

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