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What are the top five vegetables?

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized

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Published on November 16, 2010 with No Comments

We all know we need to eat our veggies, especially with the new wave of processed food companies touting how their sauces and canned pastas now contain a full dayís allotment of vegetables. But Iva Young, author of ìHealthy Mom,î thinks that is just a bit deceiving.

ìItís a tricky definition of terms,î Young said. ìItís really not as healthy to eat processed foods to begin with, but for them to say that using vegetables as fillers somehow makes processed foods healthy is disingenuous, at best. Itís like saying ëdonít pay attention to all the chemicals, dyes and sodium we put in the can, thereís vegetables in there, too, so that makes it all okay.íî

Young believes that we need to eat actual vegetables if we want to have a real healthy diet, and there are five key veggies that top her list as the healthiest. They include:

Spinach: Popeye was right. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium and vitamin B6. It is also a good source of fiber, copper, protein, phosphorous, zinc, vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids, niacin and anti-oxidants.

Lettuce (green-leaf, red-leaf and romaine): Lettuce is a low-calorie fiber food that is also a great place to find vitamin A, folic acid, lactucarium ñ which helps enhance calmness and pain relief ñ as well as the anti-oxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. Lettuce also contains a good amount of anti-cancer properties.

Broccoli: Besides having great flavor and texture, broccoli contains copious amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene and vitamin K. The minerals in broccoli include calcium, potassium, iron and folate. A great source of fiber, broccoli also provides lots of bioflavonoids, which is an anti-oxidant that helps protect against cancer and heart disease.

Brussels Sprouts: A staple in the diets of Asian cultures, who are among the longest lived people in the world, the crunchy garnish contains lots of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, beta carotene and vitamin K.

This is another great anti-cancer vegetable.

Cabbage: Although best known as the partner of corned beef on St. Patrickís Day, cabbage is a great low-calorie food that contains a good amount of fiber, calcium and vitamin C. Cabbage is incredibly packed with substantial anti-cancer agents.

When picking vegetables, Young believes that fresh and frozen vegetables are better than canned vegetables, because they have less added salt. If you have to buy canned vegetables, she recommends draining the water they are packed in before preparing them to remove a good amount of the added sodium, or simply buy those veggies labeled as having low sodium.

ìBroccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts also contain glucosinolates, which are known for their chemoprotective agents against chemically-induced carcinogens by blocking the initiation of tumors in the liver, colon, breasts and pancreas,î she added. ìThese anti-cancer compounds are released more effectively when you chop those vegetables before serving, and serving them raw increases the anti-cancer benefits even more.î

With all this said, it is most important to be aware that Young has found in her research that the ìvitamin numbersî go up when vegetables are cooked, but the anti-cancer compounds go down. She suggests steaming or roasting on a pan for no more than seven minutes, which has proven to be a good way to keep the anti-cancer compounds and make it more edible. For more information about Young or her book ìHealthy Mom,î visit www.ivayoung.com.

About Iva Young

Iva Young was born in Munich, Germany, and her family moved to Toronto, Canada, when she was 2 years old. Her parents grew up in Croatia, so she grew up eating traditional high-fat Croatian and German meals. That upbringing helped spark her passion for nutrition and natural health. She holds a bachelorís degree in Kinesiology and health promotion from California Polytechnic University.

SIDE BAR:

Iva Youngís top ten reasons for writing ìHealthy Mom:î

- Moms need help establishing healthy diets for their families, and don’t often have a personal nutritional consultant on hand.

- Moms need help with buying the best products in the stores based on good ingredients, not good marketing.

- Moms need to be taught which fruits and vegetables are best to consume daily.

- Moms need easy to understand facts about the nutrients we need daily.

- Moms need to learn about a system of eating, created by The American Diabetes Association, that will help your body work for you and not against you.

- Moms need to understand the facts about organic, supplements, preservatives, sugar substitutes, antioxidants, whole grains, milk and milk substitutes, and moreÖ.

- Moms need easy and tasty meal plans.

- Moms need easy, tasty, and healthy recipes that will make everyone happy.

- Moms need guidance and motivation about the importance of daily exercise.

- Moms need the tools and wellness coaching to help them feel comfortable in the kitchen and less prone to eat out at restaurants.

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