The word superfood gets thrown around a lot nowadays with all sorts of exotic things being touted as the new essential for your diet, however, one thing remains the same – vegetables deserve their place as one of nature’s gifts. They are all the superstars of the paddocks!
Broccoli, spinach, kale, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts are best considered “supercharged” vegetables due to their many health benefits. All vegetables have unique health properties, especially the Brassica family. When looking at nutrient density vegetables such as lettuce actually have very little nutritional density compared to broccoli. A regular intake of ‘bitter’ greens can help curb sugar cravings and reset your taste buds so for those with a sweet tooth, increase your greens and notice your sweet cravings begin to decrease.
Plants also contain many unique properties, which are protective for our health. Properties like, Sulforaphane a superhero component of cruciferous vegetables. Sulforaphane is an antioxidant and stimulator of natural detoxifying enzymes. Sulforaphane may reduce the risk of breast, bladder and prostate cancer.
The Brassica family of vegetables remain some of my all time favourites due to their anti-cancer properties and liver detoxification support. It’s hard to argue with the health benefits of a diet rich in vegetables. Lower blood pressure, a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, reduced risk of digestive problems and some cancers – you’ll even experience an improved blood glucose response that can help keep appetite in check. An extensive report by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research stated that regular consumption of non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, as well as garlic and onions, —“probably” protect against several types of cancers, including those of the mouth, throat, voice box, esophagus, and stomach. Although “probably” doesn’t sound too assuring, very rarely will you get a research organisation saying “this absolutely does x” – vegetables truly are nature’s nutritional powerhouses.
We all know we need to eat more vegetables but sometimes it can be tiring coming up with new ideas. Simple changes can have a significant impact. Try grating vegetables into meat patties, adding them to sauces or serving a delicious herb-based slaw as well as vegetables with your main meal. You can even add vegetables to your condiments whipping up a quick kale pesto or green dressing with avocado and parsley. Or layer zucchini slices, chopped spinach, and cooked carrots in place of pasta in a lasagna.Juicing and making smoothies with vegetables is another simple way to increase your consumption of vegetables.
Ordinary things that are consistently done produce extraordinary results. Make a commitment to take even better care of yourself by eating vegetables every day. Eat them raw, eat them cooked – however you want to. Just eat more vegetables!