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December 13, 2017
We’ve all been told to eat our vegetables, and for a good reason. Vegetables are a natural source of the vitamins and minerals our body needs. In this fast paced world we often don’t have time for well-rounded meals, leaving our bodies wanting in the nutrition department. Luckily there are a few accessible vegetables that can be added to your daily diet to help cultivate the best version of you.
Leafy greens are a powerhouse of nutrition that can help the body utilize collagen. Collagen has long been advertised as a way to retain a youthful look, but did you know that collagen plays several key roles in maintaining the health of our body? Yes collagen does support skin, hair and nail health, but it also supports the structure of vessels and arteries, muscle development, and cartilage found in joints. But in order to use collagen, the body needs vitamin C and amino acids. Leafy greens like collard greens, spinach, and kale all contain large amount of vitamin C and amino acids. Eat just one leafy salad a day to help give your body the nutrients it needs to build collagen more effectively.
Protein! Protein! Protein! We all know avocados are a super-food, and probably one of the tastiest and easiest foods to incorporate into any meal. Whether it be on multigrain toast or in a smoothie for breakfast, sliced over a salad for lunch, wrapped in a taco for dinner, or even whipped with honey and coco powder for dessert! Avocados are a delicious and versatile food. Like leafy greens, avocados are typically consumed raw (without heat cooking) and therefore maintain 100% of their nutrients from plate to mouth. Avocados also contain twenty different vitamins and minerals. They provide fiber to support the digestive system and fatty acids that may support heart health.
Chard is an earthy tasting leafy green, but mild enough to be added to meals without being overpowering. Chard is a relative of the beet, another nutritional veggie, and contains vitamins A, C, and K, as well as the minerals magnesium, potassium, and iron. It’s known for showing vibrant colors that makes it a popular side dish. You can also throw it into pasta or soup for added flavor and heartiness, or bake it into a quiche for breakfast.
Last but certainly not least, this root vegetable is a good source of vitamin A, C, K, B vitamins, and minerals like potassium, iron, copper, and magnesium. Studies show that carrots may even help to lower cholesterol levels by up to 11% when consumed daily. Carrots may also help to lower blood pressure, support the immune system, aid in digestion, improve eyesight, oral health, and blood glucose levels. These vegetables are a staple and can be eaten as a snack with hummus or dip, shaved into slaw, cooked down with a roast, juiced, baked in a cake, or just roasted in the oven.
All vegetables provide nutrients and health benefits, but being more conscious about incorporating vegetables like these into our daily diet can have long-term health benefits. Search for any of these yummy veggies at your local grocer and always keep a few on hand when your body is craving something good.
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