How Many Vegetables Should You Really Be Eating A Day?
From an early age, we often fight eating vegetables, and gravitate towards eating a lot of high fat, high calorie, low nutritional foods that are given to us as a “treat” “reward” or “dessert.” But if we could start promoting vegetables to our children, and making them the main staple in our own diets, is there any doubt that we would then begin living longer, healthier lives?
Vegetables are not only low in calories, and fats, but they contain all the vitamins and minerals that we need for a growing, glowing body. As nature’s rule, all green, yellow and orange vegetables are rich sources of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, beta carotene, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K. They also contain many antioxidants, and are packed with soluble and insoluble fiber to let the digestive system do what it was deigned to do — assimilate, and eliminate optimally.
Our bodies spend a lot of time and energy metabolizing food. Some vegetables are even considered to be “negative calorie foods”, as they take the digestive system quite a long time to break down, therefore expending more bodily energy in the process — it’s like a workout, without actually having to put on your sneakers (right?). Some examples of these are: apples, celery, cruciferous lettuce and onions. While they do contain calories, it takes the body more calories to metabolize than they actually contain (plus, all the added vitamin goodies that they inject in your cells).
If you’re just beginning to go plant-based, or just trying to get your kids to eat more vegetables (slash any whatsoever), a good guide to aim for is 5-7 servings a day. If you’re eating Sakara, then that’s a delicious no-brainer…
We rotate our meals with a variety of fruits and veggies to not only keep the nutritional content high, but your taste buds dancing in ecstasy as well. Here are our all-time favorites:
Arugula: Aka, Salad Rocket! It is known as one of the most nutritious green leafy vegetables of Mediterranean origin. It is very low in calories, but has many vital phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is rich in folates, an excellent source of Vitamins A, C, K and B complex.
Beets: Highly nutritious and so tasty too, epecially in our Red Beet Burger. They are great for cardiovascular health and provide a rich source of Glycine betaine, which lowers homocysteine — homocysteine can cause a plaque build-up in your arteries which could lead to heart problems.
Cauliflower: Raw or steamed up, cauliflower has many phytonutrients indole3-carbind and sulfur nutrients which prevent against many cancers. It also contains protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium and phosphorus. It’s also a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium and manganese.
Cucumbers: First off, the peel is a good source of fiber which helps reduce constipation and offers some protection against colon cancers by eliminating toxic compounds from the gut (so think next time before you peel!). Cucumber is also a water rich, super hydrating fruit, plus a good source of potassium and touted for lowering blood pressure.
Kale: This miraculous green leaf is very rich in vitamin A. Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy skin and is essential for vision. Foods rich in this vitamin are known to offer protection against lung and oral cavity cancers. It is one of the excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K, as vitamin K has a potential role in bone health through promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate Vitamin-K levels in the diet help limit neuronal damage in the brain; thus, kale has an established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease. And kale doesn’t just stop there: it has super high levels of vitamins C and B6.
Zucchini: This is a great one to put in the spiralizer to make raw spaghetti! It is filled with antioxidants and high in fiber. It is rich in flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants that fight against the free radicals that cause premature aging. The zucc is also a great source of potassium, and it tastes amazing.
I could go on, but you get the idea! If you need to supplement your meals, cut up any of these veggies and add one of our dressings as a dip, and you have the perfect snack (guaranteed, your kids won’t be able to get enough, either).
Nutritious + Delicious. Have fun with it!