Health Promoting Vegetables

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Health Promoting Vegetables
1 September 2017, 15:23

Fresh is best and the colour of vegetables is an indicator of various health promoting properties for instance red fruits and vegetables.

Bell peppers, tomatoes, cherries, cranberries, raspberries, rhubarb, pomegranates, beetroot, all of the afore mentioned are rich sources of beta carotene, vitamins A, C, manganese and fibre, which makes them all perfect for heart health, skin, hair and eyes.

Onion, garlic, leeks and chives belong to theOnion, garlic, leeks and chives belong to the liliaceae family of plants, this family of plants could be described as super foods.

There are 600 species within this grouping and they are a natural anti-inflammatory also a natural  antibiotic. They promote healthy cholesterol levels, support the cardiovascular system including circulation, healthy brain function and also supports the immune response process. The aging process is accelerated by inflammation or slowed by the reduction of inflammation. As this family of plants is a natural anti-inflammatory it is not unreasonable to consider them as health promoting additions to our diet with added benefits as they complement the flavours in our meals.

Purple fruits and vegetables don’t get the positive promotion that green leafy vegetables have  acquired overtime, they are worthy of a place in our balanced diet the darker the better. The purple colour is anindication they are rich in flavonoids a compound that tends to colour fruits and  vegetables blue and purple. Berries, eggplants, onions, cabbage, beetroot, lettuces, grapes, figs,  kumara and olives to name but a few; these fruits and vegetables are rich sources of anti-oxidants,  fibre, potassium, calcium and manganese promoting body balance, cardiovascular health with a tendency to be natural anti-inflammatories.

There is always the old favourites the leafy green vegetables; we must have all experienced the  guiding voice of our mums “eat your greens” this has stood the test of time, was and still is good advice. A rule of thumb the deeper the green the more densely packed the nutrients probably are; this group includes at the top of the food chain kale, cabbage, spinach, silver beet and salad greens. They tend to bea rich source of iron, fibre, folate, calcium, potassium, magnesium are low in carbohydrates, sodium and cholesterol and a rich source of anti-oxidants.