“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.”, as Doug Larson, former columnist, used to say. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of vegetables to choose from, so every person has the chance to stay healthy while enjoying a tasty meal.
Why are vegetables so important?
As most of us already know, they are loaded with vitamins and minerals and they represent an excellent source of antioxidants. Antioxidants have a huge role in the prevention of cellular damage as they fight the feared free radicals.
Luckily, vegetables nowadays surely have a lot of allies. The world-renowned nutrition and fitness expert, Mark Macdonald, in an attempt to educate people, has become the promoter of the project “The Vegetable Prescription”, which is a program that allows low-income families to get healthy food subsidies. He also claims that eating healthy can be cheaper.
Raw food lovers also represent a group that never ceases to state the importance of having a balanced diet. They provide an impressive number of absolutely delicious dishes, made entirely without using a source of heat. Apart from being so tempting due to their taste and colors, these recipes seem to have the ability to deal with specific health issues. What is more, they guarantee increased energy levels and a more youthful appearance.
All vegetables are told to be good for us, but specialists have come with a smart way of making the best selection. They claim that the substances contained in vegetables can be easily tracked by observing their colors. Here is a brief presentation:
- Red. Lycopene is the name of the powerful antioxidant associated with this color. It is known for its ability to reduce the risk of cancer and for protecting against heart attacks by decreasing blood pressure. Example: tomatoes.
- Yellow/Orange. These colors are accurate to vegetables rich in vitamins A and C and beta-carotene. They are ideal for the eyesight, they are told to reduce the risk of heart disease and they can improve the immune function. Examples: carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, peppers.
- Green. This color indicates the presence of isothiocyanates. Green colored vegetables have anticancer properties. They are also a great source of vitamin K, which is essential in blood clot formation. Examples: broccoli, cabbage.
- Blue and purple. Purple represents the anthocyanins, also an extremely powerful antioxidant. Its health benefits include protecting the blood vessels from breakage and preventing the destruction of collagen. Examples: radicchio, eggplant, purple cabbage, purple potatoes, and purple carrots.
- White. White represents allicin. It protects against atherosclerosis and heart disease, lowers cholesterol and increases HDL. It also has antibacterial properties. Examples: onions, garlic.
The advantages of consuming more vegetables are countless. They are the answer whether you want to improve your health or you are simply interested in obtaining a more appealing look.