The Experts

The value of veggies

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Vegetables remain undervalued in most people’s diets – not only are they delicious, they are full of fibre, vitamins and minerals. If you eat your veggies, you really don’t need any multivitamin tablets!

But don’t take my word for it. Here are a few examples of the goodness of vegetables.

Carrots

Carrots are fat-free, low sodium (salt), cholesterol free and high in fibre.

They have a high amount of carotene which converts to Vitamin A. This helps maintain the skin’s outer layer (keeping us younger). Talk about super food!

Celery

Celery is low in cholesterol, high in fibre and is said to be a natural cure for constipation. It contains Vitamins A, C and K, folate, potassium, magnesium and phosphorous. All these vitamins and minerals are important for optimum heart and digestive health.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are high in potassium, phosphorous and iodine. The potassium helps to regulate high blood pressure, therefore reducing the risk of stroke. They are also rich in Vitamin B and selenium, which is an antioxidant said to reduce the risk of cancer!

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are full of Vitamin A so, again, a perfect anti-aging fighter. It is also said that Vitamin A boosts the immune system. Sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron (fabulous for our blood). But better still, for many, they help to stop sweet cravings!

Summer is on the way so we are all a bit conscious of getting our beach body ready – which makes vegetables the perfect food. My advice is to keep them simple, roasted, steamed or blanched, on their own or in a salad. They are also perfect with fish, chicken, lamb or beef, with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Stuck for ideas? Give these a go:

A breakie juice

Juice and blend celery, carrot and orange.

For a healthy lunch

A Ryvita ‘open sandwich’ with lettuce, tuna, grated carrot, sliced mushroom cucumber and avocado.

For a simple dinner

A poached chicken fillet with roast sweet potato and steamed asparagus, zucchini, green beans and yellow squash. Just drizzle with olive oil and sea salt.

Not only will eating vegetables make you look and feel better, they are also cheap – think of it as a weight-gain program for your bank balance!

Published: Friday, August 13, 2010

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