Fresh vegetables are not only incredibly nutritious but can even help you lose weight. Read on for 6 healthy eating options to eat right now…
Green beans grown locally are zinging with goodness. Rich in vitamins A, C and K, folic acid and fibre. That adds up to a tonne of benefits from helping to lower cholesterol to aiding cancer prevention.
Green beans rank really low on the Glycemic Index (GI) meaning you can eat your fill without causing your blood sugar to rise. Shred raw into salads or steam lightly to preserve the nutrients. Their high fibre content will leave you feeling full.
Some people even eat green beans to stop sugar cravings. Christina Carlyle swears by them. It’s not clear why it works but certainly a tummy full of green beans is less likely to reach for a sugary snack.
A much overlooked super-food, beetroot has some impressive health benefits. It’s an excellent source of fibre, vitamin C, nitrates, magnesium and folate.
Just like the green bean, the fibre content of beets will help keep you full for longer, (and less likely to reach for a slice of cake).
Beetroot excels as a food source for athletes. The high levels of magnesium are important for optimal nerve and muscle functioning. Beetroot’s high nitrate content has been linked to increased exercise endurance, making beet juice the go-to drink for ultra runners. Explore different ways of eating your beets such as this recipe for beetroot latte…
Lycopene is a plant nutrient with antioxidant qualities and tomatoes come chock full of this healthy ingredient. Tomatoes can help to reduce inflammation, making this nutritious food good for preventing serious diseases and aiding weight loss.
Tomatoes are a low GI food, high in vitamin C and potassium. Eat with a little olive oil – lycopene is a fat soluble nutrient, absorbed better with a source of fat.
Aubergines are rich in fibre and polyphenols. Fibre can lower blood sugar levels by slowing the rate of digestion and the absorption of sugar into the body. Polyphenols have been linked to reduced sugar absorption and increased insulin resistance, both markers for lowering blood sugar levels.
Nutrient dense, aubergines are an excellent source of manganese and come rich in antioxidants. High fibre and low calorie, aubergines make a terrific addition to your healthy eating diet.
Technically a fruit (just like aubergines and tomatoes), cucumbers are low in calories, full of water and fibre. Adding them to a healthy eating plan can aid weight loss.
Cucumbers are 96% water, aiding hydration. Your body can get up to 40% total water intake from food. Cucumbers are a good source of Vitamin C and K, and minerals magnesium, potassium and manganese. Eat with the peel on to maximise the benefits of fibre and nutrients.
Spinach is a nutritional heavy weight. Made legendary by Popeye, it’s high iron content makes spinach a particularly great food source for women.
Spinach contains thylakoids. Several studies have linked thylakoid consumption to weight loss and reduced appetite. Add in the benefits of spinach’s long list of nutrients from Vitamin B6 to Cartenoids and there’s no excuse not to add spinach to your healthy eating food list.
I want to add a note about nightshade vegetables. These vegetables, including tomatoes and aubergine, are considered in some circles to be harmful to people with autoimmune diseases. There is no definitive research to support this theory and it would be a mistake to eliminate such nutritious vegetables from your diet without a really good reason. As always, your views are welcome…