Friday, January 9, 2009

Eat your veggies and why...

Well, being on this Daniel Fast has shown me sooooooooooo much about myself and my eating habits. I have completely eliminated meat from my diet, along with sodas and sweet drinks, high calorie indulgences, and anything that is too filling. Which leaves me with veggies and water. Let me tell you, my body is THANKING ME! I have lost 5lbs in one week. And this is virtually with no exercise. I will be incorporating exercise next week. I just knew my body would shut down with no meat, but guess what, I feel just splendid! Veggies are certainly to blame.

I have decided to see what it is sooooo important to eat my veggies. Now of course, we have always been told to eat them, but why? That is what my goal is for this post, why we must eat veggies and what the purpose of veggies is. You know I am a google addict, so a simple stroke of some keys will equip you with a wealth of knowledge. So here are some notes that i was able to compile. Eat up!!!

Vegetables are important for any diet because :
  • Low in calories, fat, and cholesterol
  • High in vitamins (such as vitamins A and C), minerals, and fiber
  • A diet low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as whole grain breads and cereals can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer

Vegetables provide:

  1. Antioxidants – Substances that protect against cell damage by guarding the cell from oxygen free radicals. Free radicals are created when the body burns oxygen, which it needs to function properly. Free radicals cause oxidation (cell damage) that may lead to health problems, such as cancer, artery and heart disease,cataracts, and arthritis. Good sources of antioxidant vitamins are foods containing beta carotene and vitamins C and E.
  2. Beta carotene – A pigment found in orange vegetables and fruits, which the body converts to vitamin A. It is one of the antioxidant vitamins, which potentially protect against cancer and the degenerative aspects of aging.
  3. Fiber – Components of plants (such as fruits, vegetables,and grains) that the body cannot digest. It aids in maintaining normal bowel function.
  4. Folate (or folic acid) – One of the B vitamins that is essential for making new, healthy body cells and reduces the risk of birth defects in pregnant women.
  5. Potassium – A mineral that helps regulate fluids and mineral balance in and out of body cells and maintains normal blood pressure and helps muscles contract.
  6. Vitamin A – Helps the eyes see normally in the dark,promotes cell growth, and protects against infection.
  7. Vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) – Helps body cells grow and stay healthy, including those in bones, teeth, gums,ligaments, and blood vessels. It also helps the body’s response to infection and stress.

Ways to Incorporate Veggies
  • Keep fruit out where you can see it. That way you'll be more likely to eat it. Keep it out on the counter or in the front of the fridge.
  • Get some every meal, every day. Try filling half your plate with vegetables or fruit at each meal. Serving up salads, stir fry, or other fruit and vegetable-rich fare makes it easier to reach this goal. Bonus points if you can get some fruits and vegetables at snack time, too.
  • Explore the produce aisle and choose something new. Variety is the key to a healthy diet.
  • Get out of a rut and try some new fruits and vegetables—include dark green leafy vegetables; yellow, orange, and red fruits and vegetables; cooked tomatoes; and citrus fruits.
  • Bag the potatoes. Choose other vegetables that are packed with more nutrients and more slowly digested carbs.
  • Make it a meal. Try some new recipes where vegetables take center stage, such as Tunisian carrot salad and spicy broccolini with red pepper.

~Fly Veggie Eater !

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