Nature’s Daily Vitamin: Choosing, preparing, and enjoying vegetables.

Variety is as important when choosing vegetables as getting any at all. Explore new veggies and new recipes to expand your horizon and to increase nutrition.

Shared from my blog at http://www.SCERF.com.

Check out my radio moment talking about my lunch & learn workshop on vegetables:

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In this post, I share some tips about how to add vegetables into your diet. But why should you bother, where should you begin, and how much should you be eating? 

In this podcast episode, Dr. Deanna Minich shares why eating a variety of types of vegetables is important. We get different nutrients from different plants. While the concentration and makeup differs substantially, colors can signify that the vegetable (or fruit) can be particularly beneficial for a certain function. I think this is valuable information not so that you can choose what is most important and choose just that color, but rather to demonstrate why we should strive to eat a broad variety every day.

Red: Reduces inflammation, helps with autoimmune function, high in vitamin C (red onion, tomato, watermelon, red apples (w/ skin on), beets).

Orange: Reproductive health and fertility. (oranges, apricots, cantaloupe, kumquats, persimmons, nectarines, sweet potato, yams).  

Yellow: Digestion (banana, ginger, lemon, pineapple, yellow onion).

Green: Heart health (kiwi, kale, leafy greens, celery, artichoke, green apple, cucumber, broccoli, green beans, and so much more).

Blue/Purple: Brain health and function including mood, learning, memory, attention, and focus (blueberries, blackberries, grapes, red cabbage, eggplant, plums).

I have worked with many people who eat the same 3-4 vegetables on a regular basis, but rarely branch away from that amount. It is easy to get into a habit, shop at the same places, and repeat without much thought. If this sounds like you, how about finding just one new vegetable each week. If necessary, find a recipe for it, and explore whether you like it. If you consciously do this each week, you will learn different cooking methods, and explore different tastes. Soon, you are likely to start incorporating more of those items you try and enjoy.

There is nothing wrong with staples, particularly those especially nutrient-dense foods such as spinach and other dark leafy green vegetables. But if your set of staples is quite narrow, start broadening your repertoire.

Let me know what new vegetables you try and what you think about them! Share pictures with me using @lizsmithcoach on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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