Vegetables And Their Health Benefits
Most everyone knows vegetables are great for your health, particularly if you are setting the foundation to carry a healthy pregnancy. But do you know what each type of vegetable does for your body?
We have assembled a short list of common vegetables that you may wish to consider. However, as always, consult with your health professional before making any lifestyle or diet changes.
In Chinese medicine terms, some vegetables tend to warm, while others tend to be neutral or to cool the body. Whether you would benefit from warming, cooling, or neutral vegetables is a matter to discuss with your Chinese medicine professional.
Broccoli is so full of nutrients, it simply has to be on our list. While there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, broccoli is good eating! 1 cup of chopped broccoli has 3 grams of protein, a good dose of fibre, is loaded with vitamin C, and folate to boot. Its nature depends on whether you consume it raw or cooked. Typically, those attempting to conceive will opt for cooked broccoli.
Asparagus comes in green, purple and even white! With some many ways to enjoy them, they really are delightful.
Asparagus are known to be anti inflammatory as they contain asparanin A, sarsasapogenin, proxtodioscin, and diosgenin (saponins). They also contain vitamins C and E, beta-carotene!
We have to say it, Popeye was right. Spinach is the secret ingredient that will make you strong!
Spinach is thought to help prevent cancer, asthma, lower blood pressure, assist with the management of diabetes and even make your skin and hair look and feel healthier.
Like broccoli and kale, spinach’ properties change depending on whether you eat it raw or cooked. Most people trying to conceive will be advised to eat it cooked.
Kale comes in many varieties from soft leaves to rough leaves, dark greenish black to pale light green. Some varieties are wonderful raw, others require cooking. Common to most varieties of kale, however, is the health punch that it packs.
Whether blended, cooked or eaten in a salad, kale is a wonderful vegetable. One cup has 3 grams of protein, loads of vitamin A and C and even more vitamin K! It is also low in calories.
Swiss chard, also known as Chard, is a colourful leafy vegetable used in a variety of cuisines around the world.
While some believe it has a slightly slippery feel when cooked, we cannot deny it is full of nutrients including vitamins K, A, C, and magnesium, copper and manganese. Chard also contains kampferol
Cabbage is a versatile vegetable that may be eaten raw or cooker (again fertility patients generally should be eating this cooked). It is high in vitamins C and K, and is thought to reduce inflammation and protect against certain types of cancer. Cabbage is notable for its low calorie count.
Bok choy is also known as Chinese cabbage or pakchoi (not to be confused with Nappa cabbage, which is entirely different). Bok choy actually comes in many varieties including Shanghai bok choy, which has less, and shorter, white stems.
Bok choy is a good source of iron, calcium and alpha-linoleic acid, and is thought to be a tough cancer fighter.
Bell peppers come in a variety of colours, which also affect their flavour. Some are sweet, others more neutral. Bell peppers may be used in salads or cooked in stir fries for example.
In Chinese medicine, many of these peppers are believed to be warming, which is good for many seeking to conceive. These vegetables have also recently been found to assist in weight management.
Did you know that the beet greens (beet tops) can, and often, should be eaten. Many people throw these away and eat only the root, or beet bottoms. The tops are so nutritious, we just had to add them to this list.
One cup of beet tops has a lot of vitamin K, copper and iron, plus many other vitamins and minerals to numerous to list. The tops also contain fibre, beta-carotene and lutein.
Green beens are so delicious, particularly when eaten at the peak of the season. Luckily, green beans also freeze very well, and can be added to a host of ‘winter’ dishes as well.
Green beans contain beta-carotene and lycopene, both antioxidants that may assist in warding off diseases. Also, green beans may assist with cardiovascular health.
Zucchini, sometimes confused with cucumber, is a summer squash. It is a versatile vegetable with endless uses. Zucchini is full of B vitamins and potassium, rich in antioxidants, and has anti-inflammatory properties. It may assist with blood sugar levels and is thought to support prostate health. All of this and it is low in calories!
Watercress is nutrient dense and has large quantities of PEITC, which many studies suggest fight cancer. Watercress has historically been used to fight coughs, flu and bronchitis. How is this all possible at only 11 calories per 100 grams?
Watercress is used in salads, soups, stir fries and other dishes.
Leeks are an underused vegetable in North America. So much more than leek and potato soup, leaks can be used to flavour so many dishes, including roasts! Leeks contain vitamin K, a vital micro nutrient.