Why is there such an emphasis on fruits and vegetables when talking about healthy nutrition? What is all the fuss? Research has proven many health and healing benefits of different nutrient components of fruits from beta carotene in carrots to sulphurane in broccoli and sprouts. There are many chemical compounds that work with the cells inside of the body to both regulate and stop abnormal cell growth. In addition, vegetables contain immune boosting and anti-oxidant value which help to remove damaged cells that may cause inflammation that promotes disease as well. There are vast amount of healing veggies available, but here are 7 vegetables that are a must have in your regular diet.
The most well known healing component of carrots is beta-carotene which has been shown to help reduce a wide range of cancers including bladder, prostate, intestinal, stomach, lung, mouth and throat. In fact, another substance called falcarinol, also found in carrots has been shown by Danish researchers at the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences state that cancer cells grow more slowly when exposed to this compound. Of course, there are also some studies that show that too many carrots may actually cause cancer, but you would have to be eating 2 – 3 kilograms of carrots daily for that to happen. Beta carotene is also proven to prevent night blindness and promote overall healthy sight.
If your parents encouraged you as a child to eat your broccoli and Brussel sprouts, or cooked cabbage on a regular basis, then they were wise parents indeed! The cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels, cabbage, and cauliflower all contain a component called indole-3-carbinol. This compound protects against and combats breast cancer cells by converting cancer promoting estrogen (E1) to more protective estrogens in the body. In addition, these vegetables contain lutein and zeaxanthin which may help decrease prostate and other cancers.. Broccoli, and sprouts specifically also contain sulphurane which have been shown to activate certain enzymes that deactivate free radicals and carcinogens in certain cancers like colon and rectal.
Kale (and other green & yellow leafy vegetables)
Kale has indoles as well as nitrogen that helps stops the conversion of certain lesions to cancer cells in estrogen sensitive breast cancers. In addition, isothiocyanates found in kale are thought to suppress tumor growth and block tumor cells from reaching their targets. Kale is great for sautéing, juicing, and in soups. Kale also promotes the production of red blood cells, and lowers blood pressure.
Chili Peppers & Jalapeños
Chili peppers contain a compound called Capsaicin which is known to be a potent anti-inflammatory. Capsaicin is used to decrease the inflammation of muscles and joints and is great for arthritis. Capsaicin is also thought to neutralize certain cancer causing substances (nitrosamines) and may help prevent cancers such as stomach cancer.
Sea Vegetables (Seaweed)
The sea vegetables and seaweeds are great sources of iodine which promote healthy thyroid function. As well, they are rich in beta carotene, vitamin b12, protein, fiber and chlorophyll which make them great for cardiovascular health. In addition to iodine, many sea vegetables contain high mineral concentrations of potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron. The chlorophylones in sea vegetables is an important fatty acid compound that may fight against breast cancer. Most sea vegetables are great in stir fry’s. However there are seaweed snacks called Laver that can also be a tasty on the go treat.
While technically sweet potatoes are a legume, their properties are worth mentioning. Like carrots, sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene. Another potential benefit of beta carotene is the protection of the DNA inside of a cell’s nucleus from cancer properties outside of the cell membrate.
This non-vegetable fungi also has properties worth including in the discussion of Veggie “Must haves”. Many mushrooms have been shown to have healing properties including Shitake, Reishi, Maitake, Agaricus blazei, and Murill, and Coriolus Versicolor. These foods contain polysaccharides that help build immunity in the body, and are a great source of beta glucans another immunity boosting component. They also contain a protein called lectin which has been shown to attack cancer cells and prevent them from multiplying. Mushrooms can also stimulate the production of interferons in the body and are being tested for their use as chemotherapeutic agents in Japan.
Conclusion: The moral of the story is simple. Get your 3-4 servings of vegetables daily. There are plenty of great, simple, and yummy recipes out there to help you get started. Stay tuned for our creative vegetable recipe this Foodie Friday for our recipe of the week!
|Too Busy to Plan Your next Healthy Meal? Sign up for our Weekly Recipe of the Week and get under 30 minute tasty recipes that make healthy cooking simple, easy and delicious!|
|What's Your Wellness Score? Take your free assessment and discover your wellness blueprint for stress free living today!|
|Purchase your copy of Dr. Clairborne's The Wellness Blueprint today and transform all the ingredients hidden right inside your own kitchen that automatically "fix" your broken metabolism, fight diseases and lead to a happy and healthy life. Hot off the press!|