It’s that moment – you’re at the vegetable aisle of your grocery store and you want to select the healthiest greens for your next meal. You’ve heard about eating vegetables raw for the most benefit and you’ve heard about eating spinach because of the strength it gives Popeye.
What you may not know is that a vegetable can have both benefits and drawbacks.
For example, spinach contains vitamins C, A, and K, which lowers cancer risk, and is good for your muscles and heart. You can add it to scrambled eggs, salads, and smoothies. However, spinach can contain a number of pesticides, so it is better to play it safe with organic.
Bell peppers are a great addition to salads and other meals because of their texture and variation in colour. They contain vitamin B and C as well as beta carotene. They have antioxidant properties, but peppers can contribute to inflammation for some people.
One staple for almost any meal is the potato. Hash browns for breakfast. Fries for lunch. Mashed potatoes or potato salad for dinner. Potatoes are a great source of nutrition with vitamins B6 and C, and even potassium. They are great with soup, but not such a boost to your health if you add too much salt or butter.
Broccoli can be eaten in a variety of ways. It is satisfying to crunch on when eaten raw. It can also be steamed, fried, and even over-cooked until it is brown. Some cooking methods are healthier for you than others. Broccoli has cholesterol-lowering benefits if you steam it. Other benefits of this vegetable include lowering the risk of cancer and improving our body’s detoxification system. However, one downside of this vegetable is it can cause bloating.
Peas are a great addition to soups or rice dishes. However, they are starchy and glycemic, which can lead to weight gain. They also start to lose nutritional value after three days. On the upside, the fiber keeps you full. Frozen peas have vitamins A and C as well as protein, and can keep for a longer period of time.
So what should you place in your shopping cart? It’s best to know the benefits of your powerhouse vegetables, as well as the possible drawbacks of vegetables that may not be good for you. Be food-wise when you’re deciding on what vegetables to place in your cart the next time you go shopping!