National Eat Your Vegetables Day!

You’ve probably been told since you were a toddler to “Eat your vegetables! They’re good for you.”
But, do you really know WHY they’re good for you?  Let me jump into a few reasons why vegetables kick serious butt!

1) Vegetables are nutrient dense. It should be no surprise that Popeye turned to a vegetable when he needed a power-up. Think of vegetables as one of our body’s most efficient fuel sources: they are packed full of vital macro, but more importantly micronutrients. Macronutrients provide the body with energy (calories), where micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) don’t provide any energy, but are needed by every system in the body to function. Without proper amount of micronutrients in our diet, we run the risk of developing deficiency diseases.

2) They fill you up, without “filling you up.”  Basically you can eat a whack load of vegetables, without overshooting your intake goals for the day. For example, 200 calories of broccoli is the size of a grocery bag, compared to 200 calories of a donut, which may only be half of one. Vegetables are an easy way to add volume to your meals, but not the added calories.

3) Veggies keep your body operating at maximum efficiency! Vegetables are a great way to keep your…um…indoor plumbing…functioning properly.  Adding a fibre rich vegetable or two to each meal is a great way to keep things working right! Seriously: if you’re someone who doesn’t eat many veggies, you will notice a considerable difference after adding veggies to your diet regularly.

4) They fight disease! Because of the rich nutrient profile of vegetables, they work towards prevention of diseases. 4) A lot of people today, don’t start looking at their diet as being a problem until they are already sick. Remembering that our bodies contain the most efficient pharmacy within them. Our body is always trying to survive and be the best it can be. So give it a vegetable here and there, and it will thank you!

5) Veggies can be delicious! I hear a lot of clients say, but they don’t taste good. Firstly, if your palette is used to highly refined flour and sugar products that have an addictive effect on the brain, then yes a vegetable is gonna taste like dirt. Lucky for us, our palettes will change with time and you will crave vegetables! You will! But, in the mean time there are ways to spice them up or hide them away in our already favorite dishes. Here’s a few ways to do that:

– Toss a handful of spinach in a smoothie
– Add veggies to your eggs and make an omelette
– Ditch the bread, use lettuce, kale or collard greens as your bread, bun or wrap
– Spiralize vegetables like zucchini, sweet potato, even carrot or just use spaghetti squash to replace refined pastas
– Mix vegetables into your pasta sauce, or utilize salsa more
– Switch your pizza crust with cauliflower crust
– Make a fresh juice
– Make baked vegetable fries

The possibilities are endless!
Try out this recipe loaded with veggies and see if I have converted you 😉

RECIPE –>>  Sweet Potato Nachos

 

Olivia Harty

HBSc. Nutrition and Dietetics

Personal Training Specialist Certified

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