There are many methods for obtaining a healthy body, and there are equally as many diets and experts who want to show you how to get there. One of the first things you should consider in a healthy diet is your intake of vegetables. No diet, no matter how much of a fad or how time tested it is, will argue against the importance of vegetables. Veggies are universally understood to be the cornerstone of any healthy nutrition plan. At the same time, it can be quite difficult and confusing to know what vegetables to eat and what you are getting out of them. Eating a wide range of colors, cooking them properly, and finding exciting recipes will help you get all of the beneficial nutrition out of your food.
An initial problem is that while you can certainly just eat any vegetables whenever they feel like it, it is quite important to know which nutrients are found in which vegetables. The best way to get as many nutrients as possible is to eat a wide variety of colors of vegetables. The colors of vegetables correspond to different levels of micronutrients found in them. For instance, red fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, beets, and watermelon tend to be higher in lycopene while yellow/orange vegetables like carrots, yellow peppers, and sweet potatoes are high in carotenoids. In general, if you do not know which foods contain which micronutrients it is best to simply eat as many different colors of fruits and veggies on a daily basis.
The next difficult step in getting the most nutrients out of vegetables is to cook them in the proper way. Again, different vegetables need to be cooking in different ways, or else they tend to lose a lot of the nutrients that make them so healthy. At a basic level, most vegetables should not be boiled. Boiling sucks out a lot of the good stuff. An exception to this is when you are making soups or stews with your vegetables, but if this is the case be sure to drink the broth as well because that is where most of the lost nutrients will end up. To be on the safe side, stir-frying and steaming are the best ways to cook vegetables, next to eating them raw.
Finally, one of the biggest problems people face with getting nutrients from veggies is simply finding fun and exciting ways to cook them! Most people do not eat enough fruits and veggies simply because they do not taste as good as fatty burgers and French Fries. The challenge is to find ways in which to cook vegetables that will excite your palate: experiment with various spices, learn about how different cultures cook vegetables, and find foods that mix well together.
In the end, if you can find fun ways to cook your vegetables, understand how to cook them (avoid boiling, steaming is better), and eat a wide range of colors then you can be certain that you will be able to get all of the nutritional benefits from your diet. And remember, out of all of the fad diets, no one will ever try to tell you that vegetables are bad for you! So eat up!
Kyle Lambert is a writer, vegetarian, and cook. After years of helping friends and family make the switch to plant-based diets he decided to create a website dedicated to the lifestyle. Focusing on vegetarian recipes and cooking, Kyle hopes to educated people interested natural health. Find his full website dedicated to How to Cook Veggies [http://www.howtocookveggies.com] and How to Cook Vegetables on the Grill [http://www.howtocookveggies.com/how-to-cook-veggies-on-the-grill/]
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