Friday, November 12, 2010

Ways to eat more vegetables....

Today's Post: Friday, 11-12-2010

Recently this month, on Monday, 11-1-2010, we did a post on ways of eating that support good health.

The ones with the most and most important health benefits already have an abundant amount of vegetables.

And, in those two, the Mediterranean and the DASH II, diet eating a bit more vegetables and less of even whole grains makes them even more effective at benefitting your health.

In fact, eating more vegetables makes virtually all the eating styles do better at supporting and benefitting your health.

(The reasons why vegetables are so good for you are next. Some vegetables are listed in this section. The next part, B, has the ways to begin to eat more.)

A. There are a whole list of reasons for this.

1. Eating raw cruciferous vegetables and eating a variety of them is a potent way to prevent cancer. Broccoli, Broccoli Sprouts,Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Water Cress, and Radishes are just some of these vegetables.

Garlic and onions prevent cancer. Even button mushrooms help prevent cancer. (Minced raw garlic eaten fresh -- and sliced raw onions in salads or sandwiches may work best.)

See the book, Anticancer, A New Way of Life, New Edition by David Servan-Schreiber which is available on .

In fact almost all vegetables help prevent cancer. This book rates, for their effectiveness at cancer prevention, almost all of the ones you can buy at your local stores.

2. The whole family of carotenoids, not just beta carotene, protect your health.

The more kinds you eat in real food the better your overall health will be. And, a relatively high dose of mixed carotenoids in real foods, which are virtually all vegetables, also helps prevent cancers.

Lycopene and many of the other carotenoids are absorbed and used best and most if the vegetables they are in are eaten with extra virgin olive oil. In fact, tomatoes cooked into a tomato based sauce with extra virgin olive oil delivers far more lycopene to you than when eaten raw. But raw, sliced tomatoes deliver some lycopene and have other heath benefits.

For their carotene content, steamed or cooked vegetables in dishes with extra virgin olive oil works well. (While many of broccoli’s anti-cancer components, you only get them if you eat it raw. But for its carotenes, you may well get more when it’s steamed or cooked.)

Besides broccoli and some dark salad greens, sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, tomatoes, and squash – including pumpkin puree all are high in carotenes.

3. Vegetables have a high fiber content and a high potassium content. So eating a lot of them tends to lower your blood pressure if it’s too high. The DASH II diet that also restricts salt a bit is proven effective in doing just this for example.

4. Because nonstarchy vegetables have high fiber content, a high water content, high nutritional value, and very few calories, the more of them you eat, the less excess fat you will have and carry around. They are so filling and low in calories, Weight Watchers rates them with zero points. They are literally a food that is filling and almost calorie free.

I’ve found that eating enough vegetables is almost like a gentle, extremely effective, way to find it easy, indeed almost automatic, to eat less of the foods that have more calories with NO extra effort needed.

For example, people who drink a glass or two of vegetable juice each day who have not been doing this lose weight and fat studies have found.

5. For the same reasons vegetables help you be less fat, the nonstarchy ones are very low glycemic and the more of them you eat, the less trouble you will have with spiking or crashing blood sugar levels and insulin resistance and too high blood sugar including type 2 diabetes.

6. Organic vegetables particularly have nutrients such as flavonoids that we are just beginning to learn benefit health. And virtually each kind of most vegetables we are finding have dozens of kinds of these phytonutrients.

7. Vegetables have abundant levels of the traditional vitamins and minerals. This too is most true of organically raised vegetables.

Vitamin C, folic acid, and magnesium are all high in many vegetables – and in their natural and most bioavailable forms besides.

B. Ways to eat more vegetables.

For breakfast, you can add one or more of sprouts or diced onion or mushrooms or diced green or mild hot peppers to scrambled eggs or omelets.

You can also add them to stir fry dishes along with diced shrimp or diced ham or raw nuts or diced boiled eggs.

The Japanese often start the day with a seaweed soup that can contain many kinds of seaweed.

On cold days you can have stew or chili to which you’ve added some extra diced vegetables.

Some people simply have lunch or dinner type meals for breakfast and include steamed vegetables or raw diced vegetables with dip or salads with multiple vegetable and other ingredients. (Guacamole is a dip with a lot of flavor that is made from avocados which have heart health OK monosaturated oils and so many nutrients they are listed as a super food.)

You can also have a glass of vegetable juice with whatever breakfast you eat now. Both regular and low salt tomato juice or V8 juice work. You can also get a juicer and include several kinds of vegetables. And you can have a “Virgin Mary” – Bloody Mary mix with no alcohol. SnapETom, which is tomato juice with hot peppers, also works.

For lunch you can do any of the above. Having vegetables in your sandwich such as sliced onion, sliced tomatoes. You can also bring a stew or chili or other dish with cooked vegetables with you to work. In many workplaces, you can even heat these in a microwave. Just bring them in a glass container. Pyrex sells several sizes of those.

>>> The only caution needed is to add these vegetables one at a time and eat that one for a week or so before adding more of it or a second vegetable.

Your gut can deal with 3 to 8 servings a day of vegetables once you are used to eating that many. And, that’s the best total to aim at for good health. But if you go in one day from never eating any kind of vegetable on a regular basis to eating 4 or 5 without building up to it gradually to allow your gut to adapt to it can cause you to feel bloated and overfull and even give you excess gas.

If you just add one a week or three a month, you can get to eating more without those problems. <<<<<

Here’s what I’ve begun with. (There are literally hundreds of other ways to do it. One or more of those will work for you. Just experiment until you find what you like and can keep doing.)

For lunch:

When I found out that men who eat raw broccoli florets get just half the aggressive kind of prostate cancer as men who don’t, I began to bring a half cup to a cup or so of them as part of my workday lunch each day.

I also realized that in sandwiches and hot dogs, my favorite part was the mustard, lettuce, tomato slices, and sliced onions. This is because of their great flavors and their adding a water containing food to balance the dry bread used.

So, I bring a half sandwich on one slice of whole grain sprouted rye bread for lunch that has a lettuce like Romaine or Red leaf lettuce, sliced tomato, sliced onion, and Annie’s Natural yellow mustard, the only one I’ve found I can be certain is MSG free. (The ingredient “spices” which is often used to hide having MSG in a product is NOT listed for this kind of mustard. And, I buy it at my local Whole Foods Market.)

And, for carotenes in food, I bring baby food sweet potatoes on Monday, Weds, & Friday while I bring baby food squash from Earth’s Best on Tues & Thurs. Neither my wife nor I has to cook or prepare these. They transport easily in my lunch bag. And they are exactly the same size each time.

For dinner, I get a tomato or “pasta” sauce I like with no soy oil added and then add extra virgin olive oil, cooked pinto beans, and other spices. Sometime I include curry that contains turmeric and black pepper for the anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and Alzheimer’s disease prevention effects. Other times I add chili powder and a bit of cayenne pepper.

I like flavorful foods and enjoy both versions of this dinner!

(The precooked tomato sauce added to the extra virgin olive oil, I found out, helps prevent prostate and other cancers.)

The pinto beans are super inexpensive as my wife cooks a batch for the week from the dry beans most weekends.

They are high in antioxidants, protein, and very high in fiber including the soluble fiber that keeps my LDL cholesterol down.

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