Leafy greens have been proven to improve your heart health as well as being able to combat diabetes. No wonder how the ‘super’ got into superfoods!
Broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage and lettuce are just a few of these amazing foods which can drastically improve a number of functions when it comes to health. Not to mention they are cheap and easy to cook!
So, what are the main benefits of shopping down the fruit ‘n’ veg aisle?!
Cabbage can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you steam it. The fiber-related components in cabbage do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they’ve been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it’s easier for the acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. Raw cabbage still has cholesterol-lowering ability, just not as much as steamed cabbage.
When you choose your spinach, make sure that it is bright and vibrant in colour. Recent research has found that spinach which looks fully ‘alive’ contains a greater amount of Vitamin C than those leaves which are pale in colour. Now, we all know that spinach was a staple food in Pop-Eyes diet due to the high iron levels, but did you know that it also helps with inflammatory problems, stress-related problems, cardiovascular problems AND bone problems! AH-mazing!
Kale has a huge part to play in support of the body’s detoxification precess. The ITCs (isothiocyanates) made from kales glucose elements have been shown to help regulate detox activities in our cells. The toxins which pose a risk on our bodies must be ‘detoxified’ and kale can help with this process greatly. ALL HAIL THE KALE!
Courgettes contain very few calories and have a high water content, which makes them a dieter’s friend. They aren’t a powerhouse of micronutrients, but they do provide useful amounts of immune system-boosting vitamin C, and significant levels of potassium, which is key to controlling blood pressure. The soluble fibre in the skin slows down digestion, and so stabilises blood sugar and insulin levels. Soluble fibre also helps prevent constipation and relieves irritable bowel symptoms.
GREEN BELL PEPPERS
So these beauties are delicious both raw and cooked. Often making an appearance in salad, stir fry, curry, chilli con carne… The list goes on! It really is no wonder as they come in at just 30 calories each! Not only are they a fabulous ingredient, they too have a whole host of health benefits. The bell pepper is not only an excellent source of carotenoids, but also a source of over 30 different members of the carotenoid nutrient family. A recent study from Spain took a close look vitamin C, vitamin E, and six of these carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin) in all commonly eaten foods and found that only two vegetables contained at least two-thirds of all the listed nutrients. One of these foods was tomato, and the other was sweet bell pepper! Bell pepper alone provided 12% of the total zeaxanthin found in the participants’ diets. (Bell pepper also provided 7% of the participants’ total vitamin C intake.)
PREPPED & PACKED’S RECIPE SUGGESTION