In case you have been thinking of becoming a vegetarian or maybe trying to think why should I eat vegetables. There are a lot of evidence to back up your decision. But one thing only a few think about is how to eat more vegetables so that they can get maximum nutrients.
So this is worth talking about and understanding before you become the vegetarian you want to be or immense yourself in vegetable eating.
Maybe you are thinking what is she talking about. Does that mean I should not vegetable my diet? No! I don’t mean that. Eat a lot of greens in your diet but in a proper way. But what is this proper way? Let me show it to you.
Why should you be eating vegetables?
Basically, before anything you should know what you are benefiting from these veggies. There are enough reasons you should not reach at your dining table and say veggies again, hell no!. I will not explain the importance deeply, as it is a deep talk that we will have in some other article. Shortly, these are importance of eating vegetables.
- They are a source of energy due to the carbs they contain.
- Vegetables are a fiber source.
- Reduce cancer risk.
- Prevents heart diseases.
- Vegetables help in the losing of weight.
- Prevents inflammation
And yada yada. We will see in another article. Also the other biggest advantage I was about to forget is you can eat vegetables on your budget. Who doesn’t know that most veggies are cheaper than the processed foods.
Vegetables are at their best form and you get them on budget. But processed food, in their worst form and expensive. It’s a shame we always pick that road.
So my point here is, there are enough reasons for you to eat vegetables even when you hate them. But you should know you will get the benefits only when you know how to eat the produce to get the best. Don’t just take chunks of vegetables all day without knowing this.
How to eat vegetables in your diet.
So then here we are. Let’s understand this slowly. There is no better time to take them. Eat vegetables in the morning or at night. Eat them at work or at home. There is no restriction and it is completely healthy. But the question remains how should you eat vegetables?
1. Eat vegetables while they are raw.
So you are thinking ew! Raw? No way. Vegetables are edible without cooking. Some of these plants can be taken as dressing in meals or you can take vegetables as snacks.
This helps to get the most of nutrients from the plants without doing any damage by preparation. This research by University of Utago shows how eating vegetables raw help to improve mental health. Although you should be careful in washing these veggies very well. We will see how to safely wash local produce at the end of this article.
Some good examples of raw greens can be pepper, cucumbers and salad.
2. Avoid boiling or steaming vegetables.
Oh sorry to start with an avoid. But this is the worst mistake we usually make. Most times boiling can make vegetables lose their color and become soft. Not only that but some researchers have shown boiling as a way to reduce the anti cancer properties in vegetables.
If you choose this preparation method, make sure you take a few minutes maybe lesser than four minutes to preserve the quality.
3. Eat the vegetables in a variety of colors
The colors are lovely, right? One thing you should know is that the color is the nutrient that is present. For example, carotene in carrots, lycopene in tomatoes, anthocyanins in beets, fruits and more.
If you eat more colors, be sure you are acquiring the nutrients for the benefits that I mentioned earlier. That should be easy. Add at least two colors in your meal each time you eat.
4. After cooking vegetables allow them to cool.
Some foods like grains example rice or potatoes, after being cooked and left to cool the process reduces the amount of starch your body absorbs. This does not mean taking it cold. When you want to eat it, you can heat again.
This process is explained in the book “what the heck should I eat?” by Mark Hyman as a help in the food metabolism. Also the vegetable you are taking will have its glycemic index lowered by cooling after cooking. Low glycemic index is good for your body.
5. Roast your vegetables.
This is the most common way most of us prepare our vegetables. Don’t worry, it is not wrong but make sure the texture and color is not lost. In short don’t overdo it for better results in your body.
6. Do not deep fry vegetables
Frying veggies causes the destruction of the nutrients and sometimes it can lead to formation of harmful substances such as acrylamide. The best you can do is fry and do it just a little bit. You should also avoid microwaving your veggies.
7. Take vegetables in a fermented form.
Fermentation is a very old technique, right? Yes it is and it is one of the reasons why earlier people eat healthily. This fermentation process helps to multiply your gut bacteria and help in digestion.
If you have your vegetables ready, you just have to know how. You can use spices, water and a pot or jar. That’s all to get started. Using spices is a good way to encourage even those who don’t like eating vegetables.
If you want to taste them first before doing it yourself, you can try the Korean cuisine like kimchi and other vegetable dishes prepared that way.
8. You can freeze vegetables.
Freezing is good to vegetables only when they are frozen after being picked. This can help to preserve the nutrient that are present in the vegetable and helps you to get them still in a better state.
Do not freeze for a very long time as sometime the taste will be lost and I know you know that food is all about taste.
How to eat vegetables safely.
If you a fan of eating natural foods from farmers or organic you probably understand this. Most plants are sprayed with pesticides.
That is why you have to think of how to eat vegetables safely. It is very necessary to consider these two important issues.
- Eat the vegetables that are organic. If you are buying those with labels in supermarkets it is important to consider this. Most of the vegetables are full of pesticides. This leads to a lot of diseases in future. You can check these lists from EWG.org on foods according to amount of pesticides they contain.
- Wash the vegetables properly before consumption. This is in fact what is next after buying what is organic. Be sure to rub them as you wash with flowing water, to remove all the contamination that can be present.
Also some chemicals like dilute 3% hydrogen peroxide solution can help in washing the vegetables well. Just be sure your veggies are well washed before you eat them.
Although most of the nutrients in vegetables can be found in other foods like animal liver, vegetables are still important in your diet. It is also super important to know how to eat these edibles to get the nutrients that you need. Now that you already know how to consume these veggies, time to go for it. Always eat them by including them in your diet. Have another idea? Let me know in the comments.