Vegetable Garden Benefits

vegetable garden, detail

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Everyone would benefit from growing a vegetable garden. Vegetables, especially those grown above ground, should provide one of the main staples of our daily food pattern.

We are blessed and very fortunate to have such a wide variety of food available to us. Yet many people do not choose foods wisely. Too often the sweets and fats take center stage and too few plant based foods and healthy proteins are included in our diets.

Vegetables are excellent providers of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavonoids, as well as the good carbohydrates everyone needs. Flavonoids are a class of antioxidants.

Vegetables also contain many other essental macronutrients that cannot be replicated in any pills or any other type of food. Their nutrients build and repair cells, organs and tissues and are rich in fiber, which aids in digestion.

The vegetables with the brightest colors are generally the ones richest in nutrients. For example, red onions, versus yellow or white onions. Bright green of spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce, versus the light green iceberg lettuce, which has almost no nutritional value. There are exceptions to this, too. Cauliflower, a generally white vegetable, as well as cabbage are very rich in nutrients, particularly vitamin C.

Those vegetables grown below the ground such as carrots, beets and potatoes are higher in carbohydrates and are called starchy foods. Potatoes can almost be considered a grain, as they are high in simple carbohydrates and act on the body the same as sugars and grains.

To gain the most nutrients from vegetables, eating them raw is the preferred way. Organic vegetables are usually much higher in nutrients and often taste better, too. It is good to buy vegetables locally from garden farmers or produce growers, if you can’t grow your own.

There is no doubt about it, vegetables are packed full of health-giving nutrients. Would that we could all grow vegetables in our very own vegetable garden.

To your health,

Lee Jackson, CFCS
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