1. Extolling veggies – they are naturally low in calories, but high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
2. According the USDA, we’re supposed to get 5 servings of vegetables a day. That’s about 2 and a half cups worth.
3. Unfortunately, less than one third of Americans meet their daily vegetable requirement.
4. If you buy smart, you can meet your daily requirement for less than $2.50 a day.
5. Vegetables start losing their nutrients the moment they are picked, albeit slowly. Once in contact with water or heat, the process is greatly accelerated.
6. Wash vegetables just before serving.
7. Eating raw vegetables retains more nutrients than heating them. And if you’ve ever tasted fresh corn, minutes after harvest, you know it’s not as weird as it sounds to eat uncooked.
8. Choose veggies from all color ranges, as each color represents a different set of nutrients.
9. chopping vegetables into larger pieces helps maintain nutrients better than finely chopping because less surface area comes in contact with air or water that leech out the nutrients.
10. Steaming, microwaving, and a pressure cooker are the best cooking methods to retain nutrients.
11. Keeping the vegetable peels on is recommended where possible because the peel and area just below contain large amounts of nutrients such as fiber.
12. If preparing veggies in boiling water (for example corn on the cob), nutrients leech into the water. Don’t lose them by discarding this water, use it to prepare a soup or broth.
13. Remember ADEK – Vitamins that are fat soluble (Vitamin A, D, E, K). A tablespoon of olive or canola oil on a freshly prepared garden salad actually improves the bio-availability of these vitamins.
14. Vegetables can be served as a snack – carrot sticks, celery sticks filled with peanut butter, cherry tomatoes, etc,..
What to do at the supermarket:
If you’re on a tight budget – buy veggies in season, they’ll be much cheaper than imports from the other side of the planet. Check the frozen section at the supermarket – many times you’ll find cheap vegetables as well. Their nutritional value is often close or equal to that of their fresh equivalent.
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