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Eat your veggies! How many times have you heard that?
As children many of us weren’t naturally drawn to vegetables. Instead we preferred dense calorie sources such as sugars and fats. One of the reasons is because we were genetically programmed to go for caloric rich foods when we could, because dense calorie sources meant energy, and energy sources meant survival. For us modern day eaters, these dense calorie sources are easily come by, too easily!
As adults however we can use our common sense to realize that an array of brightly colored vegetables are important for our health. Vegetables are a low calorie, nutrient dense food source. An array of brightly colored produce provides us with much needed antioxidants, minerals, micro-nutrients and phyto-nutrients. These nutrients are broken down and used in chemical reactions in our bodies to run our bodily functions. Without these nutrients our bodies cannot function optimally. Because of this, nutrients from these foods help protect us from disease and slow the aging process.
Vegetables are also a great source of dietary fiber. Fiber from a variety of produce helps to feed our microbiome and flush waste through our digestive tract. Certain vegetables, being mostly water, are also hydrating.
We should aim to eat six to eight servings of brightly colored produce each day. Growing our own vegetables is a great way to get high quality, inexpensive, nutrient dense vegetables. Vegetables can be added to soups, stews and casseroles to boost their nutrient content. Some of the most nutrient dense ways to consume produce are lacto-fermented vegetables, fresh vegetables juices and sprouts.