You’ve heard all your life that vegetables are good for you.
If you’ve followed that advice, you know that they benefit you by:
- Providing lots of vitamins and minerals
- Providing fiber
- Increasing energy
- Tasting good
But did you also know that vegetables
and fruits can fight heart disease? It’s true. For one thing, vegetables and
fruits are low in calories. Thus, a diet rich in veggies and
fruits helps prevent overweight and obesity, which are contributors
to heart disease.
Fruits and veggies are also great sources of vitamins and minerals, and are rich in dietary fiber.
When your diet is high in soluble fiber of the kind found in fruits and vegetables, you can expect to lower your blood cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Vegetables and fruits also contain compounds known as phytochemicals. These are substances found in plants that may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Sure, pytonutrients can be found in supplement form…but when you eat them in whole form, you get the added benefits of water and fiber.
Eating more fruits and vegetables will help you satisfy your hunger and in doing so, it may help you eat less high-fat foods, such as meat, cheese and snack foods.
Don’t sweat the prep work--including vegetables and fruits in your diet may not be as difficult as you think.
Gerry Morton, CEO of EnergyFirst, has these suggestions for turbocharging your diet with fruits and veggies:
- Keep carrots, cauliflower and broccoli ready to eat in your refrigerator for quick snacks, along with some healthy, low-fat dip.
- Keep apples, bananas, grapes or peaches in a bowl in your kitchen as a visual reminder.
- Pack a baggie full of grapes, strawberries, blackberries, or peach slices in your lunch cooler.
- Choose recipes that have vegetables or fruits as the main ingredient, such as vegetable stir-fry or fresh fruit mixed into salads.
- Don't smother vegetables in butter, dressings, creamy sauces or other high-fat garnishes. Avoid fruits in cream or heavy sauces.
Another great way to add zing to veggies is by garnishing them with fresh herbs. Buy fresh herbs or grow them yourself—many herb garden kits are on the market and they make it very easy.
Good herbs for flavoring up vegetables include:
Gerry Morton, CEO of EnergyFirst, is an experienced athlete who has competed in 30+ marathons and 4 Ironman triathlons. Gerry is an excellent source of information on nutrition, supplementation and effective exercise. Since 1997, he has been educating and motivating others on how to attain peak performance.