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‘Yes, I eat vegetables every day… Peas, carrots and corn.’
.
As a Dietitian, I hear this a lot. From a nutritional perspective, this leaves the client lacking in essential vitamins, minerals and health-promoting antioxidants.
Yes, vegetables are the king of nutrients BUT we need to be eating more than peas, carrots and corn!
Thanks to some popular diets, we have developed a fear of the more carby vegetables.
I do NOT believe we need to restrict ANY vegetables, but we do need to make sure we’re eating ALL 3 types!
1. The Cruisy Cruciferous
The well-known cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and kale.
There is sufficient epidemiological evidence to suggest that the consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with a reduction in cancer and help prevent ALL lifestyle diseases.
Cruciferous vegetables can:
• Potentially prevent DNA damage and metastatic cancer spread
• Activates defences against pathogens and pollutants
• Helps to prevent lymphoma
• Boosts liver detox enzymes
• Target breast cancer stem cells – it is seriously a promising anti-cancer agent
2. The Leafy Greens
The key to reducing cardiovascular disease (which still kills more people than any other lifestyle disease) is to eat leafy greens EVERY day.
Leafy greens help you to stay young AND reduce heart disease because they help your body make nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide is made in your epithelial cells which line the inner lining of the walls of your blood vessels, and they:
• Keeps all cellular elements flowing smoothly like Teflon NOT sticky like velcro
• Keeps vessels elastic
• Keep vessels from going thick & stiff
• Prevents the build-up of plaques
As we age our cells produce less nitric oxide but we can increase production by eating less animal protein and eating more greens.
The top nitric oxide producing foods are:
• Beetroot
• Garlic
• Leafy greens
• Citrus fruit
•Nuts & seeds are high in arginine which converts to NO
• Dark chocolate – gotta be happy about that!
By keeping your blood vessels elastic, this will also help with anti-aging, so eat your greens every day. The easiest way to do this is to start your day with a green smoothie.
3. The Comforting Carbs
Who doesn’t love roasted sweet potato or corn on the cob? The carby vegetables contribute to our nutrition but also add a depth and satiety to our diet.
When cooked and then cooled, starchy vegetables take on an immune-boosting property, when they become resistant starch.
Resistant starch is a type of fibre that resists being absorbed in the small intestine and makes its way down to the large intestine, where it feeds the good gut bacteria. It helps to boost your immunity! 
The carbohydrate part of legumes (beans & lentils) is inherently resistant starch so they don’t need to be cooked and cooled.
Trying to include ALL 3 types of vegetables in your diet EVERY day is easy when you have a menu plan.
I believe that developing a menu plan that you can use over and over, created specifically for your family, is the key to having more plant-based meals on the table every night.
I used a 3-week cycling menu for my family of 6 for over 15 years. I only shopped ONCE a week and spent a morning prepping what I could, because I loathed cooking IF I left it until 5pm (yes there were seasonal variations and it evolved over time – but you get my drift).
Imagine getting to 5pm and knowing that you already had tonight’s meal organised.
Jump on a free chat and we’ll talk over where you’re at, where you’d like to be, and how I can support you. 
Nic x
Dietitian | Breast Cancer Survivor | Balancing Optimal Health AND Lifestyle 

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