Food & Nutrition, Get Healthy!, Healthy Living, Heart Disease, Weight Management

Veggiemania

Eating vegetables provides many different health benefits. It has been proven that people who eat more vegetables as part of their overall healthy diet are less likely to develop chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Eating vegetables is associated with better weight maintenance. Vegetables are low in calories compared to other foods. Veggies have a high water and fiber content, which can help you feel fuller longer.

For the most benefit, make sure to choose a wide variety of color vegetables. A good rule of thumb is the darker the vegetable the more antioxidants it has. Antioxidants are all of the vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and polyphenols present in foods that significantly slow or prevent oxidation (damage of oxygen) process and will prevent or repair damage to the cells in your body. For example, bright orange carrots or sweet potatoes; or deep red tomatoes have more antioxidants than a white onion would. Not that white onions don’t have many good nutrients of their own, they just don’t have the antioxidant powers of brighter vegetables.

Green:

Good Choices: Broccoli, romaine lettuce, kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, cabbage avocados

Health Advantage: protect eyesight and reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration, an eye disease that can lead to blindness.

Red:

Good Choices: Tomatoes, radishes, red bell peppers

Health Advantages: May reduce our risk of developing heart disease

Yellow:

Good Choices: Yellow bell peppers, squash, yellow corn

Health Advantages: May help strengthen the immune system due to increased amounts of vitamin C

Orange:

Good Choices: carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes

Health Advantages: Helps maintain healthy skin and bones and maintain eye health

Purple:

Good Choices: eggplant, purple onions, beets

Health Advantages: May guard against cancer

White:

Good Choices: mushrooms, onions, garlic, cauliflower, white potatoes

Health Advantages: May help reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers

Vegetarian Ratatouille

  • 1 large zucchini (unpeeled and cut into 1" cubes)
  • 2 cups cooked whole wheat egg noodles
  • 1 red pepper (diced)
  • 1 green pepper (diced)
  • 1 small eggplant (unpeeled and cut into 1" cubes)
  • 2 large onions (chopped)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (4-6 cloves)
  • 3 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cans (15oz) italian stewed tomatoes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

    Arrange eggplant, noodles, red pepper, green pepper, zucchini, onion and garlic in a 9×13 casserole dish.

    In a seperate bowl mix together the remaining ingredients and pour over the vegetables and noodles. Mix well.

    Cover and bake for 2 hours or unil the vegetables are tender. Allow to set for 30 mins covered before removing from the oven.

    Alternate option: Add 1lb chicken

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