Vegetables!

For anyone to have a well rounded meal, vegetables need to be included on your plate.  The advantages of vegetables is that they can enhance the flavor and texture of what you are eating and more importantly, add tremendous amounts of nutritional value without a lot of calories.

Vegetables fall into two main categories, cruciferous and leafy green with a lot of other variations from these two.

Cruciferous veggies are derived from the cabbage family while leafy green vegetables are known to be more like plant leaves.  They are both very good for you.

You will see articles on certain veggies throwing them in both categories, such as kale.

Both cruciferous and leafy green veggies carry lots of anti-oxidants to help combat different types of diseases.

For a well rounded diet, you should have at least 3-4 servings of the above per week along with some of the other veggies I will mention here that don’t fall into these two categories.

One item of note is that cruciferous veggies can potentially cause goiters just in case you are prone to them.  They contain enzymes that interfere with the formation of thyroid hormone in people that have an iodine deficiency.  In those cases, you should moderate the consumption.

Some cruciferous veggies that I highly recommend are:

Kale – antioxidants helps prevention of heart disease. I prefer baby kale since it cooks easier and not as fibrous.

Broccoli – strong cancer fighting anti-oxidants

Cauliflower – another strong cancer fighting anti-oxidant veggie

A favorite dark green leafy veggie of mine is spinach.  It’s strong anti-oxidants help the aging of your eyes and vision.

Onions fall out of these two categories but have an abundance of cancer fighting anti-oxidants as well.  What I love about onions is that they can be used with everything. Whether it is used raw on a salad or sandwich or cooked with main course meals.

One thing to note about onions is that if you are going to cook them, do it in a low heat or sautéed condition.  High heat destroys some of its anti-oxidant properties.

All the above veggies should either be sautéed, cooked in low heat or steamed.

There are many more veggies that you can play with but I find these four are a standard in my weekly meals then I add others throughout the week depending on what type of dish I am creating.

So add veggies to your meal plan and you will see that with very low calorie intake but amazing anti-oxidant properties, your meals will get that added kick to be…Fit Forlife!

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