Category Archives for Vegetable

Thai Vegetable Quinoa with Spicy Peanut Sauce {Gluten Free & Vegan}

Gluten Free & VeganQuinoa and Cookies

Full of veggies and flavor, this Thai Quinoa Bowl is bound to become a staple on your dinner table!

As I mentioned last week, Brendan and I have been on a bit of a healthy eating kick lately.  While lentils have become a total staple in our kitchen, I can’t neglect my tried and true quinoa.  It may be a bit pricier than the dried beans I buy, it’s just so freaking tasty and versatile!  Last week, we knew we wanted quinoa, but Brendan requested “something different.”  That didn’t really give me a lot to go on, but hey, I’m always up for a challenge.

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Taste the Rainbow: Colors of Plant-based Nutrition

Just because you’re eating clean doesn’t mean your meals have to be boring!  And I’m not referring to skittles and M&M’s.  In fact, the pigment of the food that you eat, (everything from your dark leafy greens to bright blue blueberries) indicates its nutritional value.  Checking your daily “color intake” is a creative method in finding all your necessary nutrients.

Red

Red fruits and vegetables include a class of more than 600 naturally occurring pigments known as carotenoids. Once ingested, cartoneoids are converted to beta-carotenes which ultimately convert to Vitamin A. Vitamin A supports the function of white blood cells (which are important for a healthy immune system), promotes bone growth, and regulates cell growth and division. Cartoneoids also are full of fiber and antioxidants quercetin, vitamin C, and lycopene.  Tomatoes, especially cooked, contain large amounts of lycopene and help maintain prostate health.  Quercetin has also been shown to prevent the loss of cartilage, so it’s helpful for keeping your bones strong and healthy for the long-haul.

RedImage courtesy of Getty Images

Try:
cranberries
raspberries
red peppers
beets
red onions
red potatoes
strawberries
rhubarb
tomatoes
watermelon
grapefruit

 

Orange

Orange foods also contain high amounts of Vitamin A.  The old wives’ tale that carrots improve your vision has been proven, so eat your carrots!

OrangeImage courtesy of Getty Images

Try:
oranges
tangerines
nectarines
apricots
cantaloupe
mangos
papayas
peaches
butternut squash
carrots
pumpkin
sweet potatoes

Yellow

Be it lemons or pineapples, add some cheerful yellow to your plate for an influx of cancer-fighting carotenoids and skin-strengthening bioflavins.

lemonsImage courtesy of Getty Images

 

Try:
lemons
Buddha’s hand (native to China and the lower Himalayas)
pineapples
yellow pears
yellow squash
yellow tomatoes
yellow peppers
yellow figs
corn (technically a grain)
yellow/golden beets

Green

You’ve probably already joined the masses and  “gone green”; those green juices are being sold everywhere these days! But it’s always good to reinforce the importance of those nutritious greens.  Green foods contain high amounts of vitamins A, C and K, iron, and smaller but still valuable amounts of other nutrients like chlorophyll, lutein, zeaxanthin, and folate.  Did you know that green veggies are also high in calcium?

GreenImage courtesy of Getty Images

 

Try:
bok choy
mesclun
turnip greens
kale
watercress
broccoli
collard greens
romaine lettuce
spinach

Blue & Purple

There are technically no naturally occurring blue foods, so even the magenta-tinted blueberry falls into a blue/purple category.  Two phytochemicals: anthocyanins and resveratrol, contribute to the bluish-purple character of many fruits and vegetables.   Anthocyanins are anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic, helping in lowering the risk of diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Resveratrol has disease preventing and anti-aging properties.  It also helps to reduce inflammation, cholesterol, and lowers the risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Blue & PurpleImage courtesy of Getty Images

Try:
blueberries
blackberries
figs
currants
grapes
plums
olives
prunes
elderberries
acai berries
maqui berries
raisins.
eggplant
purple asparagus
purple cabbage
purple carrots
purple-fleshed potatoes

White/Tan

More often than not, when people start their journey towards healthier eating, the first bit or advice they receive is “avoid white foods”. This advice isn’t wholly accurate at all; white foods actually boost the body’s immune system and help in avoiding weight gain, as long as processed foods like white bread are being avoided.

If you choose to incorporate dairy into your diet, stick with low-fat (1%) or fat-free milk, yogurt, and some cheeses.  These are packed with vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus.  Fat from dairy and oils are important for proper developmental growth, healthy skin, and to help regulate cholesterol.  Fat is also needed for transport and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as carotenoids, all supplemented with a high-veggie diet.

high-veggie dietImage courtesy of Getty Images

Try:
pears
jicama
onions
garlic
mushrooms
ginger
Jerusalem artichokes
kohlrabi
parsnips
turnips
potatoes
fennel
white corn

Black

When filling your plate with the colors of the rainbow, don’t forget black foods. Because of their high pigment content, black foods contain more antioxidants than light-colored foods.  Plus, they contain powerful phytonutrients that aid in reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

BlackImage courtesy of Getty Images

 

Try:
black lentils
black rice
black garlic
shiitake mushrooms
black beans
black tea
black chia seeds

Imagine your meal as a painting, and each contributing ingredient acts as a brushstroke in healthy eating.  I recommend taking a checklist with you when you go to the supermarket (or farmer’s market) to ensure your purchases contribute to a balanced “palette.”  A diversity of colors signifies consumption of vital vitamins and antioxidants, so don’t hesitate to add color to your plate.

For more information on color related nutrition, see this article.

from Vladislav Davidzon – Plant Based Nutrition http://ift.tt/1KlUKyM
via IFTTT

 

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