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Vegetables and fruits - vitamins and minerals providers
Is there anything you can eat with impunity, even when you’re hungry, and you’re on a strict diet? Yes, raw vegetables!
Vegetables are very low caloric. Most of them contains from 10 to 50 kcal in 100 g. It’s very little considering how large its volume is. A big bowl of chopped fresh vegetables contains maximum 100-150 kcal. Such amount can fill a hungry stomach for a long time because vegetables contain soluble fiber. It causes formation of a “jelly” in the intestine, which successfully kills hunger, at least for a while.
Vegetables and fruits are the only one group of food products which are the source of vitamin C and provitamin A - carotene. They perform antioxidant function, damaging free radicals and preventing organism from aging. Our body isn’t able to store vitamin C, that’s why we have to provide big amounts of it every day. In vegetables and fruits we can also find vitamins from group B and folic acid essential for normal production of red blood cells. From minerals in vegetables and fruits alkaline components are dominant (potassium, calcium) and that’s why they have alkalizing effect.
How many vegetables and fruits?
Vegetables are the only products, which amount isn’t limited even during dieting (this rule applies only to raw vegetables). During dieting it’s worth to eat over 400g of vegetables per day. You have to be more careful with fruits. Its maximum amount during the diet shouldn’t exceed 200g per day. Particularly fruits such as: grapes, bananas, dates provide big amounts of sugars, which consumed in excess easily convert into fat tissue. High caloric are also fruits preserves: jams, marmalades and dried fruits and nuts.
Regular consumption of vegetables and fruits reduces blood pressure and level of ‘bad cholesterol’ (LDL - cholesterol). It also helps to reduce risk of many diseases, including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. Because of the fiber, it improves regularity of bowel movements.
If you have that possibility, go to the closest market or grocery shop and buy seasonal fruits and vegetables. Such fresh products are healthier, higher quality and there’s bigger chance they were planted in natural way, without overusing fertilizers and pesticides.
What should you remember while preparing meals from vegetables?
- Heat treatment, cooking, braising or frying vegetables causes partial loss of vitamins. Loss is bigger when vegetables are in high temperature for longer time.
- Cooking vegetables in large quantities of water causes leaching of minerals. That’s why it’s better to steam or cook in small quantities of water.
- Fresh, raw vegetables contain the most vitamins and minerals.
- You should add a small amount of vegetable fat - oil, olive oil or natural yogurt. Fat allows the use of fat-soluble vitamins contained in vegetables.
- Adding too much fat (oil, olive oil, mayonnaise, sour cream) or fat products (mozzarella cheese, feta cheese) can change a seemingly light meal into a caloric bomb.
So eat fresh vegetables even in the evening. You can be sure that instead of extra centimeters in hips they will improve your health and bring relief to your empty stomach.