All about Vegetables + A Veggie Smoothie that Doesn’t Taste like Dirt!


Bottom line is for most of us we do not get nearly enough nutrient rich vegetables in our diet.  For the majority who try to eat healthy, 1-3 servings is achieved on a GOOD day.  Then there are those who count iceberg lettuce, a few carrot sticks or even ketchup as their vegetables.  Unfortunately this is not enough to gain the benefits of a diet full of greens, yellows, reds, and orange colored vegetables.

The benefits to vegetables are numerous.  GREEN CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES have vitamins, antioxidants, fibers and other very important nutrients.  Spinach, Kale, Broccoli, Cauliflower, asparagus,cabbage,beets, and pretty much any green leafy vegetable you can think of.  Others not necessarily cruciferous would be those like carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, and the list goes on.

  • Vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, and vitamin C, Vitamin E and K.  All important antioxidants.  What are antioxidants? well in short the bodies metabolism produces oxidative waste.  Antioxidants get rid of this waste
  • Cruciferous vegetables contain DIM(diindolylmethane).Studies have shown that it has the ability to reduce the risk of certain cancers, especially those influenced by excessive estrogen levels, such as breast, uterine and prostate.DIM effectively modulates estrogen metabolism – helping to do away with uncomfortable symptoms of PMS, peri-menopause and prostate issues.  It also stimulates fat breakdown and encourage an increase in muscle mass.   
  • Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. 
  • Vegetables are high in fiber.  Fiber helps slow the absorption of sugar, so it can help control insulin levels, it also reduce blood cholesterol levels. Fiber is important for proper bowel function, you know if youve ever experienced constipation! Fiber-containing foods such as vegetables help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories.
  • Vegetables are full of Folate (folic acid) which helps the body form red blood cells.
  • Vegetables like beets and cruciferous vegetables contain nitrates which convert to nitric oxide in the blood, giving you better blood flow.  Obviously good for your heart and to give you better workouts and for you meat heads out there, a good muscle pump
  • Vitamin A keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps to protect against infections and also is extremely important for healthy thyroid function and metabolism.
  • Vitamin C helps heal cuts, wounds, repair gum and teeth lining and is very important for tendon repair.  For those of you with tendonitis and pain/inflammatory issues Im sure you can see the benefits here.and keeps teeth and gums healthy. Vitamin C aids in iron absorption.
  • Iron doesn’t apsorb easily.  Its no wonder often iron supplements also have vitamin c in them.  Iron is very important for a healthy thyroid function and also for carrying oxygen in hemoglobin.  So its very important for your energy level.
  • Phytonutrients like betalains-Beets are the top source of phytonutrients called betalains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalains from beets, and both have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.  Betanin pigments from beets have been shown to lessen tumor cell growth through a number of mechanisms, including inhibition of pro-inflammatory enzymes (specifically, cyclooxygenase enzymes).

Fermented vegetables and other nutrients for your digestion!

           Try sauer kraut, kimchi! As fermented foods they are high in probiotics to fuel our stomach bacteria and benefit our digestive processes!

Allium Vegetables

Yeah they can make a person smell pretty strong, but they also can make you stronger and healthier!  Thats right were talking Onions, garlic, leeks, chives shallots, and scallions.

  • Full of all the antioxidants mentioned above
  • Dense with flavanoids giving them their distinct odor and color.  One really important one is quercetin which increases nitric oxide in the blood(for blood flow) it also like DIM decreases estrogen in the body and can raise testosterone if high estrogen levels were the issue

Apiaceae Family Vegetables

These include vegetables like celery, cilantro, cumin, dill, parsley, and parsnip.

  • serves as a good source of vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, dietary fiber, calcium and vitamin B6. Proponents say this vegetable can help you lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and prevent free radicals from damaging the cells of your body.
  • Have small amounts of androsterone which in the human body converts to testosterone.  The amount is very little, its not going to alter your hormone profile very much IF AT ALL.  Either way these are wise choices to have in your diet to aid in building muscle and burning fat!

So there you have it, a general explanation of most vegetables you’ll come across.  I know Im missing some but hopefully this gives you a reason to eat your vegetables.  They’re good for detoxifying your blood as antioxidants, benefitting your hormones, preventing cancer, lowering blood sugar, increasing the amount of fat you burn, building muscle, better blood flow, and better digestion. If all the other systems are benefited then we know the brain is too!  With all these benefits how can we not make sure we get out daily servings?

So what are great ways to get 5-9 servings of vegetables a day?

Click HERE for recipe ideas, meal prepping instructions,and other ideas for getting vegetables into your diet without them being such a drag.

In the meantime, try throwing this in a large blender.  I personally drink something like this every morning.  It is quick simple and part of my meal prepping guide.  For best results I recommend using a high quality blender otherwise you may end up wth more of a chunky vegetable stew like drink rather than a smoothie.  I personally use a Ninja.  Click HERE  to be taken to a page where you can purchase one.

Example Fruit and Vegetable Smoothie

  • 8-12 oz water
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1/3 of a cucumber
  • 1 small piece( 1 inch) of fresh ginger for digestion
  • 1 cup of greens
  • 1/2 cup of beets( i buy pre peeled ones for quickness)
  • 1 scoop of Vegan vanilla protein powder+ greens+ multivitamin and mineral.
  • 1 cup of mixed strawberries and blueberries

I highly recommend a Vegan Protein powder + greens.  Join the nutritional program for access to the best tasting and quality vegan proteins which contain 24 g protein, 2 servings of vegetables, and a multi-vitamin/ mineral all included! Several flavors are available.  All included with joining the nutritional programming.

This gives you a serving of protein, 5-6 servings of vegetables, and 2 servings of fruit right of the bat to help you meet your nutritional needs and start your day with good energy!  For meeting your fruit and vegetable needs for the rest of the day click HERE for guides.

Join Strategy for Strength and recieve full access to meal plans, recipes, an exercise library and everything you need to customize your fitness program!

Enjoy! Feel free to comment with some of your favorite combinations of vegetables in smoothies!

 

DISCLAIMER: Everyone and especially those with pre-existing conditions including but not limited to :Kidney diseases, liver diseases, specific heart conditions,metabolic diseases, oxalate intolerance, or food intolerances should etc should consult their doctor before making any changes and adding certain vegetables to their diet.  As increased blood levels of potassium,

 

 

 

References:(Click the link)

My Plate

All about beets

Apiaceae

Garlic and Onions

www.shape.com/healthy…/ask-diet-doctor-should-i-add-more-fermented-foods-.