When you think of adding veggies to your diet, what is it you think of?
For me, the first things that I think of are, “What kind of veggies do I like?” and then “Are these actually very good for you, or not?”
Because I think my number one favorite vegetable….may not be a vegetable after all! What is it? MUSHROOMS!
And, mushrooms are not – technically – a vegetable, it is a fungus!!
So, are mushrooms any good for you? The short answer is YES – they are! According to the information on Wikipedia:
“Mushrooms are a low-calorie food usually eaten cooked or raw and as garnish to a meal. Dietary mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins, such as riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid, and the essential minerals, selenium, copper and potassium. Fat, carbohydrate and calorie content are low, with absence of vitamin C and sodium. There are approximately 20 calories in an ounce of mushrooms.
Mushrooms, brown, Italian, or Crimini, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 113 kJ (27 kcal)
Carbohydrates 4.1 g
Fat 0.1 g
Protein 2.5 g
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.1 mg (9%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.5 mg (42%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 3.8 mg (25%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 1.5 mg (30%)
Vitamin C 0 mg (0%)
Calcium 18 mg (2%)
Phosphorus 120 mg (17%)
Potassium 448 mg (10%)
Sodium 6 mg (0%)
Zinc 1.1 mg (12%)
Percentages are relative to
US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
When exposed to ultraviolet light, natural ergosterols in mushrooms produce vitamin D2, a process now exploited for the functional food retail market.”
Well, that tells me a lot already! So, mushrooms – CHECK
My next favorite vegetable is…..broccoli! Of course broccoli is great for you and one SUPER FOOD! Chock full of vitamins, nutrients, and highly rich in antioxidants, this is one of the most healthy items you should eat! I prefer to eat them raw myself (and am occasionally partial to a small amount of dip), but they are also great steamed or microwaved!
As far as the health benefits to broccoli, check out what I found on Wikipedia:
“Broccoli is high in vitamin C, as well as dietary fiber; it also contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties, such as diindolylmethane and small amounts of selenium. A single serving provides more than 30 mg of vitamin C and a half-cup provides 52 mg of vitamin C. The 3,3′-Diindolylmethane found in broccoli is a potent modulator of the innate immune response system with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer activity. Broccoli also contains the compound glucoraphanin, which can be processed into an anti-cancer compound sulforaphane, though the benefits of broccoli are greatly reduced if the vegetable is boiled. Broccoli is also an excellent source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells.
Boiling broccoli reduces the levels of suspected anti-carcinogenic compounds, such as sulforaphane, with losses of 20–30% after five minutes, 40–50% after ten minutes, and 77% after thirty minutes. However, other preparation methods such as steaming, microwaving, and stir frying had no significant effect on the compounds.
Broccoli has the highest levels of carotenoids in the brassica family. It is particularly rich in lutein and also provides a modest amount of beta-carotene.
A high intake of broccoli has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Broccoli consumption may also help prevent heart disease.”
Keep that on your top list of foods to enjoy! So Broccoli – CHECK CHECK!
What else, what else? Oh! YES – Peppers – and I love them in all varieties, most especially red, yellow, and orange! However even the green ones are amazing and soooo versatile! (You should sample my amazing Stuffed Peppers I learned from my grandmother! It’d knock your socks off!)
Peppers and their nutritional value. Read what Wikipedia:had to say about the nutritional value of Bell Peppers:
“Compared to green peppers, red peppers have more vitamins and nutrients and contain the antioxidant lycopene. The level of carotene, like lycopene, is nine times higher in red peppers. Red peppers have twice the vitamin C content of green peppers. Also, one large red bell pepper contains 209 mg of vitamin C, which is three times the 70 mg of an average orange.
Red and green bell peppers are high in para-coumaric acid.
The characteristic aroma of green peppers is caused by 3-isoButyl-2-methoxypyrazine (IBMP). Its detection threshold in water is estimated to be 2ng/L. The same chemical is responsible for characteristic Cabernet Sauvignon green note.”
Bell Peppers – CHECK CHECK CHECK!
One item I add in every single bowl I have enjoyed at Genghis Grill (Click link to check them out and find one in your area!) is Bean Sprouts! So, I was wondering – are Bean Sprouts any good for you? I mean, afterall, they are small, crunchy, and seem like they are mostly water.
Well, I did a little researching, and guess what I found out about Bean Sprouts? Read this fascinating article I came across on Yahoo Voices:
“Used extensively in Asian cuisine, bean sprouts are not often considered by the public as a nutritional element. However, bean sprouts, or rather Mung Bean Sprouts, as they are properly called, contain pure forms of vitamins A, B, C, and E, in addition to an assortment of minerals including Calcium, Iron, and Potassium.
Thanks to this vitamin & mineral two-fisted punch of nutrition, bean sprouts are gaining popularity as a health food, turning up in everything from salads to soups or just as a healthy snack. Available fresh all year round, their delightful crunch and mild flavor make for an enjoyable snack experience, and are a welcome addition to many meals as an accompaniment or ingredient. It should be taken into consideration that the actual nutritional content is not sufficient as a total source of vitamins and minerals for the day; rather, they should be used in addition to other healthy, nutritious foods, and as a substitute for other less wholesome foods, such as rice and pasta.
Produced from mung beans, the sprouts are free of cholesterol, and are ideal for anyone counting calories. One cup of mung bean sprouts contains only approximately 30 calories, 3 grams of protein, only 6 carbohydrates, and only .2 grams of fat. Sprouts also contain a high source of fiber, are easily digestible and contain a high concentration of enzymes facilitating the digestive process.
A health advisory was issued for raw sprouts some years ago regarding the risk of food-borne illnesses. The reasoning was that sprouts are usually grown in a warm environment, ideal for the growth of bacteria. Cooking the sprouts will destroy this harmful bacteria. Washing and chilling raw sprouts will also reduce the risk of harmful bacteria.
The sprouts can be purchased canned, but for better quality and a superior flavor and crispness, then look for fresh bean sprouts in the produce aisle of your supermarket. They will stay fresh in the refrigerator for almost a week, but only maintain maximum freshness for about 3-4 days, and then will start to grow slimy and decay. Keeping them packed loosely will help to preserve their freshness. Look for sprouts that appear to have moist roots and a white color. They should be crisp, and are usually washed free of seed coats, but not always.”
This isn’t my complete list of favorite vegetables, but my personal favorites. I try as much as possible to eat them in their raw form so as to keep every bit of nutrition intact. However, these and more are also amazing in bowls at Genghis Grill which really add to the color and flavor!!
Bean Sprouts – CHECK CHECK CHECK CHECK!!!
Thanks for reading, and wait until you read my next blog – I will be discussing what has been going on with my NUMBERS lately!!!