Articles on vegetables

12 Vegetables You Should Be Eating

Dr. Satish Sawale, Ayurveda
Cream of the CropIf you regularly load up your grocery cart with a variety of veggies, you could be well on your way to a healthier and longer life. But which ones should you reach for? Recent research has shown that dozens of vegetables pack a particularly big nutritional punch. Sneaking them into your daily diet couldn’t be simpler.1. Beet GreensBeet roots’ edible leafy tops are brimming with vitamin K, which is linked to a lower chance of getting type 2 diabetes. One cup provides nearly twice your daily requirement. Cooking tip: Saute a bunch of tender beet greens with some olive / flax seed oil and garlic for a healthy side dish. Or chop them and add to frittatas, soups, or pasta dishes.2. BeetsNot to be outdone by their tops, ruby red beets are a leading source of nitrates, which are good for your blood pressure. Plus, you get fiber and other nutrients from beets.Cooking tip: Roasting beets boosts their natural sweetness. Wrap each beet individually in foil and bake at 350 F until tender. Or skip the oven. Grate raw beets and add to slaws or as a topping in sandwiches.3. Micro greensGreat things come in small packages. The baby versions of wheat, fenugreek, radishes, cabbages, kale, and broccoli can be higher in nutrients like vitamins C and E than the regular, mature plants. They range in flavors from peppery to tangy. Cooking tip: Try adding a handful of micro greens to sandwiches and salads, or use as a garnish for soups.4. WatercressOften overshadowed by arugula, this peppery green can knock any dish into nutritional shape. It’s particularly rich in vitamins A, C, and K, and other antioxidants that are good for you. Cooking tip: Watercress can instantly make sandwiches and salads more lively and fresh-tasting. Or blend the greens into pureed soups.5. Swiss ChardTwo main varieties of Swiss chard are found on store shelves: one with multicolored stems and veins, often called rainbow chard, and another with white stems and veins. Both are great sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, an antioxidant duo that's good for your eyes. At only 7 calories a cup, the green giant is waistline-friendly, too. Cooking tip: To preserve its nutritional might, lightly steam chard and toss with vinaigrette. You can also use the leaves instead of tortillas when making soft tacos.6. Collard GreensThis contains a wealth of nutritional goodness, including notable amounts of vitamins K and C, folate, and beta-carotene. To make it easier to meet all your daily nutrient needs, aim to eat about 2 cups of dark, leafy greens like collards every day. Cooking tip: Quickly blanch the leaves in boiling water, then chop them and add them to whole-grain or lentil salads.7. Asparagus/Shatavari Shoots With an earthy-sweet flavor, asparagus is a good way to load up on folate. Research suggests that this B vitamin is an ally in the battle against high blood pressure.Cooking tip: Shave raw asparagus with a vegetable peeler. You'll get ribbons that are wonderful in salads.8. SpinachThis green has healthy amounts of vitamins C, A, and K as well as manganese. Working 1.5 cups of green, leafy vegetables into your day may lower your odds of getting type 2 diabetes. Cooking tip: Sneak spinach into your daily routine by adding it to scrambled eggs and casseroles or blending it into smoothies.9. Baby KalePacked with nutrients like beta-carotene, vitamin C, and bone-building vitamin K, kale has been billed as an ultimate super food. Not everyone likes its strong flavor. Enter up-and-coming baby kale. The immature kale leaves are deliciously tender and don’t require any chopping. Cooking tip: Look for baby kale packed in plastic containers alongside baby spinach in supermarkets. Use in wraps, salads, and pasta dishes.10. Frozen PeasIt’s always a good idea to stash a bag of green peas in your freezer. Each cup of peas delivers an impressive 6 grams of fiber. Fiber helps you feel full, so you eat less later. It's also good for your digestion and helps lower cholesterol levels. Cooking tip: Use frozen peas in soups, dips, potato salads, and pasta dishes.11. Red Bell PepperYou think of it as a veggie, but it's actually a fruit. One medium pepper delivers B vitamins, beta carotene, and more than twice your daily need for vitamin C. Cooking tip: For a fanciful main dish, cut the tops off peppers, remove the inner white membranes and seeds, and then roast until tender. Finish by filling with your favorite whole-grain salad.12. BroccoliBroccoli is one of nature’s rock stars. It's a top source of natural plant chemicals shown to help lower the risk of some cancers (though many other things also affect your cancer risk). Each cup of the florets also gives you plenty of vitamins C and K. Cooking tip: Steam the florets for a simple side dish. Or add them into stir-fries, frittatas, and even smoothies that also have naturally sweet things, like fruit, to mask the broccoli taste., The other vegetables that you can pick up are green onions, drumsticks and its leaves (reduces joint pain and swelling), flowers of hummingbird (agasti/hadga), kanchanar added value in sharad rutu.

5 Nutrition Packed Vegetables

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
All of us eat vegetables in some form or the other. Maybe in salads, mixed veggies etc. Do you know about the benefits of the vegetables that you eat. Some of them are as common as cabbage, that are loaded with nutrition.Read below for health benefits of commonly available and eaten vegetables.Bottle Gourd: It is rich in dietary fiber with very low content of fat and cholesterol. Approximately 96% of bottle gourd is water  Apart from the iron content it is also rich in vitamin B and vitamin C, it also contains sodium, potassium, essential minerals and trace elements. It is a suitable vegetable for light, low-cal diets as well as for children, people with digestive problems, diabetics and convalescents. It is a suitable vegetable for light, low-cal diets as well as for children, people with digestive problems, diabetics and convalescents. The vegetable is very effective in treating constipation and other digestive disorders. Read for more health benefits of bottle gourd.Cabbage: This leafy vegetable is a delight for people wanting to loose weight. It is packed with vitamin A which protects your eyes and skin, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B which helps in boosting energy metabolism. Cabbage extracts have been proven to kill certain viruses and bacteria. Cabbage boosts the immune system’s ability to produce more antibodies. Cabbage provides high levels of iron and sulfur, minerals that work in part as cleansing agents for the digestive system. Cabbage shredded and boiled 150 grams contains 33 calories. Read for more about cabbage.Carrots: Carrot is a good of source beta-carotene which our body converts into vitamin A  and minerals such as potassium and manganese. It contains some amount of sodium, iron, zinc, copper and calcium. It contains about 87% of water, rich in mineral salts and Vitamin (B, C, D, E). Raw carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A and potassium. Even though the color of original carrots is orange it grows in other colors including white, yellow, red or purple. Carrot juice reduces the risk of many different types of cancer including skin and breast cancer.  Read more for carrot benefits and nutritional values.Corn: It is rich in phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, iron and selenium. It has small amount of potassium. Corn has vitamin B (Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Niacin, Riboflavin, and Folate). It has traces of vitamin A and vitamin E. Being rich in fol ate, corn helps the generation of new cells, especially important before and during pregnancy. Those suffering from anemia have shown positive effects after consuming corns. Regular consumption of corn, in moderate quantities, has been associated with better cardiovascular health. Read for more benefits of corn.Cauliflower: The allicin in cauliflower is known to promote a healthy heart and reduce the risk of strokes. It contains selenium and Vitamin C, both of which work together to strengthen the immune system. It helps in maintaining healthy cholesterol level. The high amount of fiber in cauliflower improves colon health and helps prevent cancer. Cauliflower even acts as a blood and liver detoxifier. People suffering from ailments like arthritis, asthma, constipation, high blood pressure and kidney bladder disorders can benefit from the consumption of cauliflower. Read more for caloric values of cauliflower.Adopting good eating habits will always keep you away from diseases and infections.

Coloured Vegetables for Your Health

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Did you know that the natural colour of vegetables is not just for appeal, but is closely related to its nutritional content?! So, let’s see what the different colours means among the whole list of Indian vegetables out there:Red Coloured Foods Red colour has flavonoids, a type of antioxidant present can help lower the chances of developing asthma and diabetes. Tomato is an excellent source of lycopene, a potent antioxidant that studies show, offers protection against advanced stages of prostrate cancer and may also help reduce high cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that ketchup is good for health.Green Colored Foods Spinach contains nutrients that help to protect against a host of diseases like arthritis, colon cancer, heart diseases and osteoporosis. Olives are an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E. The first helps to protect against heart disease and the latter helps protect against free radical oxidative damage in the body. Broccoli has indoles and sulforaphane, two phytonutrients have significant anti-cancer effects. Lutein present in green peas helps reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataract. Green peas also have low glycemic index.Yellow & Orange colored foods Beetroot contain ‘betaine’ helpful in reducing inflammation and pain. Carotenes and antioxidant compounds present in Carrots promote good vision and help to protect against certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases.Purple Colored foods The deep purple color of Asparagus comes from anthocyanin which is considered an antioxidant that may help to reduce risk of certain cancers and help to lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Anthocyanin present in cherries can help to reduce inflammation and ease gout and other arthritis pain. Cranberries are also linked with the prevention of ulcers, kidney stones and Urinary Tract Infection.So, when you fill your plate, the more variety in colour of your plate contents, the better it is for your health!

Is Vegetable Soup Healthy?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Soups are often categorized by general people as non-fattening or healthy foods. But are they as healthy as they are known to be? Popularly soups can be divided into two groups: clear and thick soup. Clear soups are generally more healthy as they have the least amount of calories while thick soups usually contain a lot of starch, sometimes cream, and other high carbohydrate ingredients.To help you further explain the difference, clear soups do not contain anything else except for the strained liquid. Any liquid that has vegetables, meats or even noodles is considered a thick soup.A bowl of clear soup can help you lose weight.-This doesn't mean that you get only on a soup diet. It means that adding a bowl of clear soup before your meal can help you prevent from overeating while adding important nutrition. A clear vegetable soup contains vitamins & minerals while a bowl of non-vegetarian clear soup has zinc, protein besides vitamins & minerals.Vegetables and poultry can be added to your soup to make it a healthy meal but it might add to the calories count of the food-You can then prepare the soup with enough vegetables and poultry to work as  a substitute for a meal. While it controls the calorie it adds the correct amount of essential nutrition to the diet. Also often soups especially served in restaurant carry cornflour, high sodium to make it more appetising also add empty calories to the soup. High sodium content in the soup often results in water retention leaving one feel bloated.While eating out choose the healthier soup option to avoid putting on weight and adding empty calories to the diet. Read more about Negative calorie diet foods.Following ingredients that are often added to the soup like milk, cream, butter are fattening and should be avoided.Avoid packed and processed soups as they are high in sodium and contain no antioxidant properties.Get more information on 5 reasons to avoid processed foods.How to make soup healthierTo summarize, it stick to clear soups that are made of clear, strained broth. If you want to add vegetables & meat to your soup then make the soup as your meal and not an appetizer, in case you are watching your weight. Check the ingredients of the soup before ordering. If you can ask the chef to prepare you a clear vegetable soup without any corn flour and low salt in it.Hope this article helps you chose better while eating out or wondering what can be eaten when you are on a weight loss program.

Cholai - a Hearty Vegetable

Dr. Richa Garg, Ayurveda
Amaranth Leaves - Power house of NutritionI realized in my daily practice talking to the various clients that it's a neglected vegetable, some of you must have not seen ever in your Kitchen..Just because its not the culture of the house to cook it.I am sure most of you are ignoring this vegetable since long. Do you have any idea about its benefits??????So, we are here to let you know about the tremendous benefits of these leaves and after knowing the real facts surely it will be a part of your routine to add it in regular menu.Description:Cholai comes in two varieties, green stemmed leaf and red stemmed. The red stemmed variety is more sour than the green stemmed variety. A few years back, the seeds (rajgira) of the plant had gained much popularity for their health benefiting properties because of which they were caped under the superfood segment. But tracing back history, amaranth seeds were the staple food of the Aztecs and have been used for centuries to make many dishes.Benefits:Some of the health benefits of amaranth is that. The high presence of iron in amaranth leaves help iron deficiency which is the main cause of anemia. It can fight gray hair and hair loss. With the natural juice of amaranth leaves applied to hair can stop hair fall. The calcium it contains (like all leafy veges do) reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other calcium deficiencies.It also can improve eye sight with the help of vitamin C. How we can include it in routine;You can make Cholai saag , cholai sabji , daal  cholai , alloo cholai etc. Another way to eat this green is to it can be stuffed in chappatis and chelas etc..  Amanranth leaves is popular in the state of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Manipur, Tripura and also Mizoram.It is a summer crop, and the hotter the place, the more sour the leaf gets. So, hunt for the good quality leaves and make yourself and your family healthy. Note: Amaranth leaves contain good amounts of oxalic acid and hence people suffering from kidney diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and gout should avoid consuming frequently this leafy vegetable in large amount.

Wash Vegetables & Fruits, Eat Them Without Rinsing Again With Water.

Dr. Neelam Nath Bhatia, General Physician
Diabetics are aware of benefits of Methi (Fenugreek seeds). It does bring down levels of sugar and cholesterol, how it brings about the change needs to be reviewed and studies need to be done to reassure people about advantages of simple and cheap seeds of Methi which gives Iron and folic acids through its leaves and seeds of this Shrub plant gives plenty of benefits. At the moment the benefits are passed on from people to people through word of mouth.Years ago, a report was published in American Newspapers about a young Indian Girl who proved through a science project at her school that the seeds of Fenugreek can be used to wash vegetables and fruits.Our papers gave just a bit of space in a corner about the award won by this teenager Indian Girl in America. Maybe it was not on par with an Olympic Medal but this Study affects all of us billions in India and others in rest of the world.Do try it at home and see the benefits for yourself.It is known to all of us that Methi seeds are safe Preservatives , the reason they are added to Home Made Pickles made this year last till next year when mangoes will be raw again around April/May.Wash the vegetables and fruits with tap water.Take a broad based vessel and put a liter of water with a spoon of seeds.Soak everything to be eaten raw or just to be peeled near the skin like Cucumbers. Naturally, Coated Fruits like oranges and bananas need no extra cleaning except that eat them just after removing the skin.Fruits like mangoes can also be put in this water with seeds because we like to eat mangoes the Indian way with our hands and infection on the skin can enter our food pipe through nails.Soak salad leaves , raw cabbage ,carrots, radish,tomatoes etc but vegetables which are cooked by sauteing like Bhindi, Karela, lauki, tinda etc get sterilised through fire.Relish raw carrots, radishes, tomatoes and other fruits seen in plenty but only all through during winter months from November to March.Since Methi seeds are Edible, one can pick up the soaked apple/other fruits and vegetables and eat them , use them in making sandwiches & use lots of them so that kids too relish the veggies.The water with seeds can last for 24 hours and next day makes fresh mixture. How long to soak? 2-3 hours are enough.

Get a Lean and Muscular Body With Vegetables

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Gone are the days of bulking up and looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Now Edward Pattison's (Star of the twilight Series) body is the new rage. Getting lean and having the definition is still not as easy as it sounds. In fact  it is still more difficult to get lean than bulk up. People and bodybuilders usually eat meats as protein sources to bulk up. Unfortunately there are very few natural ways of getting lean. One which is often forgotten due to the quest for a bigger body is the importance of vegetables in the diet. Vegetables are low in calories and full of vitamins and minerals and fiber for better digestion . Besides this they also help develop leaner and strong muscles due to the high quality nutrients present in them.Vegetables have very little fat in them which is critical for reducing body fat to achieve the lean muscular look. Vegetables like cabbage, spinach and parsley are rich source of glutamine which is an amino acid which is the building block of protein and helps build more muscle mass, promoting digestion and tissue repair. The vitamins and minerals with antioxidants reduce inflammation in the body and boost immunity.Vegetables also boosts muscle growth in older men also as the mitochondria activity in the cells provide more energy to the muscle to perform longer and with power. Doing adequate resistance exercise with healthy diet will keep them stronger and in better shape reducing chances of injury.A new study in the February issue of Cell Metabolism traces that improved performance to increased efficiency of the mitochondria that power our cells. The study suggests that foods that contain nitrates make your mitochondria work better and are known as power plants of the cells. Green vegetables are rich in nitrates that boost mitochondria activity giving us more energy during workouts for building leaner and bigger muscles. Good sources for green vegetables are spinach, parsley, kale, asparagus or other green leafy vegetables.Add a bowl or two of vegetables for better metabolism of nutrients and higher level of energy for building lean muscles. Vegetables are fat free and low in calories reduce the fat percentage in the body giving you a ripped body. Fiber in vegetables keeps you fuller so that you don't indulge in munching in between meals and avoiding eating extra calories for any storage.

Natural Sources of Essential Vitamins

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Our body performs several functions throughout the day. It churns out blood that carriy nutrients and oxygen to different cells; it sends nerve signals across body pathways. It also formulates chemical messengers that shuttle from one organ to another. To do all of that, your body requires at least 30 vitamins, minerals, and dietary components that your body can’t manufacture in sufficient amounts. So you need to get them from daily diet. Vitamins and minerals are often called micro-nutrients because unlike the case with macro-nutrients — protein, fat, and carbohydrates — your body needs only tiny amounts of micro nutrients. Yet failing to get these small quantities can prove to be fatal sometimes.Types of VitaminsWater-soluble vitamins B and CFat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.Vitamin A (retinol)This vitamin is essential for growth and healthy skin and hair. It is a powerful antioxidant that plays a key role in the body's immune system. Vitamin A can be obtained from dairy products, yellow & green vegetables & fruits, fish etc.Vitamin B complexIt includes B1(thiamine) , B2 (riboflavin), B3 (nicotinic acid), B6(pyridoxine), B12( cobalamin) , Folate ( folic acid).The body requires relatively small amounts of vitamins B1, B2 and B3.Vitamins B6 and B12 help the body to use folic acid and are vital nutrients in a range of activities, such as cell repair, digestion, the production of energy and in the immune system.Vitamin B12 is also needed for the breakdown of fat and carbohydrates. Deficiency of either vitamin will result in anaemia. Vitamin B6 is found in most foods, so deficiency is rare. The best dietary sources of the B vitamins are milk, seeds, whole grains, pulses, etc.Folic acid (folate)Folic acid work closely in the body with vitamin B12. It is vital for the production of healthy blood cells. Lack of folic acid is one of the main causes of anaemia, particularly in people with poor diets. Vitamins B6 and B12 help the body use folate, so are often given alongside folic acid supplements. In pregnancy, low folate levels increase the risk of the baby's spinal cord system not developing completely (spina bifida). Folate can be obtained from liver, whole grains, enriched food products etc.Vitamin CVitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidant vitamins. We need vitamin C for growth, healthy tissues, wound repair and an efficient immune system. In addition, it also helps with the normal functioning of blood vessels and helps absorb iron from plant sources as opposed to the iron in red meat. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the main sources of vitamin C – eating five sdrvings a day will easily meet the body's needs. Too much vitamin C can result in a sensitive, irritable stomach and mouth ulcers.Vitamin DVitamin D is essential for healthy bones and teeth. It helps the body to absorb calcium. The action of sunlight on the skin enables the body to manufacture vitamin D – even on a cloudy day. For this reason, most people will get enough vitamin D through their everyday activities. Foods rich in vitamin D are oily fish, liver, cod liver oil and dairy products. Many foods are also 'fortified' with low levels of vitamin D, such as margarine and breakfast cereals.Vitamin EVitamin E is important in cell maintenance and also plays an active role in the maintenance of a healthy heart and blood circulation. It is one of the body's main antioxidants. Deficiency only occurs in cases of severe mal-absorption or certain rare genetic disorders. Vitamin E can be obtained from consumption of nuts & seeds, fish, oils, whole meal & whole grain products.Vitamin KVitamin K is involved in the blood clotting process and in the maintenance of strong bones. It is found in small quantities in meat, vegetables and wholegrain cereals. Your body also makes vitamin K in the large intestine, through the activity of 'healthy bacteria'. For this reason, there is no recommended daily amount. Diets rich in fatty and sugary foods can adversely change the balance of the gut flora, as can the additives and pesticides that are often a part of modern food production.