So far, I’ve introduced two out of four simple rules to follow if you want to increase your energy levels, productivity, and overall health through what you eat:
Swap out grains for more nutritious, hypoallergenic carbohydrate sources like sweet potatoes.
2. Eat more of the right vegetables
Eat more vegetables…
…but also vary the vegetables you eat so that you give your body all the nutrients it needs to function properly – no two vegetables are nutritionally the same.
In this insight, I’m going to give an overview of most of the vegetables you’re likely to come across, and explain the benefits of eating them. I’ll then suggest a shortlist for you to use in your diet, and share some recipe ideas for those shortlisted vegetables.
Vegetables: their nutritional content, and why you should eat them
Below is a table that shows the seasonality, nutritional content, and price of some of the most nutritionally rich vegetables in the supermarkets you shop at. I’ve also added the benefits of eating each into the table. (The sources of this information are all published scientific papers – get in touch for a list of references if you want them.)
Ok, so there’s some information about a few important vegetables that you can easily add to your diet. I’ve looked at the nutritional value of a total of 31 vegetables to find a mix of vegetables that aren’t too expensive, and that are nutritionally varied enough to give me the best chance of getting all the nutrients that I need. Here’s my vegetable shortlist, with suggested recipes for each to help you include them in your diet.
My Vegetable Shortlist:
Add into Sweet Potato mash or Brown Rice
Courgette Noodles and Meatballs – see Week 1 for alternative recipe
Hopefully some of those recipes appeal to you. At the very least, there are some really good other recipes on the blogs and websites that those recipes link to!
NB. I haven’t included Butternut Squash or Sweet Potato in either the list above or in my shortlist, just because they’re already a core component of my diet.
Vegetables: Best in Class
Finally, as per every Insight, here are my favourite blogger, vlogger and web resource that will help you find out more about, and implement, rule two:
I really like Megan Young’s blog, partly because her content is outstanding, but also because she’s got some class photos of her recipes that make you want to give them a go (she’s a professional photographer).
I’ve given this to Jason Wrobel. Again, there are reasons beyond just knowing how to make eating vegetables interesting. The main other reason is that he’s an absolute lunatic in his videos.
This is a really simple and easy to read answer to the question ‘Why do you need to eat vegetables every day?’ by a not-for-profit Foundation
I’ll be back next Thursday with the third, and penultimate, rule for healthier eating! In the meantime, give vegetables more air time in your diet and try out some of the recipes above. If you have any suggestions for vegetable recipes that people should try out, please leave them as a comment below!