Local Produce Packs a Punch
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Every Monday at 4:15pm on QR77 Radio join me and Angela Kokott host of Calgary Today with our segment “You are what you eat” to get the goods on healthy eating. If you missed my segments I will be archiving these audio discussions on my blog here.
Episode 21 – Local Produce Packs a Punch
The radio station was not able to retrieve an audio copy of this segment due to technical difficulties but here is an overview of the content that was covered:
Eating an optimal amount of vegetables and fruit will enhance your intake of:
Fibre promotes good digestive health but also lowers cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, protects against diabetes, and can help you keep full to manage a healthy weight.
2. VITAMINS & MINERALS
Fresh veggies and fruit contain more vitamins and minerals per calorie than any other food group!
Phytochemicals are protective compounds in plant-based foods that have health promoting and disease preventative effects. There are hundreds of phytochemicals – eat a variety of plant based foods to get a good mix.
Local Produce Packs a Punch
The seasonal summer fruits and vegetables from your garden, at a local farmers market or in the produce section of the grocery store have a wealth of nutrients.
Root Vegetables (carrots, potatoes, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, parsnips etc.)
• Potassium, fibre, vitamin C, carbohydrates
• Orange, yellow, and red roots have high concentrations of beta carotene and other antioxidants associated with a decrease in cancer and heart disease.
Allium vegetables (onion, garlic)
• Vitamin C, potassium, and trace minerals.
• Organosulfur compounds (allylic sulfides) inhibit blood clotting, reduce blood cholesterol levels, and lower the risk of some cancers.
Cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, radishes, turnips etc.)
• Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, fibre
• Carotenoids – cancer preventative compound found in deep green and red varieties
• Indoles – lower cholesterol levels and protect against cancer – especially breast cancer
Squash (zucchini, yellow/acorn/spaghetti/butternut, pumpkin)
• Potassium, B-vitamins, vitamin C, folic acid, fibre, and carbohydrates.
• Deep yellow and orange varieties like pumpkin, butternut, and acorn squash are rich in carotenoids.
Peppers (sweet bell peppers and hot peppers)
• Vitamin C, minerals, fibre
• Red and green peppers contain carotenoids
• Hot peppers contain capsaicin – lowers cholesterol
• In general the riper (redder) varieties are higher in nutrients than the unripe (greener) varieties.
Greens (Romaine Lettuce, leaf lettuce, spinach, kale, arugula, dandelion greens etc.)
• Beta-carotene, fibre, calcium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin K
• The deeper the green the better nutrient density!
• Folic acid – reduces the risk of heart disease and neural tube birth defects during pregnancy
• Spinach is high in lutein – slows macular degeneration of the eye
Fruits (tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, saskatoons etc.)
• Tomatoes and tomato based products (bruschetta, salsa, canned stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce) contain lycopene which reduces the risk of prostate, lung, stomach, breast and colon cancer.
• Berries are especially high in phytochemicals including cancer preventative carotenoids and are some of the highest fibre fruits around. Soluble fibre in berries help to reduce cholesterol