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Dark leafy green vegetables are one of the best sources of nutrition, and they’re low in calories to boot. Greens such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and dark-green lettuce contain minerals including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium as well as vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. Vitamin K alone can help regulate blood clotting and may help prevent and reduce inflammation, protecting us from inflammatory diseases including arthritis. A cup of most cooked greens such as chard or kale provides at least nine times the minimum recommended intake of vitamin K, and one or more servings of greens a day has been associated with a lower risk of diabetes.
Green vegetables also contain many phyto-chemicals and beta-carotene. These nutrients help protect cells from damage, improve immune function and can help protect our eyes from age-related disease, and some studies suggest that lutein and zeaxanthin may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer such as breast and lung. Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli are rich in substances that also help guard against colon and other cancers. And green veggies are loaded with folate, a B vitamin especially important for women of childbearing age. The Centers for Disease Control and the FDA currently recommend that women take in 400 micrograms of folate daily, twice as much as was previously recommended.
Dieters love greens as they are naturally low in carbohydrates and rich in fiber, making them slow to digest, so you’ll feel full longer. And the good news is that in order to get the most out of your green vegetables you should eat them with a little fat, such as olive or walnut oil, so you can sauté, stir-fry, and make tasty salad dressings for your greens and enjoy!
While you never want to label foods as “bad” or “good,” there are definitely a few foods that deserve top rotation in your diet. Possessing large doses of antioxidants, nutrients, minerals, fiber, and essential fatty acids, these 10 foods are the top performing powerhouses of personal health:
HEALTHY FOOD #1: Berries.
John Bee, Master Horticulturist and home gardener for over 40 years introduces an exact step by step manual on creating and maintaining small kitchen gardens.
From the garden of:John Bee
Are you struggling with trying to grow fresh herbs and veggies in a small space but no matter what you plant and no matter how much love and attention you give your seedlings… they simply wither up and die?
You know, for years I too struggled with growing my own personal garden with what limited space I had. Whether mykitchen gardendidn’t have enough sun or would simply get moved around the kitchen or patio – it seemed nothing I tried would ever really keep my garden growing.
Sure there were always the small sprouts that would come up – and I would get so excited to see some growing action in my tiny space. But then, as it always happened,as I’m sure you can attest, the sprouts simply withered up and died.
But I persevered! I continued to apply different methods and grow strategies to fit my accommodations and feed my family the freshest produce within 10 feet of my kitchen sink.
|Grow the best herbs & veggies to grow in your kitchen garden|
Allium schoenoprasum (Chives)
Indigenous to Europe and Asia and believed to have been domesticated within the Mediterranean region. The earliest records of cultivated chives go back to only the 16th century. The leaves of chives are have a mild flavour and are cut up and added to salads, egg dishes, meat dishes, sauces and cottage cheese.
Beta vulgaris var. cicla (Swiss chard, Leaf Beet, Spinach beet)
All the varieties of Beta vulgaris (Chard, Beetroot, Sugarbeet, Mangel-wurzel) ultimately originate from wild Sea Beet Beta maritima which is indigenous to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic seaboard of Europe. Swiss chard is a leafy variety, cooked like spinach and referred to, incorrectly, as spinach in South Africa. It was referred to by Aristotle in about 350 BC and was probably cultivated well before this. Rich in minerals (particularly magnesium but also calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium) and also vitamins (particularly Vitamin A).
Brassica oleracea (Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Kale, Kohlrabi)
Brassica oleracea originates from the Atlantic seaboard of Europe and the Mediterranean. It has been used as a vegetable for more than 2500 years and through selective breeding for particular characteristics of the plant, six main vegetables have been produced from this one species. (See also under Vegetables from flowers).
Leaves have been used in salads since at least Greek and Roman times. Closely related to Chicory Cichorium intybus, but distinguished mainly by being annual rather than perennial.
Cichorium intybus (Belgium endive, Chicory)
Originates in Europe and western Asia. There are three main varieties: Wild chicory is a weed (including in southern Africa) and has medicinal properties, Belgium endive is eaten in a similar way to lettuce, and the roots of Coffee chicory are used as a coffee additive or substitute.
Cynara cardunculus (Cardoon)
The fleshy leaf bases are eaten as a vegetable and the dried flowers are used for curdling milk. Originates from southern Europe and Northwest Africa. In the same tribe of the daisy family as thistles.
Lactuca sativa (Lettuce)
Lettuce originates from the wild Lactuca serriola found in the Mediterranean and Near East and has been transformed from an erect plant with bitter leaves to various cultivars including ones with distinctive heads of chlorophyll deficient leaves.
Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum (Watercress)
Watercress is indigenous to Europe where it grows in streams, ditches, springs and fast-flowing waters. It has been used as a salad plant since at least Roman times and the first records of it being grown commercially date back to 1750 in Germany. Besides being used in salads, it is put in sandwiches and used in soups and oriental stir-fry dishes. It has a fresh, clean peppery taste.
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