Eat Five or More Vegetables a Day
All healthy diets are in agreement that people should eat whole, unprocessed or minimally processed foods. While there are conflicts between various diets about the amount and types of proteins and fats people should eat, they all agree that non-starchy vegetables are extremely important because of the number of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fiber that they contain. A high intake of vegetables is key for cancer prevention as well as overall optimal health.
Julie Matthews, a nationally know speaker, writer and nutrition consultant in autism and creator of the BioIndividual Nutrition certification program, recommends consuming seven servings of non-starchy vegetables a day. Lise Alschuler, ND recommends five to seven servings of vegetables in her book The Definitive Guide to Cancer. George Mateljan, author of The World’s Healthiest Foods, recommends a four-cup large salad for lunch and at least two more vegetables for dinner. On average Americans are eating two servings of vegetables a day and less than 10% of the population was eating three or more servings daily. So the vast majority of us should increase our veggie intake. I challenge you to “count your vegetables” with a goal of eating five to seven daily. One way to do this is to eat a large dinner-plate sized salad with protein on it for lunch on a daily basis. Then eat a minimum of two vegetables with dinner. Breakfast can include items such as spinach sauted with scrambled eggs or a side of raw, fermented sauerkraut. An alternative breakfast could be a smoothie with fruit and a veggie such as spinach or kale.
Once you are eating five to seven servings on a regular basis, then try and make sure you are varying them by color and type. Matthews suggests eating one from each of the seven categories below on a daily basis. Eat category includes different phytonutrients, so getting a variety is important for your best health.
• Leafy green (lettuce, kale, spinach, collards, chard)
• Red (tomato, red bell pepper) • Orange/yellow (carrot, winter squash, sweet potato, yellow bell pepper)
• Purple (beet, red cabbage, purple potato, eggplant)
• Cruciferous (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts)
• Sulfur/immune (garlic, onion, leek, shallot)
• Fermented (raw sauerkraut, kim chee, fermented pickles)
If you would like help in determining your best way of eating, including adding more vegetables into your diet, contact me at Ginger@NutritionwithGinger.net and I would be glad to assist you.