If there are two facts about Americans and our diets that I'm absolutely sure of, it's these. 1) We all know that vegetables are good for us. 2) Few of us get enough vegetables. It's a struggle to get enough vegetables and as a result, according to the Centers for Disease Control, only 1/4 of Americans eat the recommended three servings of vegetables per day. There's no secret about why this is the case either. People avoid vegetables because they're expensive, difficult to prepare, and, probably most important, don't taste very good.
In this article, we introduce three awesome veggies that are just now coming into season. For each one, we have a healthy, easy, and great tasting recipe to help you enjoy them.
In contrast to other vegetables, eggplants are known for their unique, powerful taste. They are often an acceptable substitute for meat in dishes, like in eggplant parmesan. They also have a variety of health benefits. They have a great nutrient profile as a great source of fiber, potassium (discussed here), and vitamin B, among others. In addition, they are a rich antioxidant source and can improve cardiovascular health and protect against free radicals.
Hoison-Glazed Eggplant: see the full recipe here.
Cucumbers don't receive much attention for their health benefits, but they're very real. In addition to a rich nutrient profile that includes vitamin K and magnesium (discussed here), cucumbers may have significant anti-cancer benefits. In fact, pharmaceutical companies are studing one group of compounds found in cucumbers, called cucurbitacins, to develop anti-cancer drugs. A study from the International Journal of Health Sciences has called them a "promising target for cancer therapy". While this research is very preliminary, it does hint that cucumbers deserve more attention than they receive.
Cucumbers Caesar: see the full recipe here.
Green beans don't need a press agent. Their health benefits speak for themselves. Widely described as a "superfood", green beans are a rich source of many vitamins and, surprisingly, omega-3 fats! They have also been shown to improve levels of blood fats, which is an important factor in heart health.
Roasted Green Beans: see the full recipe here.
CATEGORIES: Recipes, Vegetarian, Healthy-food, Junk-food, Junk-food-alternatives, Kids-health