FFF Challenge #4: Eat at least 3 servings of vegetables

We are now beginning with challenge #4.  Can you believe we would have completed 1 month of challenges once this ends?  Let’s get started with #4 so we can claim that victory.

Drum roll please…………..this week’s challenge is:

Eat at least 3 servings of vegetables a day

Growing up as a kid, I never fully appreciated vegetables.  Probably because my mom overcooked some of them in boiling water which drained them of rich color and vital nutrients.  I mean who likes to eat soggy broccoli?

Life got better as I got older and realized I could steam my vegetables or eat them raw to get top nutrients and vitamins from them.  Some of my favorites as of late include:

  • Brussel sprouts (roasted)
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Red onions
  • Zucchini and squash

I like my vegetables grilled and roasted in the oven with a touch of olive oil and sea salt.  Just brings out their natural sweetness and goodness – YUM!

A diet rich in vegetables contains beneficial antioxidants that help reduce your risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease. These antioxidants are just some of the nutritional benefits of eating vegetables.

Vegetables contain vitamins, such as folate and B6, and carotinoids — such as lycopene in tomatoes, beta carotene in mangos and carrots, lutein in spinach and collard greens, and zeaxanthin in greens and corn.

Researchers point out that many phytonutrients that haven’t been isolated yet factor in to the health benefits of eating more plant foods. Eating more fruits and vegetables, instead of popping supplements, ensures that you won’t miss a single one.

Use these guidelines to determine single serving sizes for vegetables:

  • 1/2 cup vegetables, cooked or chopped raw
  • 1 cup leafy raw vegetables, such as lettuce or spinach
  • 1 medium tomato or 5 cherry tomatoes
  • Seven to eight 2 1/2-inch carrot or celery sticks
  • 3 broccoli florets
  • 1/3 medium cucumber

Some vegetables are “starchy” and calorie dense; others are mostly water. If you’re watching your weight, limit your starchy vegetables to one or two servings per day, and make the remainder of your veggie servings nonstarchy. The following table lists examples of starchy and nonstarchy vegetables.

Nonstarchy Vegetables

Starchy Vegetables

Asparagus Beets
Broccoli Cassava (yuca)
Brussels sprouts Corn
Cabbage Lima Beans
Cauliflower Peas
Celery Potatoes
Chicory Pumpkin
Cucumbers Rutabaga
Eggplant Sweet Potatoes
Escarole Taro
Green beans Turnips
Greens (such as collard, kale, mustard, and turnip) Winter squash
Lettuce Yams
Summer squash

Source:  Dummies.com

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