Vegetables for Good Health

Vegetables for Good Health
Vegetables for Good Health

Much is written about health-promoting diet, yet there are still millions of North Americans who are diehard carnivores.

Scientists have determined that vegetables ought to constitute a predominant part of the human diet.

It is claimed that 70 per cent of arable land is devoted to raising animals.

North American grocery stores are full of vegetables and fruits, although in Canada much must be imported during cold months.

Canada imports produce from several countries including the U S A, China, South Africa, Central – and South America, and the Caribbean,

Meat in most countries, except in North America and Argentina constitutes a small part of meals, for many reasons, the most important of which is cost.

Meat should be treated as condiment, rather than the main attraction of meals.

In northern countries, i.e Canada, Scandinavian countries, and Russia, including northern European jurisdictions produce-growing season is short; come winter most produce must be imported, or alternately grown in hot houses. Hot house and hydroponics  is now being practised in many cold climate countries including Iceland, Canada, northern Europe, even in some states in the U S A.

Luckily for Canada several American states including California, Florida, and Texas enjoy mild climates and grow much of the produce needed.

Mexico is also an important supplier, mainly because of improved transportation.

Food is medicine. What we eat affects our health and slows aging.

Well-balanced, produce-based diets help keep your brain healthy and slow down mental decline. Generally, mental deterioration occurs slowly, but progresses rapidly with advancing age. Yet it can be controlled and slowed down by a vegetarian diet consisting of zucchini, eggplant, broccoli, salads, kale, collards, and generally chlorophyll-rich vegetables.

Dark green vegetables contain many vitamins, including vitamin E, and important antioxidant, especially when cooked in polyunsaturated oils like olive oil, and several others.

Vitamin E protects brain cells from free radicals (unstable oxygen molecules that the body cerates). The brain requires vast amount of oxygen to function well.

Naturally fatty foods, rich in saturated fats, like meat and cheese should be consumed in moderation, but fish, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, olive oil and nuts help preserve memory.

The so-called Mediterranean diet consists mainly of vegetables, fruits, grains, olive oil, and fish. This evolved due to geography over centuries and had little to do with scientific research. Yet, now we know that it is healthy.

Blueberries, plums, red grapes, raisins, oranges, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale, Swiss chard and rappini are highly recommended. Try to eat 5- 10 servings daily  (1/4 cup uncooked vegetable represents one serving) or a small fruit (120 – 150 grams), one cup of salad greens and half a cup of cooked vegetables.

Avoid commercial deep-fried foods, highly refined flour, hydrogenated fats including hydrogenated vegetable oils, and coconut oil.

Limit red meat consumption to twice per month, increase fish consumption particularly salmon, trout, herring, anchovies, and fresh or frozen sardines to once or twice a week, eat whole grain bread, and legumes.

Such diets will help you live longer and healthier lives particularly if you remain active physically and mentally.