Did you know that green vegetables, particularly the dark leafy kind have more nutrients per calorie than any other food? Now that's what I call a powerhouse of nutrients!
And I know I know, "you must eat your vegetables" is such a mum thing to say. But there's a reason she says it.
Well, actually there are a few:
- By filling up on high quality nutrients from things like vegetables, as well as other quality whole foods (fruit, nuts, beans, seeds, whole grains and organic grass fed meat, eggs and dairy), you won't be hungry for the stuff that doesn't fill you up (pasta, bread, crackers, cake, cookies, etc). And because you're kept fuller for longer, you won't be reaching for a snack just an hour after you've eaten.
- Vegetables help keep your blood sugar stable, meaning you don't get the crash associated with foods high in sugar. Without the crash you tend to make healthier food choices as you're not suddenly ravenous.
- The colour in vegetables come in part of the their polyphenols - potent antioxidants that keep our immune system healthy and strong. Go for as many different coloured vegetables as you can to ensure you're consuming a wide range of nutrients and antioxidants.
- All vegetables, and fruits, contain a high quantity of water, some up to 98%! Water is super important for keeping our bodies supple, our digestive systems strong and our brains active. Did you know your brain is 75% water?!
- And the best bit about vegetables for me is that you can eat as many of them as you want. Ok don't get me wrong if you're eating broccoli for breakfast, lunch and dinner you may not feel so hot, but eating veggies at every meal will do wonders for your energy, weight, skin, moods, sleep quality and so much more.
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Super Green Soup
1 large onion, diced
2 tbsp butter (or oil to make it dairy free)
3 large carrots, diced
1 broccoli, chopped into even sized chunks
1 small cauliflower, chopped into even sized chunks
100g frozen spinach
200g frozen peas
1 400g tin of butter beans
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
Large handful fresh coriander
Heat the butter or oil in a large soup pot and fry the onion and carrots on a low heat for 10 minutes until soft and starting to caramelise around the edges. Mix in the broccoli and cauliflower so they soak up some of the buttery onion mix for a few minutes, then add the spinach, peas, butter beans and stock. Bring it the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the veggies are just cooked (the less time they're cooked for the more nutrients they'll retain). Add the coriander, season well and blend until you have your desired consistency.
Note: Veggies are all different sizes so the best rule of thumb is to use enough stock so it just covers the veg. You can always add more water or stock later to thin it down if you like. I love a nice thick soup, but for my little guy it needs to be thin enough for him to drinks through a straw!