Not all vegetables are created equal. Starchy vegetables (i.e., beans, potatoes, corn) are great sources of fiber, minerals, and vitamins but are higher in carbohydrates which can lead to an increase in blood sugar levels. Non-starchy vegetables (greens and colorful vegetables) are lower in carbs, low in calories, fiber-full and rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Green vegetables are key to disease prevention and aging gracefully. Greens are amazing for youthful skin, weight management, immunity and natural detoxification.
- Colorful vegetables contain powerful antioxidants, vitamins, and properties that protect against cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
One of the best ways to crowd out processed food is to load up on non-starchy vegetables instead.
- Strive to consume 5-10 servings of non-starchy vegetables per day (1 serving = 1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked).
- As a rule of thumb, 50% to 70% of your plate should be filled with greens and colorful vegetables.
Here are easy ways to incorporate greens and colorful vegetables into your meals:
- Use lettuce as “bread” for your sandwiches
- Load up a variety of vegetables in your sandwiches, salads, and wraps
- Make a crockpot soup that is heavy with vegetables
- Add vegetables to your scrambled eggs
- Add grated vegetables into breads and casseroles
- Use spiralized vegetables (spaghetti squash, zucchini) in place of noodles
- Use crunchy vegetables (bell peppers, carrots, celery) for dips
- Add greens (kale and spinach) to a berry smoothie
- Use mushrooms as “meat” in a dish
There’s an abundance of delicious choices, including:
- Artichoke hearts
- Bamboo shoots
- Bean sprouts
- Brussels sprouts
- Cabbage (Green, Bok Choy, Chinese)
- Greens (Collard, Kale, Mustard,
- Pea pods
- Salad greens (Chicory, Endive, Escarole, Iceberg Lettuce, Romaine, Spinach, Arugula, Radicchio, Watercress)
- Sugar snap peas
- Swiss chard
- Water Chestnuts
- Zucchini (Zoodles)
Non-starchy vegetables add color and flavor to many dishes and are especially delicious when you eat what is in-season. Enjoy!