There is a correlation between different veggies’ colors and the health benefits they provide. Red veggies are renowned for their antioxidant properties, while green ones are famous for aiding in good eye health — and yellow veggies are often considered a good source of protein. But how should we eat all these foods to maximize their nutritional perks?
Bright Side encourages you to learn what foods have the most minerals and vitamins in them so that you can make an informed decision on what to eat and what to throw away.
Bananas are a nutritional powerhouse, including vitamins B and C as well as magnesium and potassium. And it’s those stringy things between the banana and its peel that we have to thank for that. They’re called “phloem bundles” and they distribute water and nutrients throughout the fruit. They’re also likely to contain more types of fiber and would make an excellent addition to your diet. So don’t throw them away!
Boiling a tomato can sound like blasphemy, but cooked tomatoes release more of a cancer-fighting antioxidant, lycopene. It happens because the heat breaks down tougher cell walls in the plant, allowing our body to absorb its nutrients more easily. Roasting a tomato slowly or making a cooked sauce will do the trick as well.
3. Swiss chard, beets, and turnips
You’re absolutely correct if you eat these veggies for their leaves, but their stems are also edible. The cooked stems provide a dose of glutamine, a special acid that helps heal the body. They also taste awesome when they’re blanched and sautéed in olive oil. So make the most out of your veggie purchase by eating all its parts and receive a bigger punch of vitamins.
Eating a potato with its skin provides more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than it would without it. Among them are vitamin C, several B vitamins, iron, calcium, and potassium. This stuff gives you energy, reduces stress, and benefits your bones and digestion. The best way to keep the skin edible is to bake the potato.
5. Apples and oranges
Eat these fruits with the peel! Apple peels contain the antioxidant, quercetin, which works wonders for your heart and brain. Orange peels have compounds called flavones, which lower cholesterol and protect the heart.
While eggs become more digestible when cooked, high heat may damage some of their nutrients. For example, microwaving, frying, and hard boiling eggs reduces the number of antioxidants present and oxidizes the cholesterol in eggs. This means that poached and soft boiled eggs are the healthiest to eat — they utilize protein the best and keep the good stuff intact. These methods also don’t add any extra calories.
7. Onion and garlic
Crushing and chopping onion and garlic releases alliinase, an enzyme that helps make a nutrient called allicin. Allicin, when eaten, helps create other compounds that protect us against disease. Also, both onion and garlic contain sulfur, which pairs well with foods rich in iron and zinc, like turkey, beef, and liver.
8. Grains and beans
Compounds that occur naturally in grains and beans can make them difficult to digest. When you soak beans and grains, you’re reducing the amount of these compounds, making the minerals inside more available and digestion easier. It also helps you better absorb minerals like iron, calcium, and zinc, which are released by warm water. If you ever buy red kidney beans, soak and boil them. Otherwise, they can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea.
Everything green should be eaten raw. Brussels sprouts, broccoli, avocado, spinach, and all other greens contain water-soluble nutrients that are sensitive to heat. High temps damage vitamin C, folate, and vitamins B1 and B5, so you get more of these when you eat green foods raw. For example, raw spinach has 3 times as much vitamin C as cooked spinach.
- If you simply can’t stomach raw broccoli, try cooking it at a low heat without exposing it to too much water.
What are your favorite ways to cook and eat these foods?