As I was browsing the internet today, I came across this article, by Jan Annigan. I must admit, even I struggle sometimes with a junk food craving, or feeling blah about veggies…This is one of the reasons I publish the recipes, to help not only you, but me as well. This was a nice little reminder of why we must include fresh fruits and vegetables, OFTEN in our diets. To see the original article, or to read other interesting stuff, click here.
Fruits and vegetables contribute a host of beneficial nutrients and other food components, such as phytochemicals and fiber, to your diet. Although you can replace some of them with supplements, no dietary supplement can substitute for all the compounds found in fruits and vegetables, nor can they mimic the potential nutrient interactions found in those foods that may contribute to their healthful effects. Not including these foods as part of a well-balanced diet can result in significant health consequences.
One of the initial adverse effects of avoiding fruits and vegetables might be a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Produce contributes B-vitamins that help you derive energy from your diet, vitamin C to assist with wound healing, vitamin A to keep your skin and eyes healthy and vitamin K to support blood clotting. Minerals in fruits and vegetables include, for example, calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium, which contribute to your skeletal, nerve and cardiovascular health. Avoiding these foods can impact any of these functions.
Fruits and vegetables contain a type of indigestible carbohydrate called fiber, which doesn’t contribute calories to your diet but can improve your intestinal health. Insoluble fiber increases the bulk of waste products in your large intestine, speeds up the waste as it passes through your system and helps you avoid constipation and hemorrhoids. Lack of fiber in your diet can have the opposite effect.
Soluble fiber swells as it passes through your gut and slows the absorption of nutrients such as glucose and cholesterol. In this way, it can help regulate your blood levels of these molecules and may lessen your risk of diabetes or elevated cholesterol levels. In addition, fruits and vegetables are rich in phytochemicals, plant-based substances that not only contribute color to these foods but also may reduce inflammation and even slow or prevent tumor growth.
Balancing potassium and sodium in your diet is a key factor in managing your cardiovascular health. Many Americans consume too much sodium and too little potassium, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in potassium, can help restore the balance of these minerals. Not eating these foods may increase your risk of high blood pressure or stroke.
Fruits and vegetables have a relatively low energy density, meaning they offer few calories per unit of weight. They therefore provide bulk to your diet but don’t overload you with calories, and their water and fiber content helps you feel full and can prevent you from overeating — particularly helpful if you are trying to lose weight. Excluding fruits and vegetables in favor of foods with a high energy density, such as cheese or fatty meat, can hinder your efforts to maintain a healthy body weight.
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Share the SWEET-ness. Like and follow us! We are Sweet Basil Farm & Gardens on Facebook. Look for us on Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter. Sweet Basil Farms is an 80 acre working farm, consisting of large vegetable, fruit and herb gardens, fruit orchards and livestock. We put great emphasis on natural gardening and livestock management practices. We are members of Georgia Grown and the American Poultry Association. We also breed and sell poultry, pet pigs, pygmy goats and over 300 varieties of bearded irises and so much more.
An 1840’s General Store situated on our property, is used as our on site Farmer’s Market. The old General Store was once the central hub for a railroad community, and served many important roles in the community of Goggans, even a United States Post Office until the 1960’s. It later served a new, bigger community purpose, inspiring our Farmers Market To You program to be born. This building is registered as a Historical site, and is adjacent to the old “Doctor’s Building”, which is rumored to have served as a Courthouse, among other things. The history on our property, rich with farming and community purpose, inspired us to serve our community in a new and exciting way.
We, both David and I, have always had a passion for growing flowers and plants, rooted from wonderful Grandmothers teachings. We, like everyone began to make a more conscience effort to eat healthy and naturally grown fresh food. Since we have 80 acres, we began by adding a “small” acre and a half vegetable garden. When people began driving an hour or two, just to buy our tomatoes and cucumbers, we realized there was a real need in many communities for families like ours….and Farmers Market To You was born. We have been able to expand in to several of our neighboring communities…and touch and reach families along the way. We are able to donate food and cash to needy families, food ministries, PTA’s, churches and other vital community service organizations because of the overwhelming support from the community!
This recipe post created by Tisha Johnson Matthews, of Sweet Basil Farm & Gardens. Special thanks to J. David Matthews, of Barnesville, Georgia for support and patience with all that I try and test. To see our fantastic recipes, or to find more healthy and delicious recipes, subscribe to our blog and follow us on Social Media.