No one food can provide all the nutrients the body needs for optimal health. Eating a variety of foods helps ensure an adequate nutrient intake. To balance our diet, we need to eat aliments from all food groups. Not one aliment is perfect and not one is prohibited. It is a question of quantity and variety in our every day food.
Fruits and vegetables are an essential component of a balanced nutrition. Everybody can benefit from them. They are the most important element of many diet, just look at the Mediterranean diet or the paleobiotic for example.
We need to learn to eat vegetables in large quantities, raw, low temperature steamed, juiced, just choose. They have to be in our plate at every meal. 60% of our daily intake should be fruits and vegetables.
The ratio should be 3/4 vegetables to 1/4 fruits.
Vegetables alkalize our organism which is a necessity to counter balance our modern acid diet
Fruits contain 80 to 95% water, they are well stocked in nutrients but they are high in natural sugars.
It is important to choose seasonal fruits and vegetables, locally grown and as much as possible organic. They are rich in phytonutrients, vitamins (C, beta carotene, folate….), fibers, and minerals (potassium, magnesium…). They are low in fat and contain proteins.
We need to favor low temperature steamed cooking for vegetables as most of the vitamins will be destroyed at high temperatures (check my article choosing-cooking-methods.html)
The website 95˚from Marion Kaplan 95˚ (in french) the low temperature steamed cooking time for each seasonal vegetable.
Vegetables help maintain our genes, reduce cancer risks, and cardiovascular problems, and neurological disorders, and more, they feed our microbiota (see my article gut-microbiota.html)
It is interesting to know that variety is as important as quantities ingested, not one aliment contains all required nutrients to maintain a good health so do not hesitate, choose different foods every day but also every week and each season. Just mix colors and explore unknown varieties. Carrots for example provide fiber and vitamin A but are a poor source of vitamin C, but if you eat carrots, peppers broccoli you will also get vitamin C vitamin K, more vitamin A as well as other phytonutrients.
Each type of vegetable has its own nutritional value:
DO NOT HESITATE, VEGETABLES AND FRUITS ARE GOOD FOR OUR HEALTH!
Marion Kaplan - Paléobiotiques
Professeur Henri Joyeux - Changez d'alimentation
Elson M. Haas, MD - Staying healthy with nutrition