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Eat Your Veggies!

You probably have noticed the leaves turning color at this time of the year. Let nature’s colors be a cue to add more color to your plate, especially dark green and orange/gold vegetables. Many people do not eat enough of the “autumn-colored” fruits and vegetables.
Eat Your Veggies!

Photo used under license from www.istockphoto.com

Why Eat Vegetables?

Vegetables provide nutrition your body needs for repairs and to fight illness. Vegetables are a great source of potassium, fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C.

Potassium

We need potassium to help us maintain a healthy blood pressure. We can get potassium from sweet potatoes, white potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, and various types of beans and lentils.

Fiber

Fiber helps us reduce blood cholesterol levels, so it might lower our risk of heart disease. Fiber helps reduce constipation and diverticulosis (a common digestive problem). Fiber also helps us feel “full” so we might eat less and maintain a healthy weight. Eat the peeling on vegetables to get more fiber.

Vitamin A

Dark green, orange and gold vegetables are natural sources of “beta-carotene.” Deep-orange winter squash, carrots and pumpkin are especially high in this natural compound. Our body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A. Vitamin A helps keep our skin and eyes healthy, and it also protects against infections.

Vitamin C

Many vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage and bell peppers, are good sources of vitamin C. This nutrient helps heal cuts and wounds and keeps teeth and gums healthy. It also helps our body absorb iron from foods.

Make at least one-fourth of your plate colorful vegetables.  Set a goal to try to eat more of these colorful vegetables.

My Plate Vegetables

 

Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Featured in Food Wise October 2012 newsletter (PDF).

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