Don’t you just wish someone would tell you which fruits and vegetables are the most nutritious? I’m not talking about exotic or rare plant and fruit species that you can barely pronounce properly let alone find in a regular supermarket. I’m talking about common fruits and vegetables that you grew up on.
I’m well aware that not everyone has time to shop for different types of produce and then go home and prepare gourmet meals with them. I don’t even work outside of the home and I don’t have time for all that jazz. Okay, I could make the time, but I rather study. :)
So, I compiled a small list of easy to find nutritious fruits and veggies (and some seeds) that will help you stay healthy. Honestly, you don’t have to do anything with them but…eat them!
Spinach: Is one of natures best all round nutrient providers. Use it in place of lettuce for a salad, throw it in a smoothie, sauté it or just eat it. One time at the airport I saw a lady eat half of bag of fresh spinach for breakfast. I was like, “Hey, why didn’t I think of that!”
Romaine lettuce: Is an excellent source of vitamins A, K and C, folate, manganese and chromium. Use it in a salad, smoothie or again, just eat it. I’m going to get sick of writing, “just eat it” huh?
Red Peppers: They have more Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Beta Carotene than green or yellow peppers. Cut them up or I’ve even seen people eat a pepper like an apple. I love them with hummus.
Strawberries: Ranked one of fifty best antioxidants. Dipped in dark chocolate? OR yes, just eat them. :)
Tomatoes: Excellent source of Vitamin C. Wash, slice (or eat whole), sprinkle a little sea salt and eat it. I eat a medium tomato this way everyday.
Carrots: Some call them the “King of the Vegetables”. You can find baby carrots all ready to eat in a bag. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.
Blueberries: Memory protecting food. Wash and go.
Oranges: Yep, you guessed it, lots of Vitamin C. I’m pretty sure you know how to eat an orange. :)
Sunflower seeds (low or no sodium, non flavored): Contain a wide variety of nutrients. They are known to be the perfect easy snack.
Red grapes: Have a high content of antioxidants which green grapes only have a small amount of. Wash them, put them in a sandwich bag and carry them with you for a snack.
Eating healthy doesn’t need to be complicated! So, you may want to add these 10 powerhouse fruits and veggies to your grocery list.
*The simplest things are often the truest.-Richard Bach
Every once in a while, I like to change-up our breakfast smoothie and on April 1st my husband and I decided to drink two smoothies a day. We have one in the morning and then one either between breakfast and lunch or between lunch and dinner. We can already feel the difference in our energy levels.
Per request: Below are the smoothie recipes.
The Green Apple (Breakfast)
One handful of celery
Two handfuls of spinach (you can use frozen)
16 ounces of distilled water
Blend thoroughly. We make ours at least the night before so they are cold.
“People who ate lots of white-fleshed fruits and vegetables-mostly apples, pears, bananas, and cauliflower-had a 52 percent lower risk of stroke over a 10 year period than those who ate the least of those foods. Achieving that difference only took eating an apple a day.” -Dutch researchers/Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association
The Orange Bowl (In between meals)
One handful of baby carrots (I use de-thawed frozen)
One handful of Romaine lettuce
One peeled orange
12 ounces distilled water
Blend thoroughly. Again, we make them the night before so they are cold.
Why did the orange stop rolling down the hill?
It ran out of juice.
I’ve had some requests for vegetable ONLY smoothies/juice recipes. It always makes me a little nervous to post smoothie recipes because I will seriously drink any combination as long as I know it’s good for me. It doesn’t even matter how it taste. BUT… for your sake, I want them to be nutritious and enjoyable as well. Developing delicious vegetable ONLY smoothie’s is quite a challenge.
I personally like the idea of blending rather than juicing. It’s easy, nothing is wasted and you reap the benefits of ALL the nutrition and fiber.
Drinking green smoothies guarantees you consume the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables. I have several friends that serve green smoothies to their children, which allows them to get all the nutrients they need on a daily basis.
The first recipe is one that I created. You may think it’s a little boring, but below I’ve listed why I chose these ingredients.
Drink it; it’s good 4 u
2 handfuls of spinach (you can use frozen spinach)
1 big handful of chopped cabbage
2 handfuls of red pepper
2 tablespoons of flaxseed
8-12 ounces distilled or filtered water
Optional: ice cubes
Blend, blend, blend!
Spinach: One of the most nutritious foods on earth! You may not have known this but Spinach is a fine source of calcium for those that can’t or don’t want to drink or eat dairy.
Cabbage: A good source of Vitamin C, fiber and an awesome antioxidant.
Red Pepper: Good source of vitamins C, A and the mineral potassium. Inflammation reducer.
Flaxseed: Rich source of Omega-3 fats
*My smoothie/juice gives you a combination of greens, sulfur and color which you should add to your diet on a daily basis.
Jackie V’s recipe
2 handfuls of spinach or kale
1 handful of carrots
1 handful of celery
1 medium avocado
1 large cucumber
¼ cup chopped parsley
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 bunch of romaine lettuce
1 medium cucumber
2 cups of water
Of course adding fruit to any smoothie makes it taste better. You can find green smoothies with fruit under my “smoothie” folder listed to the right of my blog. I still drink the “Green Light” for breakfast every morning. A couple of times a week, I’ll drink the vegetable smoothie mentioned above (for lunch) followed by some cut up veggies and hummus.
If you have a good Vegetable ONLY smoothie and would like to share, please leave a comment with the recipe. Thank you!
Drink up! :)
Picture by: www.almightydad.com