Here are 10 healthy summer vegetables -- along with delicious recipes for each -- that will offer a definite boost to your nutrition lineup.
By now you've probably heard that carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that your body converts to vitamin A. Vitamin A is vital for healthy hair, skin, eyes and bones and also helps protect your immune system. It's essential to include antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, in your diet for their cancer-fighting properties, so eat up!
To retain most of the vitamin C and other cancer-fighting phytochemicals that broccoli has in abundance, it's best to eat it raw, or steamed or stir-fried just until tender-crisp. Broccoli is also a good source of vitamin A and folate and is high in fibre and low in calories. Wonder vegetable? We think so.
Also known as summer squash, the zucchini comes in both green and yellow varieties. It's low in calories and when cooked, it is a good source of folate and potassium and high in vitamin A.
Studies have drawn a connection between the consumption of cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, and a lower incidence of certain kinds of cancer. No wonder high-fibre, low-calorie cabbage is a staple around the world.
As peas mature on the plant or sit at the store or in the fridge, their natural sugars turn to starch, making them chewy and less flavourful. For the best flavour, use peas the day you buy them, or refrigerate in a perforated plastic bag for up to two days.
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By weight, peppers contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits. Although red peppers contain 50 per cent more vitamin C than green peppers, one green pepper still provides more than 100 per cent of the adult recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Red peppers are also a good source of beta-carotene. Did we mention that they're also delicious?
Tomatoes are a source of vitamins A and C and contain a carotenoid related to beta-carotene called lycopene, which is a natural cancer-fighting agent. Cooking a tomato releases the fat-soluble lycopene, so cooked or canned tomatoes – particularly those cooked with a bit of fat – offer more-intense benefits than raw.
Stirring the raw spinach into the hot rice at the last minute to wilt it preserves water-soluble nutrients, such as vitamin C.
Garlic and Onions
Many of our recipes include garlic and onions -- and that is no accident. They're healthy and add key flavour notes to thousands of delicious recipes. They also contain sulphur compounds, some of which are believed to protect the heart and lower your risk of cancer.
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