Eat (at least) 4 servings of vegetables everyday!
(and at least 2 different types daily)
Finally a nutrition challenge that doesn’t ask you to cut out or cut back on anything. This time, we are trying to get you to eat MORE of something!
To give you time to stock up, we’ll start this one June 3rd and go until July 3rd. Take advantage of fresh produce from farmers markets or your garden this summer.
Why are veggies so good for us?
- Vegetables are low in calories and fats but contain good amounts of vitamins and minerals. All the Green-Yellow-Orange vegetables are rich sources of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, beta-carotene, vitamin B-complex, vitamin-C, vitamin-A, and vitamin K.
- Vegetables too are home for many antioxidants. These health benefiting phyto-chemical compounds firstly; help protect the human body from oxidant stress, diseases, and cancers, and secondly; help the body develop the capacity to fight against these by boosting immunity.
- Additionally, vegetables are packed with soluble as well as insoluble dietary fiber known as non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) such as cellulose, mucilage, hemi-cellulose, gums, pectin…etc. These substances absorb excess water in the colon, retain a good amount of moisture in the fecal matter, and help its smooth passage out of the body. Thus, sufficient fiber offers protection from conditions like chronic constipation, hemorrhoids, colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, and rectal fissures.
For some veggie-lovers this may not be a challenge at all as they may eat 5 servings at breakfast alone!
But if this challenge makes you want to say:
then you need to do it!
It will be a time to try new foods, recipes, and hopefully develop a love for green things without choking them down!
- Remember, not all 4 servings can be the same vegetable. We don’t want you eating nothing but baby carrots for a month.
- Although technically a vegetable, we’d like you to not count those starchy white potatoes or corn.
- The purpose of this challenge is to expand your palate, and bring more color into your diet so you get the micronutrients your body needs. You can find serving sizes on labels and online, but here are some examples to get you started.
What is a serving of salad greens and lettuce?
One serving is 2 cups mesclun greens, 2 cups raw spinach (about 14 calories) or 1 cup cooked greens (about 40 calories).
What is a serving of carrots?
One serving is 1 cup carrots or 12 baby carrots (about 50 calories).
What is a serving of potatoes?
One serving is 1 medium baked sweet potato (103 calories) or 1 cup cooked sliced or mashed sweet potato (180 calories).
What is a serving of tomatoes?
One serving is 1 cup chopped or sliced, raw, canned or cooked tomato (about 32 calories) or 2 small raw whole tomatoes (about 33 calories) or 20 cherry tomatoes (about 61 calories).
What is a serving of broccoli?
One serving is 1 cup cooked or raw broccoli or 10 broccoli florets (about 30 calories).