Annually observed on June 17th, National Eat Your Vegetables Day is a day to remind everyone about the importance of a healthy diet. Vegetables of all shapes, sizes, and colors (not the frozen ones!) contain phytochemicals, dietary minerals, carbohydrates, vitamins, and antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, and anti-carcinogenic properties. Fresh vegetables also contain fiber, which is integral for a healthy gastrointestinal tract.
Eat Your Vegetables Day is not just about eating the familiar vegetables like carrots, celery, lettuce, or onions; rather, it is about encouraging people to expand their vegetable horizons. Get yourself a diverse assortment of vegetables and then figure out what you can make with them. It can be fun to just pick out a couple new vegetables in the grocery store and find out that you end up liking them. Try getting things like bok choy, watercress, eggplant, purple kale, or summer squash varieties.
It’s important to spread awareness about Eat Your Vegetables Day because of the role vegetables have played throughout the course of human history. Vegetables are arguably the reason that people started to settle, as opposed to their previous nomadic existences. If they planted crops, they had to stick around and establish civilizations to harvest what they grew.
Vegetables were staples in our diet long before science proved what people already knew. Vegetables helped with growth, digestion, and longevity. Many tests have confirmed that vegetables provide nutrients that are impossible to get from animal sources, especially animal sources that contain hormones, antibiotics, and saturated fats. The nutrients in vegetables help to improve bone health, decrease the risk of heart disease, and work to offset diabetes.
Make sure that you are eating at least a half-cup of each vegetable you consume when you eat salads, stir-fries, or vegetable medleys. Don’t layer them with cheese or sauté them in a cream sauce. A little olive oil, sea salt, and pepper is all you need. Let us know what vegetables you eat today and which ones are your favorites.