Three Amazing Vegetables
If there are three vegetables that I eat very regularly, it is artichokes (or more specifically artichoke hearts), asparagus, and avocados. I enjoy putting artichoke hearts in my salads. Asparagus is so easy to roast in the oven (I like to use the bake-steam option of my Cuisinart steam & convection oven). And avocados are a daily must for me, either at lunch or dinner. Artichokes, asparagus, and avocados have in common the fact that they are high in nutrients and fiber, and low in sugar.
It was found in a 2006 analysis that canned artichoke hearts are full of antioxidants. I like to buy the Native Forest brand for these as the cans are BPA-free. I also get artichoke hearts in glass jars. In that case, I stick to the ones packed in water, as the marinated ones can have questionable added ingredients. Artichoke hearts are a nice addition to salads, soups, frittatas, and skillets, for example.
In her book, Eating on the Wild Side, Jo Robinson states: “In a nutritional analysis of eighteen vegetables, asparagus was found to have more antioxidants than all but three of those tested – broccoli, green peppers, and burdock, a wild root vegetable. (Artichokes were not tested.)” I like to buy green asparagus either at the farmers’ market or at the supermarket. As mentioned in What to Buy Organic, asparagus does not have to be organic. The fresher the better though, in order to get all the nutrients. Purple asparagus has even more antioxidants than green asparagus. It is recommended to eat asparagus the day you buy it. If you choose to steam asparagus, that method of cooking will raise the asparagus antioxidant value by approximately 30 percent. Asparagus can be made into a wonderful side dish, or you can also make a soup with it.
Regarding avocados, Jo Robinson states: “One serving gives you more antioxidants than a serving of broccoli raab, grapes, red bell peppers, or red cabbage. Avocados are also a good source of vitamin E, folate, potassium, and magnesium.” It is also important to highlight that avocados, which are subtropical fruits, contain soluble fiber (“ a type of fiber that has a gel-like consistency”) and oleic acid, the favorable monounsaturated fat that you find in olive oil. Both the soluble fiber and oleic acid allow for better absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and antioxidants. Avocados do not have to be organic either. As mentioned in 12 “On-the-go” Healthy Snack Options, avocados are an easy snack option, just like artichoke hearts. Otherwise, you can add them to salads, make guacamole of course, or even fries!
Artichokes (or artichoke hearts), asparagus, and avocados are high in nutrients and fiber, low in sugar, and very easy to find year-round. There are tons of recipes out there if you want to incorporate these amazing vegetables into your weekly meals. So experiment and see which one might be your favorite!
Gundry, Steven R. The Plant Paradox Quick and Easy : The 30-Day Plan to Lose Weight, Feel Great, and Live Lectin-Free. New York, Ny, Harper Wave, An Imprint Of Harpercollinspublishers, 2019, p. 31.
Robinson, Jo, and Andie Styner. Eating on the Wild Side the Missing Link to Optimum Health. New York Little, Brown, 2013, pp. 195-211.
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