Most of us settle on our 3 to 5 “go-to” vegetables”. I call them the “usual suspects”: broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, cucumbers, etc. If you only have 5 vegetables in your veggie arsenal, you will not only be missing many vital nutrients, you will be missing the incredible flavor and fun of exploring the edible plant kingdom! In the spirit of celebration, let’s explore four “B” vegetables that provide incredible nutrition and valuable health benefits.
Bamboo Shoots. Ranked among the five most popular healthy foods in the world, bamboo shoots have been around for almost 2,500 years, originating in China.
With a crunchy texture, bamboo shoots are delicious and rich in nutrients. The benefits of bamboo shoots include healthy weight loss, control of bad cholesterol, strengthening of the immune system and anti-inflammatory properties. Heart friendly, they contain protein, a sufficient supply of vitamins and minerals, fiber and are low in fat. Add to your salad or stir-fry.
Bean Sprouts. Low in calories, bean sprouts contain vitamins B and K and used in salads are an easy way to boost the nutrients in your diet. They are also a great source of potassium which supports blood pressure regulation.
Bell Pepper. With a tangy taste, bell peppers can add flavor, crunch, and color to your meal. An excellent source of carotenoids that includes alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene, bell peppers also contain vitamin C that increases with ripening. Bell peppers are also a valuable source of supportive sulfur compounds which studies show have anti-cancer benefits. Heating or steaming bell peppers can reduce the nutritional value, so consider eating them raw for the best benefit.
Bok Choy. A deep green leafy vegetable that resembles Romaine lettuce on top and a large celery on the bottom, bok choy is more closely related to cabbage. The entire vegetable can be used, and is often added raw to salads for a satisfying crunch. In soups, the leaves and stalks should be chopped and added separately, since the stalks take longer to cook. Containing a wealth of vitamins C, A, and K, and excellent sources of calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and iron, bok choy deserves its reputation as a powerhouse among vegetables. Vitamin A, for instance, is essential for a properly functioning immune system, while vitamin C is an antioxidant that shields the body from free radicals.
So try this! Let’s use these four “B’s” and make dinner.
- 8 oz. thinly sliced chicken breast
- 2 cups of the 4 Bs
- 2 oz. chicken broth
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- minced garlic
- fresh ginger
- pinch of red pepper flakes
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Thanks to DrZumbado.com for this article!