Food & Drink

From the Gardens of Master Gardener Ed Albright: My 5 Most Nutritious Fruit & Vegetables on the Planet  

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In order to maximize the amount of nutrients you take in, it makes sense to spend your “calorie budget wisely. Here are my 5 wisest choices to grow and eat:

#1 Kale – of all the super healthy “leafy greens” Kale is the King!

  • Loaded with vitamins (200% RDA for vitamin C, 300% RDA for Vitamin A, 1000% RDA for vitamin K1), minerals (large amounts for potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper and manganese)
  • Great source of fiber, plant protein
  • Only 50 calories per 100 gram serving (about a cup of cooked kale)
  • There are several varieties to choose from and all can be prepared for the table raw (salads and kale-slaw), steamed (as a great side dish with garlic and olive oil) or dried in the oven for “kale chips”.

#2 Garlic – not only can it turn all sorts of bland dishes into delicious treats, it is also incredibly nutritious

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  • Garlic’s main ingredient is Allicin, with studies shown to reduce/ lower blood pressure and LDL (“bad cholesterol”)
  • It also has cancer fighting properties providing lower risk of stomach and colon cancers
  • Important around Halloween, it has been shown to ward off vampires J
  • Garlic can be planted in your garden in mid- October for early summer harvesting

 

#3 Sweet Potatoes – one of world’s perfect foods for nutty sweet taste, nutrition and one of the most satisfying foods to eat

  • Loaded with vitamins (Vitamin B6 – heart health, Vitamin C – ward off cold and flu virus, Vitamin D – builds up immune system
  • Loaded with minerals (Iron – blood health, Calcium – bone health, Magnesium – immune system and manganese – bone, skin health + blood sugar control)
  • Yellow/orange color rich in beta carotene, studies show carotenes ward off cancer, immune disorders and protect against the effects of aging
  • Available fresh now at farmer’s markets or in organic markets.

# 4 Blueberries – when it comes to the nutritional value of fruit – blueberries are in a league of their own

  • Not only delicious, antioxidants are where blueberries really shine. They are loaded with the powerful antioxidant anthrocyanin, which exert a powerful positive effect on the brain. Particularly, studies show, with memory in older people
  • The blue in blueberries is where the antioxidants come from and also counter the effect, studies show, of the so called “metabolic disorder” by reducing blood pressure and “bad” cholesterol
  • Studies also show the antioxidants in blueberries ward off cancer

#5 Swiss Chard – the vibrant colors of Swiss chard make it high on the list plant phytonutrients

  • One cup of boiled Swiss Chard only contains 30 calories of supercharged flavonoids and other antioxidants protecting your heart health
  • Studies show Swiss Chard is the most nutritious of its other members in its category (spinach, beet greens, watercress, etc.) It’s great for its anti-inflammatory properties and for blood sugar regulation.

There you have it, my top 5 list of the most nutritious, low calorie, best tasting fruits and vegetables you and your family can enjoy.

“Let the good times grow!

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