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April 10, 2010
Vegetables play the main role in our dietary plan and help to support normal function of all our body systems, and there are many benefits of eating vegetables every day. For many people, vegetables are the main sources of vitamins, minerals, carbs, organic elements, essential oils, phytonutrients and so on. However, not everyone of us likes eating vegetables every day: people prefer sweeter and more tasty natural foods – fruit.
At the same time, regular consumption of fresh vegetables improves our digestion and normalizes our intestinal bacterial balance, as well as helps to cleanse our body systems and lower the amounts of toxic elements in it. In addition, vegetables are the most valuable and recommended foods for those people, who need to follow a healthy diet. Other benefits of eating vegetables include their therapeutic properties, such as positive effects on our immune system, and so on. To receive maximum of these effects, fresh vegetables need to cover up at least 20% of your daily diet.
However, eating raw vegetables is not always as useful as it is considered to be. British nutritionists from the Institute of Food Research studied the proprieties of raw and boiled vegetables, and the results came out quite surprising. In particular, they tried to compare the nutrient contents of raw and boiled carrots, spinach, broccoli, tomato, eggplant and potato. It turned out that it is better to digest the beta carotene we receive from boiled carrots than the one that we receive from raw carrots. In addition, boiled carrots have three times more antioxidants.
The same can be said about carotenoids that we receive from boiled spinach and broccoli. 10-30% of these carotenoids can be digested, but only 3-4% of the carotenoids we receive from raw vegetables can be digested. Similarly, we can easily digest the lycopenes we receive from boiled or baked tomatoes than the ones we receive from raw tomatoes. And what about eggplants and potatoes? The nutritionists say that after baking or boiling most of the toxic elements are removed, that is why their nutritional value increases.Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.