With the coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic currently going on, many people have run to the grocery stores and supermarkets to stock up on food and other necessities that they may think they need. If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, you’ve experienced the chaos. While it’s starting to get better and the stores are supplying and restocking items quicker, it seems as if every box of pasta and frozen pizza has been ripped off the shelves. Of course, we’re all for a comforting dinner of mac n’ cheese or pizza, but consuming these types of foods on a daily basis isn’t healthy. What’s interesting is that almost all of the produce and fresh food at the stores is still in-stock or at least more than the other forms of food.
Of course, a bag of spinach won’t last nearly as long as a box of ramen, but it’s 10 times healthier for you and you can still create a meal out of it that the whole family can enjoy. In this blog post we will be going over some of the healthiest vegetables that you can still buy at the store. Keep reading to learn more!
There is a reason that Popeye made spinach his favorite vegetable. This leafy green is one of the healthiest vegetables due to its long list of nutrients. Just one cup of raw spinach provides you with a little more than half of your daily vitamin A, plus your entire daily vitamin K requirement, all at just seven calories. Spinach also has a large amount of antioxidants which can help lower your risk of contracting chronic diseases and make you a healthier person in general. Two of these antioxidants are beta-carotene and lutein, which have been associated with a decreased risk of cancer. Spinach is also great for boosting heart health and lowering blood pressure. Add spinach into your salads, smoothies, on top of pizzas, and anything else.
Carrots are also packed with vitamin A, providing you with 428% of the daily recommended value in just one cup. The bright orange color comes from beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant. Many of us have heard that carrots help with our eyesight. While this is mainly a myth, carrots are great for lung health and are high in vitamin C and potassium. They’re also great because they can be eaten raw and cooked. The possibilities are endless when it comes to incorporating carrots into your diet. They also have a very neutral flavor so it’s easy to place them in dishes without the flavor taking over or tasting funny.
Another great green vegetable, broccoli, belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables. It is rich in sulfur which can make it have a funky smell, but that goes away and isn’t related to the taste of it. It’s loaded with nutrients and vitamins. It also contains folate, manganese, and potassium. Steamed broccoli with a little bit of salt and pepper, along with a little butter or butter alternative, is the perfect choice for a side dish.
Just like broccoli, brussel sprouts are a member of the cruciferous family and contain many of the same health boosting plant compounds. Brussel sprouts contain kaempferol, which is an antioxidant that has been found to help in preventing damage to the cells. Brussel sprouts have been found to help with detoxing the body. They’re incredibly dense in nutrients and each serving provides a large amount of vitamins and minerals including vitamin K, A, C, folate, manganese and potassium.
Another one of our favorite leafy greens, kale is well known as a superfood. While it may not be flying around in a cape and saving citizens, it is incredible when it comes to boosting your health. About one cup of kale contains large amounts of B vitamins, potassium, calcium, and copper. It also gives you your entire daily requirements for vitamin A, X,and K. It has many antioxidants and is seen to help promote heart health. Kale can help decrease blood pressure and has helped reduce both blood cholesterol and blood sugar ratings. Kale is another great side that can be placed in salads, smoothies, juices, and can be cooked.
Garlic has always been used in the history of medicinal and holistic lifestyles and even dates all the way back to ancient China and India. The main compound of garlic is allicin, which is a compound that gives garlic all of its health benefits. Studies have shown that garlic can help regulate blood sugar and help boost heart health. Garlic has a very strong and distinct flavor that is used in almost every culture’s cuisine. While many of us aren’t wanting to bite into a clove of garlic, finely mincing it up and cooking with it in any of your favorite dishes will boost not only the flavor but the health of your food.
Ginger is another commonly used root that dates back to ancient times. Ginger has been a spice that has been used in almost every single type of dish. It has also been used as a natural remedy to help nausea or motion sickness. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that can be helpful in treating inflammation related illnesses like arthritis, lupus, or gout. Current studies are being done to see if ginger can aid in the treatment of diabetes. Fresh ginger can be added to drinks, dishes, and even desserts.
Sweet potatoes have been a staple in diets for years. These root vegetables are known for their bright orange color and sweet flavor. One medium-sized sweet potato contains about 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, and a good amount of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese. It’s high in vitamin A and has been linked to lower the risk of certain types of cancer, including breast and lung.
All of these vegetables are incredible to incorporate into your diet and be used in a multitude of different ways. Instead of grabbing processed foods, reach for something healthy. Not only will your body thank you, but cooking nutritious meals can be a fun way to bond with the family and allow everyone to come together. We understand that this time is filled with many unknown feelings and emotions, but connecting with yourself and the ones you love can help. Many of these foods can be easily found and are in stock at local grocery stores and supermarkets.
AFM Healthcare is following closely to the CDC’s recommendations that are pertaining to the coronavirus and will be posting updates about our Oviedo and Winter Park locations throughout all of our accounts. This includes our social media, too. If you’re having symptoms of coronavirus, please call our office before coming in. We can set up televisit appointments. We do urge you, if you’re feeling sick with any of the symptoms, to avoid going to public offices like emergency rooms or urgent care clinics. For more information about what we’re doing or questions about what to do if you’re feeling symptoms, connect with us today! We’re here for you.