Apart from the health benefits they offer, vegetables ought to be celebrated for the colour they bring into our lives. World Vegetable Day which is on us today is the perfect excuse to celebrate their life-enhancing characteristics. Tracing the day’s origin, it was established by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977 and was endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union in 1978 to promote their aid in a healthier life for humanity.
If you were to ask a nutritionist, he would tell you that more the colour on your plate, more of the health benefits you reap. Vegetables are chock full of micronutrients, dietary fibre, minerals and vitamins that are essential to a complete balanced diet, so make sure you have some of it on your plate every day. Not that you don’t already know this, but a reminder is always good.
One thing to bear in mind is that different vegetables need to be treated differently. Some ought to be cooked raw, others roasted and a few others sautéed. It is just a matter of knowing how to bring out the best in them. It also helps to know that most of the nutrients are stored in the skin or just beneath it. So, avoid using the peeler as much as you can. Try to experiment with a new seasonal vegetable every week. Innovate, discover and read on newer and exciting ways of cooking them.
If they don’t attract your taste-buds, you can always give them a particular flavour and texture to relish them. Make veggie sticks and dunk them in hummus, low-fat dip or your favourite salad dressing. How does a creamy, pumpkin dip or garlic-herb dip sound? If not these try combining some delish potato chips with a blue cheese dip- a match that Gods approve of!
Some interesting Veggie facts for you to awe upon:
- Dye your hair with beetroot juice to give it a lovely reddish tint without the use of nasty chemicals.
- Mushrooms have their own immune system.
- The tomato is actually a fruit. Corn is a member of the grass family. So much to add to the confusion.
- Eating too much of carrots can make a person’s skin turn yellowish orange.
- Potatoes are the first food to be grown in space.
- The city of Chicago gets its name from wild garlic called Chicagaoua.
- Broccoli was once considered an exotic plant in home gardens.
- Attaching electrodes to a lemon can actually power a light bulb.
Whoever said that vegetables are boring, needs a revision of sorts. Bring in World Vegetable Day by reflecting on these health-friendly food items. They are a non-negotiable part of our diet, no second thoughts about that. With so many delicious ways to celebrate them, the veggie rainbow will have you reaching back for seconds or even thirds.