Vegetables boost immunity but can also lead to weight gain
Yes I know, you’ve heard it before...but vegetables really are the business. As renowned food writer Michael Pollan1 advised ‘eat food, mostly plants, not too much’. By food he means real, whole, unprocessed foods. Eating plants such as vegetables and fruit should form the bulk of the diet. All in moderation, not too much, eat until you are full, no more.
Joel Furhman in his book Superimmunity2 highlights the immune boosting effects of eating plenty of vegetables, mainly colourful, green leafy varieties ideally locally produced, seasonal and organic. There are very high in beneficial phytochemicals which help boost and maintain the immune system, the cardiovascular system and have been shown to deactivate potential cancer cells. They are also full of other healthy vitamins and minerals. A good idea with winter bugs on the way.
Be careful, if you are managing your weight, not to eat too many starchy vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and parsnips as they are high in carbohydrate and can lead to weight gain.3
Eat some fruit, but not too much as most fruit is high in sugar such as bananas. Berries are a good option as they are low in sugar and rich in antioxidants.3
There are more local producers now selling their vegetables at the local markets, many of which are organic. We enjoy shopping for our fruit and veg more in the markets these days, it does not seem to cost more, the produce tastes better, there is less waste and the health benefits are greater. There is something nice about buying produce that is not wrapped in plastic as well.
1. Pollan M. In defense of food: An eater's manifesto. Penguin; 2008.
2. Fuhrman J, Sparrow N. Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body's Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free. HarperOne; 2011 Sep 20.
3.Sisson M. The primal blueprint: reprogramme your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health and boundless energy. Random House; 2012 Aug 31.