- Ben Fuchs
Vegetables are nutritional powerhouses. They're a great source of vitamins and minerals, with electrolytes like potassium, calcium and magnesium. They contain unique plant nutrients unavailable in other foods. They’re low in sugar, fat and calories. They're filling and tasty too. Recently it’s been discovered that they can regulate the growth of blood vessels, stimulating their production when necessary for the health of the lungs, muscles and reproductive organs. They can also shut blood vessels down to fight cancer. As it turns out, malignant cells, which start out as harmless microscopic clumps, can only develop and divide when they stimulate the production blood vessels to supply them with nutrients. According to a 2012 article in the Journal of Oncology, many vegetables can fight and even reverse cancer by blocking the growth of these blood vessels, depriving it of the resources it needs, and essentially starving the tumor to death.
Because much of the nutritional value in veggies is locked up in lipids, to really leverage their nutritional value, you want mix them up with fatty foods. We don’t often think of veggies as having a fat nature, but they do, particularly in the peels and pulp of the fruit-veggies, such as cucumbers and tomatoes, and spread throughout leafy greens, like spinach, lettuce, kale, broccoli, and cabbage. By braising or steaming veggies with butter, you’ll free the phytonutrients and fatty vitamins, making them more digestible and easy to assimilate. Many of the minerals are locked up in the fats, so you’ll get more value from those nutrients too. Combining fats and veggies is an especially important eating strategy for anyone dealing with malabsorption issues, with liver or intestinal disease, or with those who had a gall bladder removed.
Enjoying butter with your veggies can be a delicious way to improve skin health, particularly for older women. As ladies approach the menopausal years, their ability to process fats can become compromised. This can manifest as dry, thinning or otherwise aged skin. Using fats with veggies can liberate fatty phytonutrients, like beta carotene and bioflavonoids, which can be very helpful for preventing sun damage. In the near future, you can expect to see vegetable based topical products that take advantage of the skin protective power of the vegetable. You can actually make your own sun protective, anti-wrinkle facial product by blending veggies and coconut oil into a paste, adding a little mayonnaise and using it topically as an anti-aging face cream. You’ll get anti-aging Vitamin E and good fats from the coconut oil, skin softening protein from the mayo, and the veggie nutrients will keep your skin safe from the sun and other environmental assaults.