5 Veggies to Take Root in Your Diet + One Surprise Ingredient
September 20, 2022
Mom was right when she said, “Eat your vegetables. They’re good for you.” Veggies should be a part of your daily diet and here’s why.
In this Healthy Insight:
- What is a vegetable?
- The tasty tomato
- Super-strong spinach
- The crunchy carrot
- Pleasing parsley
- Alfalfa – not from “The Little Rascals”
- One surprise ingredient – beeswax
What is a vegetable?
When we taste them, most of us can identify fruits versus veggies, but few of us can actually explain the difference.
A fruit contains seeds and develops from the flower of a plant, while a vegetable comes from other parts of the plant and consists of roots, stems or leaves. Fruits are usually sweet and used in desserts or juices. Veggies have a milder flavor and make great side dishes.
There are some commonly considered veggies that are technically fruits including tomatoes, avocados, pumpkins, zucchini, olives and peppers.
The tasty tomato
The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is native to South America and contain good amounts of vitamins C and K along with the antioxidant lycopene, well-known for heart health. Besides red, tomatoes also come in yellow, orange, green and purple and can be found in various sizes, shapes and flavors. Although they mainly consist of water, they are also a decent source of fiber and add some zing to salads, pastas and sauces.
Popeye was onto something when he popped open a can of spinach to stay strong and fight the bad guy. It’s exceedingly healthy and chock-full of nutrition and vitamins including A, C, K1 and folic acid along with minerals iron and calcium. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is a leafy green vegetable related to beets and is delicious fresh, added to a salad or steamed. It’s high in insoluble fiber and supports good digestion as it adds bulk to the stool.
The crunchy carrot
The crunchy, weight-loss friendly carrot (Daucus carota) is a root vegetable and an excellent source of fiber, biotin and vitamin K1, among other nutrients. Its bright orange color comes from beta carotene which your body converts into vitamin A, a vision favorite. It’s also well-known for its antioxidants to fight free radicals.
Parsley, (Petroselinum crispum), is native to the Mediterranean where it was used by ancient civilizations for culinary purposes. With a mild flavor it can be used fresh or dried with soups, salads and sauces, as a garnish, or used after meals to freshen breath. You can even find parsley supplements for this very purpose.
Alfalfa – Not from “The Little Rascals”
Originally grown for livestock feed, alfalfa has been popular for its rich content of vitamins, minerals and proteins. At some point in time, it transitioned into an herbal remedy for humans. Today alfalfa can be found in nutritional supplements, seeds or sprouts.
One surprise ingredient – beeswax
Beeswax is created by the worker bee to make the cell walls of the honeycomb. It can range in color from light to dark.
How is beeswax obtained?
- Honey is removed by melting the honeycomb
- The wax is strained to remove impurities
- Residue is pressed to extract remaining wax
- Purified wax is poured into molds
- Beeswax solidifies
What is beeswax used for?
- Facial creams
- Furniture and floor wax
- Lip balm
- Leather treatment
Learn more now about the importance of veggies in your diet.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Individual results may vary.