We certainly all know how important vegetables are in the diet (our parents have only been drilling it into our heads since we were kids). I’m no exception, I push them for my kids and clients as well. Vegetables, all kinds and colors, are loaded with vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants. (Just as a refresher, phytochemicals have protective or disease preventative properties and antioxidants fight the pesky free radicals floating around in our bodies that contribute to numerous ailments and diseases).
Though colors like green, red, and orange are often highlighted, the white vegetables have become the step-child. Studies show that we may be missing out. Increasing the intake of white vegetables helps increase the intake of key nutrients (often lacking) in the diet like potassium, magnesium, and fiber….and it doesn’t stop there. Studies are finding that the white’s may help reduce the “bad” cholesterol promoting heart health and cancer protection.
Below are some of the more popular white vegetables I give the thumbs up to:
Cauliflower packs a punch with fiber, vitamins C & K, and glucosinates. May help boost immune system and lower inflammation levels protecting against cancer. I roast cauliflower at home and shave parmesan cheese just before serving. Big hit!
White Mushrooms may have multiple medicinal qualities by aiding in autoimmune disorders and improving immune defense. Their star nutrients are riboflavin, niacin, copper, vitamin D, and selenium. I make a mushroom soup with sautéed onions and shallots with vegetable stock. You would be surprised at how rich and creamy it is…without any of the cream!
White Potatoes have a bad reputation thanks to all the low carb diets. But in fact, they aid in cancer prevention and autoimmune protection thanks to fiber (in the skin), riboflavin, niacin, selenium (an antioxidant), and vitamin D. Instead of forgoing potatoes, why not try eating one smaller than the size of a football.
Turnips, the less popular vegetable, have vitamin C (an antioxidant), fiber, and glucosinates. You can bake, steam, sauté, or mash them.
White Corn is my personal favorite. I love to grill it — brings out the sweet and smokey flavors. Aside from how great they taste, they contain a powerhouse combination of thiamine, folate, and vitamin B6. Corn may protect against heart disease and exhibits anti- inflammatory properties.
So, as a big Miami Heat fan (during basketball playoffs for the non-sports enthusiasts), go WHITE HOT…with your vegetables!