Mom always told us to eat our vegetables, but she never really explained why.
Many vegetables are packed with phytochemicals-powerful plant nutrients like lycopene found in tomatoes and lutein, found in spinach and corn. Vegetables can also be bursting with potassium and fiber that may have a role in protecting against a variety of different diseases. So eating 2 ½ cups a day is important for good health.
One key to selecting the healthiest vegetables for your family is color. Look for vegetables that are orange, dark green and red. They are filled with advanced nutrients to help your body stay strong. And they also add color to your plate.
If you're eating canned, you're eating healthy, too. A study conducted by the University of Massachusetts found that recipes made with certain canned ingredients, including canned vegetables, are similar in nutritional and taste value to those made with fresh or frozen items.
In addition, a nutrition study conducted by the University of Illinois showed that canned fruits and vegetables generally provide as much dietary fiber and essential nutrients as their cooked fresh and frozen counterparts. In fact, canned corn has more lutein than fresh corn. And canned spinach has loads of vitamins A and C.
Remember the convience that canned vegetables provide. They are already cut, prepped and cooked. Just heat slightly or even eat cold. Using canned vegetables makes it easy to have dinner ready quickly and with less prep.
Now that you know what they can do, here are a few ways to add vegetables to your diet.
- Mix a can of Del Monte® Spinach into your favorite soup or casserole for an added vegetable boost.
- Keep a few single serve cans of Del Monte® vegetables in your desk drawer. They make a quick, healthy lunch on the go.
- Add a can of Del Monte or Contadina® tomatoes. They make a perfect garnish or sauce for chicken and fish dishes-and they have more lycopene than fresh tomatoes.
- If you use a microwave to heat vegetables, try heating the liquid from the can first and then add the vegetables and heat quickly to preserve the nutritional flavor and quality.
- Have meat lovers in the family? It's easy to sneak vegetables into ground meat for hamburgers or into your fajita recipe-just sauté chicken or beef with corn, peppers and garlic.
- Use your microwave to quickly prepare vegetables. Heat a potato and top it with broccoli, corn or diced tomatoes.
- Add a variety of Del Monte vegetables to rice dishes or spaghetti sauces.
- Begin dinner or lunch with a broth-based vegetable soup. You'll feel more full before the main course and get a serving of vegetables.