Garden Vegetable Benefitsby Marie-Andrée Guimont
published April 29, 2013
Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the garden’s offerings. No matter whether it is from your own, or in the veggie aisle at the market, just eat up! Your body will thank you. So go ahead and discover the health benefits of carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
To those who reserve carrots for more traditional meals (such as stews), know that they have the potential to let you get creative in the kitchen. Carrot juice can give smoothies a healthy kick, and carrot shavings can act as the perfect orange garnish.
We love it: Finally a vegetable that we have no qualms about buying in bulk! We adore its fresh and lightly-sweet taste, picked fresh from the garden. The carrot is tasty whether cooked or raw, and adds a punch of colour to any summer meal.
Its benefits: The carrot is often associated with vitamin A, which is a perfect ally when it comes to eye health. Not only that, vitamin A also acts as an antioxidant, benefiting bones, teeth and skin. Carrots also contain phosphorus (for healthy bones, regenerative growth of tissues, and maintaining blood’s pH balance), and potassium (maintaining blood’s pH balance, helps with digestion, and helps with muscle contraction).
Even more nutrients: Carrots also offer a myriad of vitamins, from B (1, 2, 3, and 6) to K, not forgetting C and E; don’t underestimate this ultimate ally to your health!
Try this: Carrot, orange and cilantro soup.
Cucumbers are the watermelon of the vegetable family: perfect to help fight the summer heat! Whether you eat it raw or in its marinated version (the pickle), it’s ideal in sandwiches and salads.
We love it: The cucumber is composed of 95% water; not surprising, since it has quite the refreshing qualities! And those watching their weight also love them, considering cucumbers are also low in calories.
Its benefits: Both raw cucumbers and dill pickles are a great source of copper, which gives our bodies an essential protein that helps maintain body tissues: collagen! If you also cook cucumbers with the peel on, you’ll get a good dose of vitamin K, favouring blood coagulation.
Even more nutrients: The cucumber is a good source of carbohydrates, also offering a small dose of protein. And don’t forget, it’s chockfull of water, making it a summer staple!
Try this: Cucumber-yogurt soup with fresh mint.
Okay, so technically, the tomato is a fruit. However, since it is constantly consumed as a veggie, we could not pass it up!
We love it: Tomatoes work great in a sauce, stew, salads… and anywhere else! However, it is at its best when freshly-picked from the garden. It’s also possible to grow various types of tomatoes, of different sizes and colours.
Its benefits: Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, especially the flesh. They contain antioxidant properties, as well as contribute to bone, cartilage, teeth and gum health. And that’s not all: they help protect against infection, help the body absorb iron found in vegetables, and accelerate healing.
Even more nutrients: Consider tomatoes as a good source of potassium, as well as manganese, which helps with certain functions of the metabolism and help protect against the effects of free radicals, which can destroy cells.
Try this: Fruity gazpacho.