Salute the power of the humble veggie

Did you know that...

  • vegetables contain loads of important  vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals...PLUS fibre.
  • a diet high in vegetables can help to protect you against a number of chronic diseases (think of them like an immunisation shot) 
  • when serving vegetables, you can simply let the colours guide you. Aim for a rainbow to get the best combination of nutrients in one meal.
  • we should all aim for at least 5 serves of vegetables each day (one serve = 1/2 cup of cooked veg or 1 cup of raw salad veg). 


There is plenty of scientific evidence for the benefits of eating plenty of vegetables.

You probably don't need to know the names of all the wonderful things found in your humble veggie.... BUT things like beta-carotene, Vit C & E, magnesium, zinc, folic acid and phosphorous really do help to reduce your chance of developing conditions like heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and even some cancers... and if eaten as part of a healthy lifestyle, they can help to regulate weight and even lower cholesterol.  

Some colourful tips to get the most out of your vegetables:

  • Red  (eg tomato and capsicum)  contain lycopene,  important for reducing poor health from heart disease and prostate cancer.
  • Green (eg spinach and kale) contain lutein and zeaxanthin - both important to protect against age-related eye disease.
  • Blue and purple (eg eggplant) contain anthocyanins - thought to help protect against some cancers.
  • White (eg cauliflower) contain sulforaphane another useful tool in the fight against cancers. 

It's important to shop for veggies that are fresh and in season; and to try new recipes that force you to expand your veggie tastebuds. 

It's even more important to encourage your kids to be excited about vegetables from a very young age. Take them to the fruit and veg aisle and let them help you choose, they will find loads of fun shapes and colours while learning about the importance of fresh food.    

If you need healthy family meal ideas check out our EveryBody Live Well recipe blog, or for information about healthy eating; or lifestyle programs in the Penrith, Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury or Lithgow area's visit our Programs and Resources page or  NSW Health's Make Healthy Normal 


Janelle Imber, Dietitian with the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District's  Health Promotion Unit. 


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Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District