If Eating Veggies Isn’t Your Thing

If Eating Veggies Isn’t Your Thing

You have been told your entire life that you need to eat more vegetables.

That has been the dietary dogma for quite a long time and we have bought in wholeheartedly even though there are still quite a large number of people who are still missing out on a moderate intake of their vegetables.

You see, I am writing to tell you that by eating vegetables you won’t be able to get the health benefits that have been promised by health professionals and parents around the world.  I am throwing down the gauntlet on the notion that vegetables are the end all be on health.

Before you stop reading and cast me off as a babbling dope, let me explain why I am throwing this out to the blogosphere.

1.) You can’t eat like your grandparents anymore.  Blurb of honesty here, this was the tagline we have used here at our gym for a while.  “Eat food your grandparents would have eaten.”  Well that is damn near impossible now.

Yes your grandmother would recognize apples today but the caveat is she would have to eat 20 of them to get the same amount of nutrients she would have received in 1914 (unless your grandmother wasn’t alive then, that would make it impossible).  Your average green beans have lost 43% of their calcium in the past two generations.

Today’s food can’t compare to what it used to be.  This is largely due to the quality of farming going on today but that is another blog topic.  In one sentence, the issue is that today’s practices of mono-crops and over-farming have robbed the soil of its high level of microbes and nutrition and therefore the produce is less nutritious.

All in all, just the fact of eating vegetables won’t guarantee all the health benefits that your grandparents would have experienced.

2.) You don’t cook the veggies right anyways.  The process by which you prepare your veggies matters.  You are already battling the notion that the vegetables you are eating are less nutritious so it is important to preserve the existing nutrients.

Boiling and steaming are two of the most used methods for preparing veggies and they tend to cook out a good percentage of the good qualities you want to be eating.

You know what I am talking about.  That green water left over when you steam broccoli. How many of you use that water for something else like pouring it over your plants, putting it in your dog’s water bowl, or use it to cook another item.

There was a time where most veggies were prepared in soups, stews, and sauces and that preserved the “veggie water” and you had no choice but to ingest it.  Shoot for those more traditional methods of preparing vegetables (soups, stews, sauces, and braising)

3.) There are other sources for top quality nutrition than veggies. Yes I said it and it’s the flat out truth.  I shall name a few for you.

  • Grass-fed beef liver:  To be fair, this is more nutritious than typical beef.  It would take 10lbs of beef (non-liver) to fill the same nutrition as 4 ounces of liver.  Liver is a powerhouse for calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, vitamins A, C, B12, and folic acid.
  • High Quality Broth: Broth is highly nutritious.  As a matter of fact is is highly rich in protein, minerals, vitamin C, glycine, collagen and gelatin.  It is a wonderful real food supplement to put into your diet whether it be drinking a cup every morning or just using it as an alternative to milk in your mashed potatoes.  Great for skin health, digestion, secretion of gastric acids, nails, and great shiny hair.  Part of why have begun to sell it at the gym!   
  • Other green options. These new options aren’t necessarily vegetables so it provides an alternative to your basic veg.
    • Nettles– Nettles are great alternatives to put into a salad.  They are full of vitamins A, D, and K, iron and calcium.  You can add them to your bone broth as well as it cooks down for some added oomph.
    • Dandelion Greens- These bad boys have huge nutritional components such as 112% recommended value for vitamin A, 535% recommended value for vitamin K, are high in fiber, iron, folate, and more!

So it is time to change how we think of veggies as THE change we need to make when it comes to eating better.  Yes I am and will always be a champion for the need to eat a good amount (as well as variety) of veggies at their peak of ripeness and season.  However I think it is important to begin recommending other alternatives to work in conjunction with more veggies.

Let’s think outside the box and outside the mono-crop fields and change this perception once and for all.

Ben MacMillan


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