To understand the nutritional values of the veggies you are baking with have a browse through the list below…
Aubergines are high in fibre and low in fat, therefore they are recommended for those with type 2 diabetes or managing weight concerns. The anti-oxidants and phytonutriants aubergines contain helps to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Beetroot really is a ‘Superfood’. It’s benefits range from treating anaemia to cancer. From researching this purple power tool, it seems that main reason that it helps us is because it contains high concentrates of nitrates. The nitrates are converted to nitrites in the mouth and this opens or widens our blood vessels which allows for increased oxygen flow.
This increased oxygen flows has been found to help treat anaemia, high blood pressure, dementia, digestive problems, fatigue and even cancer. It has even been found to provide a natural ‘performance boost’ for sports men and women.
Naturally the quickest way to get the nitrate to convert to nitrites is to drink beetroot juice or eat it raw. But some studies do suggest that cooked beetroot is the way forward. Either way, eat it!
As well lowering the chances of developing cancer, Broccoli has many other properties. Broccoli contains Vit K which aids bone health as it improves calcium absorption.
The Vit C in Broccoli keeps us longer younger as this vitamin helps to fight skin damage, reduces wrinkles and improves overall skin texture.
As Broccoli contains natural fibre it can prevent constipation and helps to excrete toxins.
Butternut squash is good for the heart due to the dietary fibre it contains. The folate content and carotenoids also protect against heart disease.
They are a good sources of potassium which is important for bone health and vitamin B6 which is essential for the functioning of the nervous and immune systems.
It also has high levels of beta-carotene which the body automatically converts to Vitamin A which has been identified as a deterrent against breast cancer and age-related mascular degeneration, as well as healthy lung development in feotuses and newborns.
Finally, this fruit has anti-inflammatory effects because of its high antioxidant content, therefore reducing the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.
Carrots are described as the ‘ultimate health food’ and deservedly so, they’re packed with nutrients that help prevent many medical conditions.
Some of the health benefiting compounds include beta carotene, falcarinol, vitamin A, minerals and antioxidants.
These compounds help to reduce cholesterol, prevent heart attacks, reduce signs of premature aging, boost the immune system, improve digestion and detoxify the body.
I think a couple of the most impressive facts are that carrots manage to restore the vision of those with vitamin A deficiencies and they ward off certain cancers. In fact a study on smokers found that the participants who did not consume carrots had three times the risk of developing lung cancer compared with those who ate carrots more than once a week.
The ‘dieter’s friend’ – I like this vegetable already! The courgette has been nick-named this because it contains very few calories and has a high water content.
Working from the outside inwards, the dark skin is high in soluble fibre. This slows down digestion and helps to stabilise our blood sugar levels. Other benefits are that soluble fibre can prevent constipation and help with IBS symptoms.
Working inwards, the main body of the courgette has high levels of potassium, therefore helping our cardiovascular health by controlling our blood pressure.
Courgettes also contain Vitamin C, this helps our immune system and sharpens our eyesight. In fact it has been known to be used as a herbal remedy for people with vision disorders in the past.
Finally it has been suggested (by Michael T Murrey in his book ‘The Condensed Encyclopedia of Healing Foods’) that courgette might have anticancer properties. This is because the antioxidants in courgettes can help prevent cell mutations which lead to cancer.
Kale is incredible – even spinach doesn’t come close in terms of the nutritional values it holds and the health benefits are vast.
First of all it has been found that type 1 diabetics who consume high fibre diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels. As one cup of Kale provides 2.6 grams of fibre this considerably helps those with diabetes.
The fibre, potassium, Vit C and B6 in Kale all support heart health. High potassium intake has also been found to reduce the risk of stroke, protect against loss of muscle mass and reduces the formation of kidney stones.
Kale, along with other green veggies, reduces the carcinogenic effects of foods created when they are grilled at high temperatures. When paired with green vegetables this reduces the effects therefore preventing cancers.
Finally Kale helps the digestive system due to its high fibre and water content, and the Vitamins it contains makes for healthy skin and hair.
Here’s a fun fact: In Europe, parsnips were used to sweeten jams and cakes before sugar was widely available!
Parsnips are another great veggie. First of all, they are a good source of potassium which basically helps to widen the blood vessels and therefore reduce blood pressure.
This vegetable is also a good source of dietary fibre, this brings many benefits including; reduced cholesterol, reduced risk of diabetes and it prevents gastrointestinal disorders.
Folate is another advantage of eating parsnips. Folate, a member of the Vitamin B family, reduces birth defects, optimises the metabolic process and reduces depression.
That’s not all! Parsnips have also been found to aid weight loss, as they prevent the release of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. And on a final note, parsnips are great for your immune system and aid growth and development.
Even when boiled or baked this vegetable supplies fibre, B-complex, potassium, useful minerals and plenty of Vitamin C. However research by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) found that potatoes actually contain up to 60 different minerals and phytochemicals.
The health benefits include lowering blood pressure, improved heart health and protecting against lung and prostate cancer. Finally, potatoes are good news for slimmers as they contain less than 100 calories per 100 g.