If you’ve heard anything from me at all, you’ve probably heard me encouraging you to eat more vegetables. But, what’s even better than vegetables? Super Vegetables! There are actually at least 3 ways to improve upon plain old veggies. These days, we need all the help we can get to nourish ourselves optimally, right?
The first way to improve on ordinary veggies is to find organic, bio-dynamic, or locally grown varieties. There has been some debate about whether organically grown foods actually contain more nutrients than those that are conventionally grown. The foods that have been tested and analysed have yielded varied results (I think partly according to who is doing the analysis). We do know that foods have optimal nutrient levels when soil is healthy, and when they are at the peak of ripeness. Local foods that are in season are naturally at ideal nutritional levels. Soils that are not bathed in chemical fertilizers and pesticides are full of wonderful, beneficial micro-organisms, and they produce more nutritious foods.
And, speaking of micro-organisms, there is another way to get more nutritional “bang for your buck.” Ordinary vegetables become extraordinary when fermented via lacto-fermentation. In the process of culturing veggies, they become more digestible, nourishing to your gut (thanks to the proliferation of friendly bacteria), nutritious and flavorful. The more subtle flavors that result from this natural process are different from the pickles and sauerkraut that are made with vinegar. You can find a great recipe here.
The final way to multiply the good qualities of your vegetables is by sprouting. I am not an expert at this, but I hope to learn a lot more in the coming year. There are numerous resources on the internet about sprouting. This website is a good little resource I found (click here). I like that this article addresses unwanted bacteria that can grow during the sprouting process. After all, not all bacteria are friendly!
A few months ago, I told you about the amazing work of Dr. Terry Wahls, and her recommendation that we consume about 9 cups of vegetables per day (Click here to see that post). I don’t know about you, but I’m not even sure I consume 9 cups of anything some days. However, maximizing the impact of the veggies I do eat seems like a good way to get lots of what I need without swallowing a bunch of supplements. Besides, I love the variety.