Vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals are natural substances found in a wide range of foods and are essential to maintain a healthy body. Scientists have defined specific daily amounts necessary for good health.

Why they are important

Vitamin A stimulates new cell growth, keeps cells healthy and can help vision in dim light.  Vitamin A is found in vegetables such as pumpkin, carrots, kumara, spinach and broccoli.

Vitamin B releases energy from food, and is good for the nervous system. Green vegetables contain Vitamin B.

Vitamin C is used in tissue repair, helps the immune system by fighting against infection and helps health in general. Vitamin C also helps iron in food to be absorbed. Capsicums and parsley are excellent sources of Vitamin C with significant amounts in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, radishes, peas, beans, asparagus. Potatoes, turnips, tomatoes, kumara, spring onions, lettuce and leeks also contain Vitamin C.

Vitamin K helps blood clot. Turnips, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, asparagus, watercress, peas and green beans have Vitamin K.

Calcium is necessary for healthy teeth, bones, hair and nails. Spinach, parsley, broccoli, celery, leeks, spring onions, cabbage and carrots contain calcium.

Potassium controls muscles and nerves and may be important in preventing high blood pressure. All vegetables contain potassium.

Iron is essential for red blood cells so that oxygen can be carried around the body. Eat vegetables that contain iron, with vegetables containing Vitamin C to help the iron be absorbed into the body. Spinach, silverbeet, parsley, leeks, broccoli and mushrooms are good sources of iron.

Avoid vitamin loss in vegetable preparation and cooking by:

  • Leaving the peel on as it contains vitamins as well as fibre.

  • Using a sharp knife. A blunt knife causes cell damage which leads to Vitamin C loss.

  • Cooking vegetables as soon as they are prepared. Don’t soak them in water as water-soluble vitamins (B and C) will be lost.

  • Using a small amount of water, or preferably, steam vegetables. Save the cooking water and use it in soups, stocks, gravies or enjoy as a drink.

 




This Recipe was from www.Vegetables.co.nz. Go here for more recipes.

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