Vegetables seems like a foreign thing to most unless it’s the green leaves that accompany your sadza (or pap) but when looking at the essential four food groups, fruits and vegetables make a large portion of a normal meal. Health experts have continuously shared that vegetables are nutritious and low in calories and help curb diseases that include cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, bone diseases, cancers and even help lengthen your life. It’s also been shred that within those vegetables one must have all or at least, most of the colours from dark-green vegetables, starchy vegetables, red and orange vegetables, beans and peas, and other vegetables.
Unfortunately, most people don’t eat enough vegetables so to understand how much vegetables one must have, health experts recommend that people use the cup system. One cup is equal to the amount that will fill a one-cup measuring cup. But one serving of raw leafy greens like spinach and lettuce is two cups, and eight ounces of vegetable or tomato juice also counts as a one-cup serving.
Young women between the ages of 16 to 30 need to have 2 1/2 cups of vegetables whilst young men need 3 cups of vegetables. For active individuals they need a cup more.
Below are a few examples of what a ‘cup’ of certain vegetable may b estimated as:
- Two medium carrots
- Five or six broccoli florets
- One large sweet pepper
- One large sweet potato
- One large ear of corn
- One medium potato
- One large tomato
Whatever you do make sure that each serving includes a leafy vegetable and you can either have the vegetables raw or cooked. There’s nothing like too much vegetables when you want to stay healthy, young and vibrant.