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Health Notes from Dr. Liz
February 21, 2011
Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, along with pumpkin pie, all get our eating attention at Thanksgiving. But don’t forget the veggies! Grandma makes wonderful vegetable side dishes, such as yams, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard and green beans, which come packed with powerful nutrition. This holiday, fill your plate with these favorites (and go easy on the added butter).
- Yams/Sweet potatoes: The yellow/orange flesh is exploding with vitamin A (as well as beta carotene)—about 260% of your Daily Value (DV) in a small baked yam/sweet potato. Beta carotene helps ward off cancer and some age-related ailments, such as Alzheimer’s.
- Brussels sprouts: A member of the cruciferous vegetable family, Brussels sprouts top the list as highest in the “detox” compounds glucosinolates. These compounds rid the body of cancer-causing agents. Brussels sprouts also supply bone-building vitamin K (over 250% of the Daily Value in one cup, steamed) and immune-supporting vitamin C (150% DV).
- Swiss Chard: With rich green leaves and sometimes colorful stalks, Swiss chard is a must-eat green. New studies show this veggie contains syringic acid (a type of flavonoid) that may assist in modulating blood sugar levels, a boon to those with Type 2 diabetes. Chard also supplies a staggering 700% of vitamin K needs—a nutrient on which some of us fall short in terms of getting enough in our diets.
- Green beans: Even with those crunchy friend onions on top, green beans supply vitamin C, potassium and the mineral magnesium that team up and help promote heart health.