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Eat Vegetables that Increase Longevity

Updated on June 13, 2011
Photo courtesy of: flickr.com/photos/SandraMora
Photo courtesy of: flickr.com/photos/SandraMora

I can still hear that loving voice of my mom saying, “Remember you have to eat your vegetables.” Perhaps you can relate to that rebelling child spirit of mine that was so determined not to do so. Of course, scientific research is now proving that our mothers were right in thinking that an individual can improve one’s overall health by eating all those vegetables that we let get cold and left on our plates. Eat Vegetables that Increase Longevity was created to review 3 vegetables that not only assist in improving overall health but also aides in increasing longevity.

One way I overcame my dislike of vegetables was to learn about the nutrition and health benefits of eating them. If you’ve read, the hub titled Need a Healthy Diet: Eat Blue Zones’ Superfoods then you are familiar with the 10 superfoods from the Blue Zones that assist in resolving numerous health issues while promoting longevity. Well in addition to the superfoods; Dr. Oz revealed that 3 vegetables - jicama, kale, and sweet potatoes are now on his longevity grocery list .

Healthy Foods to Eat

The USDA Food Pyramid requirements are that an individual include 3 to 5 servings of vegetables daily, These vegetables can be added to your list of cooking ingredients for healthy foods to eat while reaching the minimum daily requirement.

Photo courtesy of: commons.wikipedia.org/photos
Photo courtesy of: commons.wikipedia.org/photos

Jicama

Jicama is a popular dietary staple of Mexico, Central & Latin America. In Mexico it is called the Mexican potato or yam bean, while in other parts of the world it has the name of ahipa, saa got, Chinese turnip, Chinese potato and or lo bok. Regardless of the term used this tuber vegetable has made it to the list of vegetables that promote longevity.

This vegetable is crunchy like an apple, starchy like a potato, and under 50 calories for a whole cup serving. The jicama is a root vegetable that is a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber. It is very low in cholesterol, saturated fat, and sodium. Jicama can be eaten raw being served in various salads or with other veggies or can be included in stir-fry dishes because it blends well with other vegetables.

Benefits are:

Rich in Folic Acid & Beta-carotene – Is effective in lowering homocysteine (an amino acid) levels that affects cellular metabolism and production of proteins in the body and increase the risks of heart disease. Studies have shown that individuals, who eat jicama regularly, have 11 percent lower homocysteine levels than those who have never eaten this vegetable.

Healthy Heart - This low fat, low calorie vegetable helps to control cholesterol levels which in turn can aid in reducing the risk of heart disease and hypertension. Strengthens and or supports capillaries by assisting in reducing the fragility or damage of the capillaries.

Anti-oxidant & Anti-inflammatory – Being high in vitamin C, jicama can assist in preventing colds and flu, in addition to having anti-inflammatory proprieties that can help to reduce swelling within the body. Needless to say, this vegetables has the longevity qualities of the Blue Zones.

Photo courtesy of: piscaweb.google.com/SeedAmbassadors
Photo courtesy of: piscaweb.google.com/SeedAmbassadors

Kale

Kale has been around since ancient Rome and can be found in Europe, Asia, as well as the United States. Kale is a part of the Brassica family that includes cabbage, collard greens, and brussels sprouts. This was one of the vegetables that I really did not like as a child. Yet in my adulthood, I’ve discovered that if one mixes it with other greens like cabbage, mustard, or collard greens then the taste is tolerable.

Smaller leaves are more tender and a not quite as bitter as the larger leaves. This vegetable like jicama can be served raw in salads or cooked alone or mixed with other vegetables. I love to use kale within one of my juicing concoctions because the taste can be completely hidden. Kale really should be placed in the royal court of vegetables because it is abundantly rich vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, lutein, and iron. It has ten times more lutein and seven times more beta-carotene than broccoli.

Benefits are:

There are endless benefits to this nutritious green leafy vegetable:

Antioxidants - This vegetable is a great source of beta-carotene and is believe to help fight against cancer, heart disease, as well as certain age-related diseases.

Carotenoids – Kale has both lutein and zeaxathin that is believed to help keep UV rays from damaging the eyes and causing cataracts.

Promotes Bones – Being rich in calcium it may assist in the prevention of osteoporosis and bone fractures. While the manganese helps to protect your body from damaging free radicals.

Detoxifies the Liver - The naturally rich sulfur or sulforaphane scientists have discovered helps to boost the body’s detoxification enzymes, possibly altering gene expression. Somehow supposedly it triggers the liver to produce enzymes that detoxify cancer-causing chemicals. This was one of the vegetables that my sister’s doctor highly recommended during her bout with breast cancer.

Photo courtesy of: common.wikipedia.org/
Photo courtesy of: common.wikipedia.org/

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes are the 3rd suggestion to eat vegetables that increase longevity recommended by Dr. Oz’s show. This is one versatile vegetable in that it can be served as a desert as well. It belongs to the Convolvulaceae family and originated from the tropics of South America over 5000 years ago. They are now grown throughout the world that has tropical and or warm temperate regions from within the U.S. to Rwanda, to New Zealand, to China that produces a million tons of sweet potatoes annually.

Sweet potatoes or yams are root vegetables that are starchy, and sweet tasting that has an appearance of having a yellow or orange flesh with an outer skin that can be white, yellow, orange, red, or purple. This vegetable is rich in beta carotene, vitamin C and B complex, iron, and phosphorus. And not only is it a heathly food to eat numerous people like the way it tastes.

Benefits are:

Asthma & Bronchitis – It is effective in easing congestion of the nose, bronchi, and lungs to individuals with asthma. Some researchers theorize that sweet potatoes have a high concentration of vitamin C and iron capable of warming up the body that assists in curing bronchitis.

Arthritis - Sweet potatoes has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities. The vegetable can be boiled for eating and the water left from the cooking can be applied externally to arthritic joints to ease the pain.

Cancer - The high content of beta carotene which is a anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogen makes this vegetable a good contender for fighting colon, intestines, prostrate, and kidney cancers.

Digestion & Stomach Ulcers - Having high fiber content along with the presence of magnesium makes an excellent facilitator for ease of digestion. The vegetable’s roughage and water retention prevents constipation and has a soothing effect on the stomach and intestines, while the vitamin B-complex and C, beta carotene, potassium, and calcium can assist in healing stomach ulcers.

Conclusion

In closing, Eat Vegetables that Increase Longevity, one can see there are numerous benefits to beginning to eat your vegetables as you were probably told to do as a child. If you are now grown and still do not like vegetables, I would encourage you to give these three cooking ingredients a try. There are numerous vegetables globally that offer the benefits of longevity and wellness. So go and enjoy!

Disclaimer: This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should do your own research, and then consult your present physician.

Dear Reader, I hope you liked this article and I would appreciate if you leave a comment, rate it, share it, and/or Digg it. Thanks!

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    • profile image

      BARBARA 5 years ago

      good information

    • Money Glitch profile image
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      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      LOL, Yes NCBler I think you are right that mothers were right about a lot of things. Now it is important for us to continue to follow those rules now that we are grown and can do what we choose to do. Thanks for the read. :)

    • NCBIer profile image

      NCBIer 7 years ago

      Thanks for the comprehensive data on each of those vegetables! You’ve given a compelling argument for giving them a try, particularly kale for me. The other two were easier for me to incorporate into my diet. Our mothers were right about a lot of things, weren’t they? Eat your veggies, wash your hands, get your sleep, chew your food completely – all things that can make you live healthier longer. Thanks again!

    • Money Glitch profile image
      Author

      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      Hi Hypnodude, Wow, you have a garden, that sounds wonderful! There's nothing like growing vegetables and picking them fresh off the vine or stalk. Thanks for the read and compliments. :)

    • hypnodude profile image

      Andrea 7 years ago from Italy

      Great hub, very well done and with many good information. I like sweet potatoes a lot, probably I should begin to grow them in my garden. :)

      Rated up, useful and stumbled.

    • Money Glitch profile image
      Author

      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      I agree Nellieanna, thanks for stopping back by, have a great weekend. :)

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

      MG - I've never prepared cactus, but the round green prickly pear cactus leaves, I'm told, taste like green beans and are julienned and then prepared just like green beans. But green beans are readily available so I haven't ventured into the cactus. There are ample supplies at my ranch, though, so if I were to be there and unable to get to a store, I'd certainly try them. My mother used to make jam and jelly from the fruit - the actual "pear". Of course every part of the cactus has clumps of very fine thorns which are a deterrant. There are actually thornless plants cultivated, though.

      Yes - I love veggies. Very few I don't like. I did buy a jicama after visiting here, though and must have lost my knack to pick 'em. This one is fibrous. I never ran into that before. sigh.

      Thanks for the reply to my comments. . . :-) I'm just now catching up following up where I finally read a lot of hub announcements while I had company. It's always fun to follow back up. ;-)

    • Money Glitch profile image
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      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      @2besure - I go through phases sometimes, I inhale salads for days, and other times, I rather swim in a big glass of mixed veggies and fruit. :) Thanks for stopping by. :)

    • Money Glitch profile image
      Author

      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      @habee - Yeah, I would imagine you would have to find jicama in a whole foods market or an international market. But, the guy on the video has got me determined to try it. :) Thanks for stopping by for a read. :)

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I love fresh vegetables, and juicing too. I just hate making salads. Just lazy I guess.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Great info! We eat a lot sweet taters, as we say in Ga, but I'm having trouble finding jicama.

    • Money Glitch profile image
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      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for stopping by Maita, over the years I've learned to love vegetables as well. And this year I've begin trying new vegetables from other countries. Thanks for stopping by. :)

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Rated it up of course, I am Asian so vegetables is part of my diet everyday with rice hehe. Plus I learned a lot form this hub, Maita

    • Money Glitch profile image
      Author

      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      Thanks Pamela, I love learning about new foods and the benefits that they have to offer. Now that the world is so global it's wonderful that we can partake of a lot of new produce. Glad to be the one to expose you to some new info that you found interesting. Thanks for stopping by for a read. :)

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Money Glitch, There is a lot of great information in your hub that I didn't know. This is a very interesting hub with great information.

    • Money Glitch profile image
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      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      Wow, until this article and all the comments, I had no idea that Jicama was sooo popular. Definitely, have to find some and try it now. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on Eat Vegetables that Increase Longevity. :)

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      I really enjoyed this hub, thank you for the wonderful information. I love Jicama, its been a long time since I had any.

    • Money Glitch profile image
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      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      I agree Alison, thanks for stopping by for a read and sharing your thoughts. :)

    • Alison Graham profile image

      Alison Graham 7 years ago from UK

      Thanks for all the great information here. Like Billy, I am a great fan of antioxidants from fruits and vegetables which are the key to solving a lot of health problems, I think. Thanks again, voted up!

    • Money Glitch profile image
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      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      @ingenira - Hi ingenira, Hhmmmmm, spring rolls, that sounds really delicious. Thanks for sharing how you enjoy jicama. It is great to hear there are soooo many ways to enjoy this vegetable.

    • Money Glitch profile image
      Author

      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      @anglnwu - Hi Anglnwu, appreciate the read and your kind words. Thanks for sharing the different ways that you prepare and enjoy jicama. They sound very good. :)

      @billyaustindillon - Hi Billy it is great to have such a wide variety of options of anti-oxidants to choose from. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. :)

    • profile image

      ingenira 7 years ago

      Jicama is a common food among Chinese in Asia too. We like to use it to make spring roll.

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      Great resource - I am a huge fan of anti oxidants and you just gave me a lot more options, thanks.

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 7 years ago

      Tons of great information. I love vegetables and am very familiar with jicama. In my culture, we love this particular root and use it in our salad with shrimp paste. We also love them in stir-fries and they can be found in paos and savory snacks. Again, Money, I am amazed with your well-researched hub. Definitely rating it up. Also, this looks like a winner.

    • Money Glitch profile image
      Author

      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      Definitely agree and I'm so glad that I now have acquired a taste for most of them. Thanks for stopping by. :)

    • psychicdog.net profile image

      psychicdog.net 7 years ago

      Vegies are the key!

    • Money Glitch profile image
      Author

      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      @Nellieanna - Hi Nellieanna, I can tell that you definitely like vegetables, I would imagine going shopping with you would be simply delightful. I haven't experienced eating cactus yet. Usually tend to shy away from vegetables that I don't have a clue as how to prepare. :)

      However, while creating this hub, I have learned that there is a recipe and or a video on the Internet for just about everything. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience. :)

    • Money Glitch profile image
      Author

      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      @Om - Hi Om! I was not familiar with jicama either, however after watching the guy on the video along with the research I'm very intrigued to taste this vegetable. Will be looking for it as well the next time I'm at the supermarket. Thanks for stopping by :)

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

      Jicama is wonderful! It's crunchy and has much moisture in it, and a lovely mild flavor. I think I'll get some when I go out for stuff. There is a Mexican community not far from here and the grocery store there keeps such wonderful fresh produce. Some of the things I've never tried, lots of roots of cactus, as well as leaves of cactus. But everything is top quality.

      I love kale too - but it's a more northern green, usually and not as available here in Texas. But it can be found. We have lots of other greens readily available, such as mustard greens, turnip greens, Swiss chard and others.

      Everything in that basket of veggies on the top of your hub looks super-yummy to me. I never balked at eating my veggies. In fact, at our house, refusing to eat anything was unheard of! But it was such a dry climate at the ranch - I treasured anything green. In Del Rio, though - it was like an oasis, with a huge gushing natural springs watering the town.

      Anyway - I love the suggestions here, MG! Thank you for a great hub!

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 7 years ago

      Hmmmm...I've never heard of jicama before. Maybe I'll look for them at my local farmers market next weekend. Great hub. I just voted it up! =D