If you are like me, you grew up with parents telling you to eat your vegetables. Now that I am in college I find it even harder to eat them because my parents do not place them in front of me every night. One of my goals for this summer is to eat healthier by eating out less, cooking my own meals and eating more vegetables. I find myself strolling down the aisles at the store looking at various vegetables and I am either overwhelmed by the choices or wonder if they are really worth it. As hard as it may be to admit, I think our parents were right.
There have been several articles published over the last few years about the benefits of consuming certain vegetables. Today I read an article featured in Outside Magazine, “Never Miss a Beet”, about a study done by England’s Exeter University. The study revealed that consuming beet juice allowed more oxygenated blood to reach muscles which improved performance of endurance athletes. The article highlighted a marathon runner who is favored to medal at the London Olympics and has been using beet juice in his training regiment. Again, if you are like me your fitness aspirations are not that grand but I think the facts are pretty clear that vegetables can help even the casual athlete perform better. Just a quick note, as with all things over consuming beet juice can have some negative effects which are listed in the same article. Another article in the New York Times listed beets as the number one on the list of “The 11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating”. Even if beets are not your thing both articles list several other vegetables with similar benefits.
Summer is a great time to experiment with new foods and cooking different dishes. Beets, spinach, and carrots are among the vegetables listed in the articles that are also currently in season. Marie highlighted the Moscow Farmers Market which is a great place to get all the beets you could ever hope for. For more information about the benefits of various vegetables visit: http://www.ausport.gov.au/sportscoachmag/nutrition2/fruit_and_veg_the_winning_edge.