The Beauty of Plants

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Plants are more than just a source of protein - it’s no wonder that they make up so much of what people eat. They’re colourful, flavourful, and as shown here, full of nutrients that are beneficial for human health.

Many countries around the world recommend eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day,1 in any form including fresh, frozen and tinned.

Herbs
Offer a wide variety of health benefits such as antiseptic, antioxidant, or digestive support.

Mushrooms
A good source of fibre, B vitamins, copper, niacin, potassium, and iron, and they have anti-inflammatory properties. They are also a good source of protein, but do not contain all essential amino acids.

Seaweed
A rich source of iodine, which is important for maintaining the function of the thyroid. It may also provide dietary fibre, and some vitamins.

Tubers
High in starches and a good source of energy. Mostpotatoes sold today contain about 2% of protein, but some heirloom varieties have up to 12-15%.

Spices
Believed to have benefits including antimicrobial (eugenol in cloves), anti-inflammatory (curcumin in turmeric), and antioxidant (cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon) properties.

Pulses
An excellent source of fibre and protein. However, they do not contain all essential amino acids (except soy, which is a complete protein).

Onion
High in the antioxidant vitamin C and may reduce inflammation in arteries. Garlic is one of the most effective antibiotics in plants, acting on bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

Leafy Greens
Contain vitamin K, folic acid, and potassium. Just half a cup of spinach contains 17% of daily iron requirements.

Cereals and grains
A rich source of insoluble fibre, which contributes to healthy digestion. Oats and barley also contain beta-glucan, which may reduce the risk of heart disease. Quinoa is one of the grains that provides a complete protein.

Yellow and Orange Fruits and Vegetables
Typically a good source of vitamin C and beta-carotene (a form of vitamin A). Vitamin A can help to maintain healthy vision.

Cruciferous Vegetables
Are rich in folate, vitamin K, and phytonutrients, which may help to lower inflammation and the risk of some cancers.

Blue and Purple Produce
Contains flavonoids, which may contribute to proper brain function and blood flow. Their skin is also rich in the antioxidant anthocyanin.

Nuts and Seeds
Contain unsaturated fats (associated with a healthy cardiovascular system) along with manganese, magnesium, and fibre. They are also a good source of protein, but do not contain all essential amino acids.

Red Fruits and Vegetables 
Contain the antioxidant vitamin C and lycopene. Some evidence shows an association between lycopene and lower cardiovascular and cancer risks.

 

  1. Mintel, Milk Drinking Brits www.mintel.com