In the report, Dr. Capanzana underscores the importance of vegetables in the daily diet:
"Vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that maintain health and prevent diseases. They are also indispensable sources of fiber, which help regulate bowel movement.
This in turn prevents constipation, which is a common problem among elderly and pregnant women. Soluble fiber can also lower blood cholesterol levels and slow down the absorption of
sugar, thereby beneficial to persons with hypertension and diabetes."
Here's the list of vegetables for your eating delight:
- Malunggay (Moringa). All of its parts are edible, but the leaves are the most popular. It is a good source of calcium, iron and zinc as well as beta-carotene needed by lactating mothers. In areas where malnutrition is a major concern, moringa is recommended for consumption because it contains various vitamins, minerals and high protein.
- Mongo (Mung Bean). Packed with nutrients, it is rich in protein for growth and maintenance. It has iron that promotes healthy blood. As a good source of calcium and phosphorus, mung bean helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Finally, mung bean supplies vitamin B to the body to keep the nerves in shape.
- Patola (Loofah). Loofah is eaten as a vegetable, particularly in Asia and Africa. Hence, it is included in viands such as sauteed miswa or chopsuey. It is a good source of dietary fiber that regulates bowel movement and prevents obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and some forms of cancer.
- Sitaw (String Beans). This vegetable is a good source of protein that builds and repairs body tissues for growth and maintenance. It contains calcium that promotes strong bones and teeth; is rich in vitamins - A for good eyesight, B for increased body energy, and C for resistance to infection.
- Kalabasa (Squash). Squash is a vegetable used in making soups, pies and breads. It has pro-vitamin A that promotes normal eyesight, healthy hair, smooth and clear skin, and overall growth. It contains calcium and phosphorus for strong bones and teeth; iron that aids in building healthy red blood cells, and has been used recently as an alternative to wheat flour.
(Part 2 of this week's article will be posted in our blog on November 7, 2011--J.P.)