Perhaps, you remember the Seinfeld episode entitled, “The Chicken Roaster” in which Jerry suspects that Kramer is secretly ordering from a chicken place that Jerry is trying to put out of business because its neon sign disturbs his sleep. In an effort to cover for Kramer, Newman tries to convince Jerry that Kramer’s chicken order is actually for him. There is one problem; the order includes steamed broccoli which, as Jerry says, Newman wouldn’t eat, “if it was deep fried in chocolate sauce.” Newman claims to love broccoli, but Jerry remains unconvinced and asks Newman to eat a piece of the offensive vegetable in Jerry’s presence. Although Newman makes a valiant attempt, he is forced to spit it out, proclaiming it a”vile weed,” and calling for honey mustard, which he proceeds to use as a chaser, chugging it straight from the cup with enormous zeal.
If you are like Newman, straight vegetables may be a little hard for you to make peace with. You may find them slightly bitter and maybe on the bland side. If this sounds like you, here are some veggies that are anything but bland.
Are you ready to try the veg that took home the title of “World’s Most Feared Vegetable?” These spicy green vegetables, also known as leaf mustard, may be one of the healthiest foods in the world, containing Vitamins A and K, carotene, flavonoids and antioxidants. They are also a source of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, selenium, and manganese. Eaten regularly, mustard green has even shown to prevent osteoporosis, anemia, and arthritis and to protect against asthma, and prostate and colon cancers. There is also evidence suggesting that the supervening can limit neuronal damage in the brain leading to Alzheimer’s and has enough fiber to ward off hemorrhoids, colon cancer, and constipation.
Want some more tang in your salad? Arugula is a cruciferous vegetable with that offers intake levels of nitrate shown to cut down on the amount of oxygen intake needed for exercise, improve athletic performance and lower blood pressure. So what’s behind arugula’s mighty powers? Studies show that the same thing that gives cruciferous vegetables their bitter taste is also responsible for their cancer-fighting properties. Sulforaphane is currently being studied as an impediment to melanoma as well as prostate, pancreatic and esophageal cancers. In addition, arugula’s high Vitamin K content has been shown to help bones absorb calcium and decrease its urinary elimination.
Once used by Hippocrates as a medical treatment, watercress achieved popularity in the 19th century when watercress sandwiches were a standard component of tea for the working class English, earning the vegetable a reputation as “poor man’s food.” Relegated to no more than a garnish in recent years, watercress is now getting its proper recognition. Like arugula, watercress contains nitrate to lower blood pressure and enhance the performance of athletes. Studies have shown it to be effective in reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease while providing increased energy, lower weight, and healthy complexions. Watercress contains 3,3-diindolylmethane or DIM which has been shown in a recent study to function as a shield for a healthy tissue during cancer treatment. Rats were given lethal doses of radiation were able to stay alive longer when treated with DIM and had higher counts of red and white blood cells.
Incorporating The Greens Into Your Diet
Are you ready to bring on the greens? You can incorporate them into casseroles, sauces, and pasta for a slightly peppery taste. Blend them into your favorite smoothie, add them to your omelet, sauteed them in olive oil or use them to make pesto or eat them fresh and chase with large quantities of honey mustard. Let us know if you have gone daring with your greens. We would love to hear about recipes and adventures!