Fruits and vegetables contain fibre, vitamins and other protective substances that have positive health effects. The goal is to consume 800 grams per day and during the summer months there is plenty of locally grown and nutritious produce to enjoy.
Stig Bengmark recommends consuming between 800 grams and one kilo of fruit and vegetables per day, (preferably more!) and during this period it is easy to fill your vegetable quota with locally grown produce. Frozen vegetables are both healthy and tasty, but during the summer, fresh and crispy berries, fruits and vegetables are undoubtedly more appealing. We have listed several nutritious greens below that grow and thrive in the Swedish soil and that do both your body and mind a great deal of good. By choosing locally grown greens, and avoiding vegetables that have been transported from far away, you can also ensure that you limit your impact on the environment.
Why not spice up your traditional lettuce and tomato salad with sugar peas, baby spinach, broccoli and beans? Then you have conjured up a truly healthy salad full of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Or maybe try mixing several vegetables into a healthy smoothie that helps the benign gut bacteria thrive, and that strengthens the immune system.
Broccoli contains lots of vitamin C, minerals and antioxidants. And not least calcium. Broccoli is said to lower cholesterol and prevent cancer, as well as strengthen the immune system and the gastrointestinal system.
Cauliflower is a real vitamin C bomb. 100 grams of cauliflower provides almost the entire daily requirement of vitamin C, which means cauliflower contains more vitamin C than, for example, oranges.
Kale is packed with nutrients in the form of vitamins, fibre and antioxidants that strengthen the immune system and protect you from diseases. The green leaves also contain healthy fatty acids such as omega-3.
Raspberries are high in vitamin C, folate, iron, calcium, potassium and antioxidants. They also contain plenty of fibre, such as pectin – which the gut bacteria love, and which helps control levels of cholesterol.
5. Green beans
Green beans are rich in dietary fibre such as resistant starch as well as vitamins B and E, selenium, iron, potassium and calcium. They also contain folate which is extra important to ingest during pregnancy.
Strawberries are rich in several nutrients, such as vitamin C, and contain high levels of antioxidants that counteract free radicals. They are also a great source of vitamin K and manganese, as well as folate, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, copper and magnesium.
Chard contains lutein, zeaxanthin and carotenoids, which are said to protect the eyes from age-related deterioration. It also contains vitamin K which has a positive effect on bone mass and can counteract osteoporosis.
Carrots are full of beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lutein which are good for your heart and can counteract heart diseases such as heart attack and high blood pressure.
Leeks contain most types of vitamins and minerals – more than yellow onions – and are considered to have anti-inflammatory properties.
An unpeeled potato is full of important nutrients that the body requires. Consuming 250 grams of potato is said to be enough to cover half of the daily requirement of vitamin C. It is also a source of B vitamins, and minerals such as potassium and iron. Feel free to eat the potatoes cold to increase your fibre intake!
Spinach contains antioxidants that reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. It is also packed with protective substances such as vitamin K, lutein and beta-carotene.
Beets contain many different kinds of vitamins that benefit the immune system. Beets get their red colour from the antioxidant betacyanin, which protects and strengthens the body’s cells – and the minerals and phytochemicals provide resistance to bacteria and infections.
Radishes are detoxifying and cleanse the blood of toxins and waste. They keep the liver healthy, and the colour of the radishes indicate that they are also rich in desirable flavonoids.
14. Sugar peas
Sugar peas are a good source of fibre, folate, vitamin C and vitamin K.
Asparagus contains vitamins A, C, E and K but also chromium, fibre and folate – which the body needs. It is also diuretic and rich in fibre, which can counteract fluid retention and prevent constipation.