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Vegetables are the cornerstone of defensive nutrition. This is because most vegetables are composed almost exclusively of Water, Minerals, Vitamins, Phytochemicals and Fibers.

  And, quite reassuringly, real vegetables contain little or no carbohydrates nor Omega 6 fatty acids, the two problematic nutrients which are the bane of their nutritional cousins-- FRUITS, Nuts and Seeds.

Definition of Vegetable.

Vegetables are the Leaves, Shoots, roots, Flowers, and, Seeds, produced from all manner of plants -- Trees, Shrubs, and Herbs.

Functions, Role of Vegetables.

  * Vegetables should form a greater part of the food we eat everyday.

* What is common to all is that they are easily digested, absorbed, and assimilated to meet the body's needs.

  * Roughages/Insoluble Fibers.

Fruits and vegetables form the bulk of the roughage in our diet. High fiber foods are. beneficial as they speed up bowel transit time, and take the stress out of the live since less toxins remains in the system.

  * Soluble Fiber: Vegetables like Cabbages, Tomatoes, and Amaranth are good sources of soluble fibers. These fibers binds fat, cholesterol and bile acid and prevent its absorption thereby carrying them out of the body.

 Vegetable Groups 

I) Seed Vegetables: Melon,Peas, Green Beans.

ii) Fruit Vegetables: Tomatoes, Cucumber, Okra,Cabbage, Garden eggs. Chilli Peppers.

iii) Leaf Vegetables: Spinach, Water leaf, Bitter leaf, Pumpkin leaf(Ugu), Scent leaf.

iv) Root Vegetables: Carrots, Garlic, Ginger, Onions, Potatoes.

   Note: Defensive Nutrition places special emphasis on Vegetables. It advises that vegetables must constitute a huge part of every meal; in fact more than 60% by volume of every single meal!!      

  MENU for Vegetables. …"Play the goat", as far as true vegetables are concerned. That is, Eat all available vegetables, either cooked or uncooked as a vital part of every meal. Take any quantity: vegetables have little or no side effects, and the danger of overconsumption is practically nil!

 Insights on JUICING VEGETABLES:

 TO JUICE OR NOT TO JUICE? Click here.

   JUICING VEGETABLES. Vegetable Juice.

            Dr Ignatius Onah..

      REAL NAIJA NATURAL FOODS: 

      TO JUICE OR NOT TO JUICE?

 For an in depth excursion into juicing, take these excerpts from "Benefits of Juicing: Your Keys to Radiant Health", by Dr Joseph Mercola:

"Virtually every health authority recommends getting 6-8 servings of vegetables and fruits per day, which very few people actually get.Juicing is an easy way to virtually guarantee that you will reach your daily target for vegetables"

On Benefits of Juicing

"There are three main reasons why you will want to consider incorporating vegetable juicing into your optimal health program:

i Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. This is important because most of us have impaired digestion as a result of making less-than-optimal food choices over many years. This limits your body's ability to absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. 

 ii. Juicing will help to "pre-digest" them for you, so you will receive most of the nutrition, rather than having it go down the toilet.

 iii. Juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner. .. Some people may find eating that many vegetables difficult, but it can be easily accomplished with a quick glass of vegetable juice.You can add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet. Many people eat the same vegetable salads every day. This violates the principle of regular food rotation and increases your chance of developing an allergy to a certain food. But with juicing, you can juice a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally enjoy eating whole...."

   On other Points to note, he continues: 

 * Limit Fruits: While you can certainly juice fruits, if you are overweight, have high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, it is best to limit using fruits until you normalize these conditions.

  The exception would be lemons and limes which have virtually none of the offending sugar, fructose, that causes most of the metabolic complications. Additionally lemons or limes are amazing at eliminating the bitter taste of the dark, deep green leafy vegetables that provide most of the benefits of juicing..

 * Vegetable juice has very little protein and virtually no fat. 

..Yes, Vegetable Juice is Not a Complete Meal. Hence, It is important to note that vegetable juice has very little protein and virtually no fat, so by itself, it is not really a complete food. It really should be used in addition to your regular meals not in place of it.

So unless you are undergoing some special fasting or detoxification program, it is probably unwise to use juicing as a meal replacement. Ideally, it can be consumed with your meal or as a between meal snack.

 * It is Important to Listen to Your Body. This is partly because you should only start by juicing vegetables that you enjoy eating non-juiced. The juice should taste pleasant -- not make you feel nauseous.

 On Some other Considerations.

....."Here are a few simple lessons to get you up and help you enjoy the benefits of juicing quickly:

# Use pesticide free veggies.

 # Please note that it would be FAR better to use lemon or limes than carrots, beets or apples, which have far more fructose than lemons or limes.

# If you are new to juicing, I recommend starting out with these vegetables, as they are the easiest to digest and tolerate: Celery, Fennel (anise), and Cucumbers.

These three aren't as nutrient dense as the dark green leafy vegetables In the few days to weeks it takes you to adjust to the 3 vegetables listed above, you can start adding the more nutritionally valuable but less palatable vegetables into your juice.

# When you've acclimatized yourself to juicing, you can start adding these vegetables: Red leaf lettuce, Green leaf lettuce......, Spinach.

 # An interesting side note: Cabbage juice is one of the most healing nutrients for ulcer repair as it is a huge source of vitamin U.

 # When you're ready, move on to adding herbs to your juicing. Herbs also make wonderful combinations, and here are two that work exceptionally well:

 # Make your juice taste great.

If you would like to make your juice taste a bit more palatable, especially in the beginning, you can add these elements: Lemons and Limes: You can also add one half to a whole lime or lemon for every quart of juice. ....You can actually juice the skin if you want to avoid the hassle of peeling them.

# Drink your vegetable juice right away, or store it very carefully.

# Put your juice in a glass jar with an airtight lid and fill it to the very top. There should be a minimum amount of air in the jar as the oxygen in air (air is about 20 percent oxygen) will "oxidize" and damage the juice. ..."

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