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White vegetables forgotten as part of healthy diet

Published on 20/05/2013

White vegetables such as potatoes and cauliflower are being ignored from a healthy diet despite containing vital nutrients, according to experts.

The government recommends at least five fruit and veg a day

Connie Weaver, professor of nutrition science, believes there is a stigma attached to potatoes enhanced by the way they are cooked or prepared.

Weaver said: “Potatoes are often discounted from being healthy because of how they are cooked, topped or the amount consumed, but, when prepared in a healthy way, potatoes are nutritious. People need to remember that white veggies have a place at the table, too."

Weaver was the leading editor on the journal supplement “White Vegetables: A Forgotten Source of Nutrients.” The journal aims to demonstrate the importance of including white vegetables into a healthy diet by proving their magnesium, potassium and fibre content.

White vegetables are not limited to potatoes. Cauliflowers, turnips, onions, parsnips, mushrooms and corn are all colourless vegetables which are not regarded as healthy as colourful vegetables like peas, tomatoes or carrots.

Weaver said: "It's recommended that the variety of fruits and vegetables consumed daily should include dark green and orange vegetables, but no such recommendation exists for white vegetables, even though they are rich in fibre, potassium and magnesium.”

Magnesium was recently found to be as important as calcium in bone growth for children and the benefits continue into adulthood.

Potatoes are naturally high in potassium but are usually served with salt which can increase blood pressure and make the vascular system work harder.

Potassium improves the flow of blood in the body and has been linked to bone health, reducing kidney stones and decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

“Western diets have led to a decrease in potassium with fewer fruits and vegetables, and at the same time, there's been an increase in sodium consumption because people eat more processed foods,” Weaver said.

Maintaining a healthy diet by following the recommended dietary guidelines can keep your monthly health insurance premiums low. Some insurance providers may offer rewards for buying fruits and vegetables.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013

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