Get Stuffed: 5 Reasons why stuffed veggies are good for you
There’s nothing like a colourful stuffed vegetable to bring a little Mediterranean sunshine into your life, and let’s face it, that’s always welcome!
For starters, stuffed vegetables are vegetables, therefore at least 50% of the content is going to be good for you.
You’ll find stuffed veggies in most Mediterranean locations, from Provence to Greece and the Middle East. Often filled with grains and rice, they tend to use copious quantities of fresh herbs like parsley and mint, and an abundance of aromatic spices.
The vegetables you stuff, apart from being virtually fat free, low in calories, sodium and cholesterol, tend to be high in folic acid. They come loaded with a host of essential minerals, helping to maintain a healthy body that functions effectively.
Here are 5 reasons that stuffed veggies should be on your menopause menu.
The joy of stuffed vegetables is that they can be prepared in advance. They'll need a long,slow cooking time to allow the flavours to intensify and infuse. They take little of your patience (which can be in short supply) to put together, and you don’t need to be an artistic food stylist to assemble them to make them look like something pretty fabulouse that you want to eat. Best left to cool done, they can be re-heated and served hot, although they taste just as delicious when served at room temperature.
Full of fibre
Women need around 21 to 25 grams of fibre compared to the 30 to 38 for men. Consuming enough fibre on a daily basis enables our digestive tract to work efficiently, preventing stomach issues such as constipation! A healthy digestive system also helps reduce the risks associated with heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Eating a single pepper, butternut squash, or aubergine will exceed this daily recommendation!
Free and radical
The antioxidants that occur in most vegetables reduce free radicals, the compounds that cause cell damage leading to heart issues, certain cancers or inflammations. Peppers are a great source of the antioxidants that contain zeaxanthin, a pigment that helps us maintain healthy eyes and may also prevent macular degeneration. Antioxidants in tomatoes help prevent bone loss by slowing the breakdown of bone cells, keeping osteoporosis at bay. Time to up your intake?
Vitamins, especially vitamin C, are beneficial in preventing infection and help ensure efficient functioning of healthy skin, teeth, gum and blood vessels. Vitamin E helps protect our cells from damage and promotes a strong immune system. One serving of a stuffed vegetable exceeds the daily recommended intake of these key vitamins, and even better, red peppers and aubergines contain vitamin B6, the vitamin that plays an important role in maintaining our brain function.
The majority of peppers on sale in the UK are thick-skinned, glasshouse-grown bell peppers, full of water; roasting or grilling them tends to suck out the moisture and concentrate the sweet flavour. This natutally high moisture content means they don't need much liquid adding during the cooking orocess. Leaving them out for a day or two, to dry at room temperature, before cooking, will help them darken in colour and help to improve their flavour.
Check out our Get Stuffed recipe ideas. Tasty, healthy dishes that'll look good and do you good!