Eating of the green can ensure health

March 12, 2008 at 5:44 PM
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DALLAS, March 12 (UPI) -- Think green on St. Patrick's Day -- and the rest of the year -- when it comes to diet and reap benefits, U.S. dietitians advise.

Nutrition experts at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas lament a number of nutritious vegetables are often overlooked. One of these is broccolini, a cross between broccoli and Chinese kale.

"It's packed with the cancer-fighting nutrients -- isothiocyanates, sulforaphane and indoles -- all linked with reducing the risk of breast, prostate, cervical, lung and other cancers, and offers as much vitamin C as orange juice," nutritionist Jo Ann Carson said in a statement.

Part of the cabbage family, Brussels sprouts are another often overlooked vegetable with cancer-fighting phytochemicals.

"Brussels sprouts are also high in vitamin C and are a good source of folate, vitamin A and potassium," Lona Sandon said. "Look for small, compact, bright green sprouts for the best flavor. The vegetable can be boiled, braised, steamed or microwaved. Just avoid overcooking, as they get mushy."

Okra, a staple of Southern cuisine is naturally low in calories, a good source of soluble fiber and provides some vitamin A.

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