Summer is in full swing, and we are starting to realize just how little we have exercised this past year, and how many delicious foods they cannot go without, as bikini season draws ever nearer. The heat is also a good reason to eat lighter than usual, and eating more veggies is always a good idea. But eating a lot of anything will have noticeable effects, let’s see what those are.
Red peppers and california peppers, bell peppers and other sweet colourful peppers contain large quantities of phosphorus, calcium and potassium, all of which are very important minerals. Peppers also contain bio-flavonoids and beta carotene. These can help prevent cancer, as they can neutralize free radicals. Peppers have a lot of pro-vitamins as well, which aids in the body’s ability to regenerate itself.
Eggplants are highly recommended to anyone with high cholesterol. It cleanses the blood and prevents atherosclerosis. Eggplants speed up digestion, and are a good thing to eat when you are all puffed up, and is a very useful element in any diet. Hungarians absolutely love eggplant cream, which si just salty water and eggplant mashed up together. All purple veggies are rich in vitamins, particularly B1, B2 and C vitamins.
This close relative of the cucumber plant was introduced to Western kitchens from Mexico, and thanks to the fact that it is 95% water, it is a great summer food as it rehydrates. But aside from water, this vegetable has many great trace elements in it as well. Just like the peppers, zucchini also contains phosphorus and potassium, calcium and magnesium, but also zinc and many important vitamins, mostly B1, B2, and B6. Zucchinis are high in fibre, and are thus very good if you are trying to lose weight. The high levels of beta carotene and C vitamins in it relieve asthma and promote arterial health, and can stop inflammation of the jaws.
Too much of a good thing
The above mentioned vegetables are delicious, but eating too much can have negative effects. A Scottish doctor decided to find out if being vegetarian is bad for your teeth because of the increased amounts of fruits and vegetables that vegetarians eat. His research indicates that eating more plant matter makes for a more acidic environment, which is bad for the enamel of teeth.
Cooked or baked?
But what happens if we cook or boil or bake these vegetables? Research indicates that vegetables become more acidic if baked in the oven. They become about as acidic as a can of soda, which is terrible for your enamel. Hungarian cooking much prefers simmering or braising, or plain old frying, during which much less chemical reactions take place. But frying things in oil is unhealthy for different reasons.
What can be done?
Your body cannot live without fruits and vegetables, and you shouldn’t try to. Vegetarians do not need to start eating meat. The only thing that needs to be done is, knowing that there is an increased risk of damage, is to take precautions. It is important to not brush your teeth for 1-2 hours after eating acidic foods, as the enamel is weakened and can be ruined, and to rinse your mouth out after eating veggies. Chew sugar free gum after a meal to get your saliva flowing, this will also help in keeping your mouth clean.