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Canned vegatables: Whole garden in your pantry

Time constraints should never be at odds with a healthy diet. If you are someone who is ashamed of your cooking skills limited to the use of the opener, do not disdain the possibility. We propose you use this tool to provide a ‘green’ tone to your dishes in favor of a balanced diet by adding canned vegetables.

The notion of vegetables

The notion of vegetables

The notion of vegetables

According to the Food Code, ‘vegetable’ is any herbaceous plant that can be used as food, either raw or cooked. Then within the vegetables, greens are distinguished as their edible part consists of green parts. However, commonly both terms are used interchangeably, expanding the meaning of the term ‘vegetable’ to all greens.

The notion of vegetables holds a large variety of foods that are classified as part of the plants in question:

Leaves: spinach, chard, endive, lettuce, cabbage, parsley…
Roots: carrots, radishes and beets.
Tubers: potato and sweet potato.
Stems: asparagus and celery.
Sprouts: Brussels sprouts.
Flowers: cauliflower, artichokes and broccoli.
Bulbs: onion, leek and garlic.
Seeds: corn and pea.
Fruits: tomato, cucumber and pepper.

Nutritional Benefits

Vegetables are vital food for the maintenance of adequate nutritional balance and good health because of its high nutritional value.

As with fruits, the main component of vegetables is water. It represents between 80 and 90% of its composition, which, together with the major source of dietary fiber (most contain 2%, although artichoke has 10%, and chard – 5%), makes them indispensable for the proper functioning of our digestive system.

Furthermore, because of its low fat intake (approximately 0.5%) and carbohydrates (less than 7% except garlic, potato and sweet potato), its calorific value is very low (24 Kcal/100 g or even less) and they contain no cholesterol. This makes them perfect to constitute the bulk of many diets.

However, the lack of calories does not dissolve the nutritional value of vegetables. They provide significant amounts of essential nutrients to regulate our body: vitamins and minerals.

Abundant source of vitamins and minerals

 Abundant source of vitamins and minerals

Abundant source of vitamins and minerals

They are an important source of vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant and a stimulant to the immune system. Most vegetables contain about 20 mg/100 g. Although pepper, cabbage or parsley exceed 100 mg/100 g, and spinach or cauliflower have 50 mg/100 g.

In addition, vegetables contain provitamin A, as carotenoids, plant pigments responsible for coloration and also antioxidant properties which when deployed by our body converts to vitamin A. Carrots and turnips are distinguished by their high carotenoid content (with concentrations higher than 1000 mg/100 g).

It is also the action of antioxidant called lycopene, another pigment that can be found in tomatoes that according to some epidemiological studies may reduce the incidence of prostate, lung or digestive tract cancer.

Meanwhile, folic acid, important for red blood cell formation, is present in leafy vegetables such as escarole, spinach, chard, chicory… in which it is found in significant amounts (more than 100 mg/100 g).

Among the minerals provided by vegetables stands potassium. Consuming them, our body gets about 300 mg/100 g. In addition, vegetables contain a large amount of magnesium and to a lesser extent calcium.

Keep them preserved

 Keep them preserved

Keep them preserved

Although the market today can offer almost any canned vegetables, if you want to be practical, do not lose sight of the most popular trio of canned vegetables:

Tomato canning retains much nutritional value. If we talk about recommended daily allowance (RDA), 150 g of canned tomato contributing 30% of vitamin C and about 10% of vitamins B6, B3 and folic acid. In addition to considerable quantities of iron, magnesium or vitamin A (about 5-6%) and 75% of potassium we need.

Another widely consumed tomato product  is tomato sauce. To make it fresh tomatoes or tomato concentrate is used, in addition to oil, salt, sugar, modified starch, flavorings and spices. This will alter its nutritional composition. Thus, it contains a higher proportion of virtually all nutrients. 150 g provide potassium and iron in significant amounts, covering more than 25% of the daily requirement of magnesium and 10-15% of phosphorus and vitamins B1, B6. However, fibers and vitamins C and A are reduced by more than 60%.

Canned asparagus is very healthy, easy to prepare and with many culinary uses. In addition, its use contributes to an adequate supply of essential nutrients. For example, 150 g of canned asparagus provide only 35 kcal, but 50% of the daily requirement of potassium, one-third of vitamin C, 25% of the recommended folic acid, and about 10% of vitamins B1, B2, B3 and A.

There are no major nutritious differences between canned and fresh asparagus. Canned it has a bit higher sodium content, since during its preparation salt is added, and also lower content of some B vitamins and folic acid. However, it also contain a series of components called ‘purines’, with which our body produces uric acid, which is why it is not recommended for those who have gout or hyperuricemia (elevated uric acid concentrations).

Pepper: the canned variety usually belongs to “bell pepper”. It is cooked just by adding water, salt and acidulant (citric acid), so it just changes its nutritional composition. Compared with the crude oil, pepper canned provides 50% more iron and also a portion of 100 g contains 100% of the RDA of vitamin C, 20% potassium and between 5-7% iron and vitamins B1 and A.

In our kitchen

Although ideally our pantry is always full of fresh vegetables, not everyone has a garden at home. So preservatives can be an alternative as it is highly recommended not to give up taste and nutritional benefits of these foods.

So, throwing a little imagination, sure you can think of lots of dishes that contain canned tomatoes, asparagus or peppers. In addition, we offer you some simple recipes that use canned vegetables. Bon appetit!

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