Vegetable of the Day: A-RUUUUU-Gula

Last year, I served as a health coach as part of my job. Part of this role of health coach was to give basic nutrition counseling to college students. The biggest lesson that I learned from being a nutrition counselor was that there is so much more that I need to learn about nutrition. Sure, I knew enough to help people who didn’t know anything. I can give you a basic meal plan and help fill in the gaps in your diet. I can address pre- and post-workout nutrition, information on nutrition labels, and how sleep and nutrition intertwine. But there are so many specifics that I want to know. I took a high-level nutrition class in college, but fitting every nutrition fact into a semester-long course is virtually impossible. I learned what every vitamin and mineral does and what foods they can be found in…but surprise surprise, I forget. So, one thing I would like to do on this blog is to do a very detailed break down of different foods, their benefits, and different ways to prepare them. And guess what I’m starting with? VEGGIES!!

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My thought is to do a ‘Vegetable of the Day’ post. Full disclosure: this will not be every day. Unless you can find me 365 vegetables (assignment of the day!).

 

TODAY’S VEGETABLE
(drum roll please)

ARUGULA!

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Why I Chose Arugula as my Debut Veggie: I love arugula and green vegetables are important. I didn’t know I liked arugula until about a year ago–it is now my go to salad base. I love the crisp crunch and the slight kick that it has to it. Also, did you know this tastes great on sandwiches AND pizza? 

 

Thank you to NutritionData.com for providing the next three charts. 

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I love this target map. What is a target map? Accoring to NutritionData.com, “The Nutritional Target Map™ allows you to see at a glance how foods line up with your nutritional and weight-management goals. The closer a food is to the right edge of the map, the more essential nutrients per calorie it contains. For a more nutritious diet, select foods that fall on the right half of the map.
The closer a food is to the top edge of the map, the more likely it is to fill you up with fewer calories. If you want to restrict your caloric intake without feeling hungry, choose foods from the top half of the map. Foods that are close to the bottom edge are more calorie-dense. If you want to increase your calorie intake without getting too full, choose foods from the bottom half of the map.”

Do you know what this means? Arugula is an awesome food choice because:

1) It has more essential nutrients per calorie and 

2) It will fill you up with fewer calories.

Win, win! 

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I love this chart as well. First of all, a Glycemic Load of 0 is FABULOUS. Also, please don’t be alarmed by the fact that arugula is 53% carbs. Carbs are good! Especially in the form of vegetables. In fact, carbs are the main source of our energy. It is the overabundance of bad carbs (bread, muffins, bagels, pasta) that is not necessarily wonderful for us. In addition, it’s great that arugula also has some healthy fats and protein. What a well-rounded food! Nom, nom, nom.

 

Vitamins in Arugula: Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Folate (Vitamin B-9)

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