To find out what might be on your food if purchased from the grocery store check out "What's on my food?" It is a great resource and an eye opener. If reading about hormone interrupting, cancer causing pesticides doesn't get you motivated, hopefully the following list of vitamins and minerals found in raw vegetables will.
There are many health benefits of eating raw fruits and vegetables. Processing and cooking vegetables can destroy the essential nutrients. Vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals, low in sodium and fats and are cholesterol free.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and can protect your body from free radicals, which may cause heart disease and cancer. Vitamin C is responsible for producing collagen. Collagen is present in your muscles and bones. It is responsible for holding the cells together. Vegetables high in Vitamin C are Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Green Peppers, Kale and Swiss Chard.
Vitamin A is beneficial for eye and bone health, immune system and skin health. For a good source of Vitamin A, choose vegetables containing Carotenoids which can be converted into Vitamin A by your body. Vegetables containing Vitamin A include Carrots, Spinach, Parsley, Bell Peppers, Mustard Greens, Swiss Chard, Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli, Tomatoes, Green Beans, Brussels Sprouts, Cucumbers, Summer Squash and Celery.
Vitamin K is important for blood clotting, bone health, cardiovascular health, brain function, and much more. Swiss Chard and Kale are very high in Vitamin K. Broccoli, Spinach, Asparagus and Brussels Sprouts also contain Vitamin K.
Calcium is essential for bone strength, gum and tooth health. It protects cardiac muscles, and has shown to prevent cancer and obesity. Most vegetables contain some calcium. Some have a bit more, including Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Celery, Kale and Swiss Chard.
The health benefits of iron include carrying oxygen to blood cells and maintaining proper health as well as muscle and brain function. Swiss Chard, Pumpkin, Potatoes, Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Bok Choy, Leeks and Butternut Squash contain both Iron and Vitamin C.
The peels of many vegetables can be consumed. Scraps from fruits and veggies should be added to your compost bin which will in turn add nutrients to your plants through the soil.