Top Health Benefits of 10 Singapore-Farmed Vegetables
Vegetables are not just good inclusions to our diet – they are vital to our well-being! With the busy lives we lead, it’s imperative that our bodies get the necessary vitamins and minerals that are needed to enable us to function properly, and thankfully, vegetables provide many of these nutrients.
As well as being naturally low in fat and calories and containing no cholesterol, vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fibre, folate, Vitamins A, C and more.
A diet rich in vegetables is beneficial to our health. It can help to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower the risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect on blood sugar, which can help us keep our appetites in check and maintain a healthy weight.
A good variety of vegetables is farmed in Singapore. Buying Singapore-farmed produce is not only good for our country’s food security but also good for us! With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the amazing health benefits of vegetables grown right here in Singapore for our eating pleasure.
Basil is known as the ‘king of herbs’ for its sweet, strong and spicy flavour, making it the perfect addition to a vast array of dishes. This mighty herb is a great source of Vitamin K, which is important for growth and the development of healthy bones.
The most common variety of basil is Sweet Basil which has large, green, oval-shaped leaves. Fragrant and tasty, it is great for sprinkling on pizzas. Other varieties can be of varying leaf sizes, and have unique flavour profiles. For example, Thai Basil has a spicy flavour and is a perfect complement for spicy dishes such as Tom Yam, while Genovese Basil is particularly popular for making pesto.
2. Bean Sprouts
Bean Sprouts are sweet and juicy shoots that add a bit of crunch to a dish. They are packed full of Vitamin C, which promotes healthy teeth and gums, helps the body absorb iron, as well as encourages wounds to heal quickly. It also contains Vitamin K, which is vital for growth and the development of healthy bones.
Fresh bean sprouts are translucent to white in colour, juicy and crunchy to the bite. Choose bean sprouts as a delicious topper for a variety of stir fries and broths.
3. Cai Xin
Cai Xin or Chye Sim, is a Chinese flowering cabbage known for its earthy taste.
This vegetable is recognised for its nutritional benefits, specifically potassium – an essential dietary mineral which is important for nerve and muscle function. The fibre it contains keeps our digestive systems healthy and helps to prevent bloating and constipation, while the Vitamins A and C contained within do wonders for supporting our immune systems.
Perfect when paired with garlic and oyster sauce, this hearty green is a delicious accompaniment for many meat dishes.
Considered to be a superhero when it comes to health-promoting vegetables, Kale is a thick, leafy vegetable that can range from rich to herbaceous in flavour, and is a good choice for salads. There are several varieties of kale including Curly Kale and Tuscan Kale, all of which differ slightly in appearance, texture and taste.
Packed with minerals and Vitamins A, B6, C and K, kale brings with it a plethora of health benefits for our bodies. Apart from supporting nerve, muscle and brain function, it also helps our bodies form red blood cells, and promotes healthy bones, skin, teeth, gums and immune systems.
5. Kang Kong
Kang Kong has a very pleasant, mild, sweet flavour with delicious nutty undertones. Popular in Asian cooking, it is commonly stir fried with garlic and chillis, or Sambal Belachan (a hot and spicy condiment made primarily with a blend of chillis, shrimp paste and lime juice).
Kang Kong is an excellent source of potassium, Vitamin A and iron, which support our body’s nerve and muscle function, and red blood cell production. It is also crucial for maintaining healthy skin and vision, and keeping our immune systems strong to help fight off viruses.
6. Lady’s Fingers
Also known as Okra, Lady’s Fingers have a mild flavour and are popularly used in stir fries, soups and stews.
Lady’s Fingers are full of minerals and Vitamins C and K, which help our bodies to maintain healthy skin, nerves, teeth, gums and bones, as well as a healthy heart rhythm. They’re also full of fibre which aids digestion.
One of the most common (and most loved) vegetables in the world, Lettuce comes in a wide range of tastes and textures – varying from subtle to intense, and from soft to crunchy. Often eaten raw, it is popular in salads, sandwiches and wraps.
Lettuce provides us with a myriad of health benefits including supporting red blood cell production, and promoting healthy skin, nerves, teeth, gums as well as digestive and immune systems to protect us against infections and diseases.
8. Pea Sprouts
Also known as Dou Miao, Pea Sprouts – the sprouted seeds of the pea plant – are nutritional powerhouses. Rich in protein, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and Vitamins C and K, this array of nutrients helps to improve our digestion, blood sugar levels, and heart health.
Pea sprouts are delicious when stir fried with oyster sauce.
Spinach, also known as Bayam, is a soft and tender leafy vegetable with a mild and delicate flavour. Versatile and used in both Western and Asian cuisines, it can be eaten raw or cooked, and is perfect for soups, stir fries and using as a base for salads.
Spinach provides a host of health benefits for our bodies. These benefits include helping our bodies to form red blood cells, our nerves and muscles to function properly, and our eyes, bones, digestive and immune systems to stay healthy.
10. Xiao Bai Cai
Xiao Bai Cai – a member of the brassica (cabbage) family – is a delicious crunchy addition to stir fries and soups, and a local favourite when stir fried with oyster sauce and garlic.
Xiao Bai Cai is another health-promoting vegetable. It’s a good source of folate and Vitamins B6, C and K, and is fantastic when it comes to maintaining brain function, promoting healthy teeth, gums and bones, and supporting a healthy functioning immune system. The vitamins and minerals within Xiao Bai Cai are also good for red blood cell production, which helps our bodies transport oxygen to our tissues.
Choose Locally-Farmed Vegetables for Optimal Benefits
Buying fresh produce that are farmed in Singapore is a practice that benefits our health, environment and other aspects of our lives. Shorter distances and delivery times from local farms to retail outlets mean that local produce are usually fresher, retain more nutrients, have a longer shelf life, and leave a lower carbon footprint on the environment. As our farms are licensed by the Singapore Food Agency which imposes strict standards on food safety, buying local also means eating safe, traceable, quality vegetables.
So, choose Singapore-farmed produce today for optimal health benefits, and support our farmers, our economy, and our food security at the same time. Shop for these fresh locally-grown vegetables and more at e-SG Farmers’ Market today!
[Disclaimer: The local farms and produce on e-SG Farmers’ Market, which are mentioned in this article, are correct as at 17 August 2020 and are subject to change. Stocks are subject to availability. In the event that any of the produce is sold out, we encourage you to visit e-SG Farmers’ Market again shortly, as our farmers endeavour to re-stock as quickly as they possibly can.]