Benefits of Vegetables
“Vegetables” is a broad term that is a collective of edible plants, mainly leaves, roots, fruits, or their seeds.
Vegetables are known to be a staple food for many people all over the globe and are the fundamental source of vitamins and nutrients for your body.
This is why it is important to know the benefits of eating vegetables.
What are the benefits of vegetables? Vegetables are a great source of many nutrients like potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Diets that are rich in potassium may help to maintain your blood pressure.
In this article, you will read about the many reasons why eating vegetables is good for you. You will also learn about the nutrients that you can get from them.
Health Benefits of Vegetables
Many vegetables are known to be low in calories and high in nutrients. This is why most health experts recommend that you consume vegetables daily.
There’s even a scientific consensus that having a balanced and rotating diet with a wide variety of vegetables is good for your body.
This is because vegetables are known to be full of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that provide many important health benefits.
For example, carrots are known to be very high in vitamin A, which can make your eyes healthy as you grow older.
Here are some health benefits that vegetables can provide if you consume them daily:
Improved Digestive Health
As mentioned before, vegetables are a great source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that helps pass food through your digestive system.
Many studies show that fiber improves vitamin and mineral absorption in the body. This can raise your daily energy levels
Lower Blood Pressure
Leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, and some chard are great sources of potassium.
Potassium is great for the body because it helps your kidneys to filter all the sodium out of your body efficiently.
Eating leafy green vegetables can reduce your blood pressure.
Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Another vitamin that you can find in many green leafy vegetables is vitamin K. This vitamin is believed to prevent calcium from building up in your arteries.
As a result of eating vegetables, you lower the risk of arterial damage and help prevent many heart complications in the future.
Eating vegetables can help control diabetes. This is because vegetables are known to be high in fiber, which is needed for optimal digestion.
They also have a low glycemic index, so your blood sugar won’t rise quickly after a meal.
The American Diabetes Association recommends having at least 3 to 5 servings per day of non-starchy vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Importance of Eating Vegetables
Eating vegetables can lead to many health benefits. People who eat more fruits and vegetables are less likely to get diseases.
They can also reduce the risk of chronic diseases, as vegetables provide you with vital nutrients and maintenance for your body.
Vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. Some even do not have cholesterol. Many diets that are rich in potassium can help maintain your blood pressure.
Many vegetables are potassium-enriched, like sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white beans, tomato products, beet greens, soybeans, lima beans, spinach, lentils, and some kidney beans.
Fiber is also an important nutrient found in many green leafy vegetables. It is important for proper bowel movements.
It gives you the feeling of being full, so you do not crave more food. On the other hand, vitamin A and vitamin C abound in many vegetables; they help your eyes and skin stay healthy and also help to heal cuts and wounds as well as keep your teeth healthy.
Vitamin C is known to help with iron absorption in the body.
If you have a healthy diet, eating vegetables that are lower in calories per cup can help you maintain a lower calorie intake.
Eating a well-balanced meal with fruits and vegetables can promote a healthy diet and may reduce signs of illnesses, including heart attack and stroke.
Eating vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may also protect you from certain types of cancer.
Adding vegetables to your meals can help you to gain more fiber and potassium, which not many Americans get enough of in their diet.
Why Vegetables Are Perfect for You
Eating vegetables is a struggle for many people, especially children, as they are not used to eating them. Even many adults avoid them.
However, you do not have to go all veggie and become a strict vegetarian. You just need to eat more vegetables than usual.
There are many reasons why eating veggies is good for you:
Vegetables are mostly low in fat and protein. This is why they are a perfect complement to many animal protein foods.
You should always make vegetables the centerpiece of your meals and let the other food accompany them.
For most families, this can be a switch of mindset away from meat and potatoes.
Animal food must be more of a garnish; it should be the one adding flavor and nutrition to the vegetables and grains.
For instance, a stir fry meal is a good example; it would be a better combination if it is fish and vegetables.
If you are not ready to relegate the meatloaf or steak to second place, at least try to make your vegetable meal equivalent to the meat.
By now, you should know that vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals that are good for your body.
They also have limited calories, so for a measly 35 calories, you can get a half-cup of vegetables, which has a variety of nutrients and healthy building substances.
These are called phytonutrients and they also come in many flavors. Make sure to include some legumes, which are a family of beans, peas, and some lentils.
Legumes are good for your body, as they are the best plant source for proteins, iron, and fiber.
Dieter’s Best Partner
Vegetables are popular among dieters because most of them are free foods. This means you can eat an unlimited amount without the guilt of overeating.
Vegetables have a neat little biochemical quirk—you will use up to 26 calories just by chewing, swallowing, and digesting a tomato.
Many people, especially adults, like the idea of their food being prepared in many ways.
Veggies will come in handy in this category because of the diversity of ethnic restaurants in many large cities.
In these places, you can find hundreds of different kinds of vegetables and even more ways to prepare and cook them.
Contain Cancer-Fighting Phytochemicals
At first glance, vegetables might not seem to be all that special. There may be lots of nutrients in a single vegetable but most of the time these nutrients can also be found in other foods, like fruit or grain.
What you really don’t see in many nutrition charts are hundreds of valuable nutrients called phytochemicals.
These phytochemicals can be found in plants that have health-promoting capabilities.
With new research arising, especially in the field of cancer, it is strongly believed that they are nature’s best health food.
Many types of vegetables can be found in grocery stores and health food stores across the country. You can opt to buy both organic and conventionally grown varieties.
Many experts believe that eating a varied diet of vegetables can maximize their full potential.
When it comes to preparing vegetables, you can either steam them, roast them, mix them into a stir-fry, and more.
They are a part of many cultures in terms of cuisine and can be served as either a main dish or a side dish. Here are some ways to incorporate vegetables into your diet:
- Make a mixed salad that consists of kale, cabbage, and brussels sprouts.
- Cook some onions, peppers, and zucchini if you are craving a vegetarian kebab.
- Roast cherry tomatoes in an oven with some olive oil, parmesan cheese, and basil.
- Create your very own Mediterranean garden salad with lettuce, sweet peas, peppers, and cherry tomatoes.
- From some veggies with oil in a wok with chicken or tofu to create your own stir-fry meal.
Overall, fruits and especially vegetables are a great way to improve your overall health and boost your mood.
They help you enjoy your food better, as they incorporate flavorful taste and nutrients.
Just use some creativity and open-mindedness to follow a healthy diet that tunes up your body.