When you were younger, your parents must have told you that eating vegetables is good for your body. Then, lessons you learned from school confirmed that your parents were actually right. Even when you do an online research now, you will find that vegetables are valued as part of a healthy diet.
However, with the growing number of instant foods and fast-food products in the market today, you may be one of those who frequently miss to add vegetables in your daily meals. If you are not a regular vegetable eater, then it is time for you to consider the following reasons why you should be eating more vegetables.
1. Rich Sources of Nutrients
Squash and carrots are excellent sources of vitamin A for healthy vision. Spinach is a good source of B vitamins, such as B1 for energy production, B2 for carbohydrate metabolism and B3 for proper digestion, as well as vitamin C for general health maintenance and vitamin K for blood clotting. Broccoli is an excellent vitamin C source. It also contains vitamin E for healthy skin.
The minerals usually found in vegetables include potassium for proper functioning of nerves and muscles, phosphorus for proper bone formation, magnesium for protein synthesis, calcium for healthy teeth and bones, selenium for protection of cells against damage caused by free radical oxidation, iron for oxygen transport and zinc for a strong immune system. Artichokes, green pepper and asparagus are good sources of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. Selenium can be found in onions, parsley and potatoes. Parsley is rich in iron as well. Mushrooms, cabbage and celery contain zinc.
2. Low in Calories and Fats
If you are trying to lose weight, always include vegetables, such as chives, radishes, cauliflower and broccoli, in your diet. These vegetables, together with green tea, can help you achieve your desired figure.
3. Fiber Rich
The vegetable part that your body can partly or cannot completely digest is known as dietary fiber. A fiber-rich diet makes you feel full faster, thus helps control your weight. Fiber is also important for proper digestion as it prevents you from having constipation.
4. Low in Sodium
Your body’s major source of sodium is salt, which is found in most food products. An increase intake of salty foods can lead to high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease. A high-salt diet can also cause the body to retain more water, and thus can result in short-term weight gain. Eating vegetables can, therefore, help you prevent high blood pressure and weight gain.
5. Carotenoid Rich
Carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene, are present in some vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, spinach and tomatoes. Beta-carotene is one of the 50 carotenoids that are called provitamin A, which the body can convert into retinol, an active and pure form of vitamin A. Therefore, carotenoids help prevent vitamin A deficiency. In addition, carotenoids also act as powerful antioxidants that work as scavengers of free radicals. They strengthen the immune system, and function as natural defense against cancer and heart disease.