Eat More Vegetables

10 Reasons to Eat More Vegetables

It’s no secret that vegetables are one of the most important components of any healthy diet, but it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you already eat enough. But it turns out there are plenty of reasons why you should be eating more vegetables in your diet. Check out this list of reasons you need to eat more vegetables, and then come up with ways to add more veggies to your diet!

1. They will make you strong

Whether you’re trying to build muscle or stay strong as you age, vegetables are essential to a well-rounded diet. Some contain extra protein that can help boost muscle mass, while others are packed with essential vitamins and minerals for overall health. Although vegetables may not seem like they could be filling, they can help keep your energy levels up and make it easier to stay active throughout your day.

Eat More Vegetables
Eat More Vegetables

They help fight disease

Eating plenty of veggies can help you prevent illness. According to several studies, regularly consuming vegetables is linked with a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. A veggie diet has also been shown to reduce your chances of developing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Studies have found that people who eat more fruits and vegetables are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t eat them as often. Veggies are packed with antioxidants, which protect cells from damage caused by free radicals—the nasty molecules that play a role in aging and various diseases.

They control weight

Eating vegetables is one of the best ways to control weight. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that those who increased their intake of low-energy-density foods—like vegetables, fruits, and soups—lost more weight than those who followed a reduced-fat diet.

Low energy density means you can eat big portions without worrying about gaining weight! They’re packed with nutrients: When it comes to nutrition, veggies are where it’s at. They contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and phytochemicals that protect your body from disease and illness. Just one cup of cooked spinach has nearly twice as much vitamin C as an orange!

Prevention is key

A diet rich in vegetables is an investment in your future health, and it’s never too early or too late to start. Eating more vegetables can help prevent many health problems, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, obesity, and osteoporosis. Here are 10 compelling reasons why eating more vegetables makes sense.

Vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber: Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins (such as vitamin C), minerals (such as calcium), and fiber that promote good health. Fiber is important for maintaining bowel regularity, which reduces your risk of developing hemorrhoids or other gastrointestinal disorders that may cause pain or discomfort.

Veggies are tasty

The first reason you should eat more vegetables is that they’re delicious. How can you resist a plate of perfectly-roasted Brussels sprouts or sautéed broccoli? Don’t worry about getting enough fiber. Because vegetables are full of fiber and other compounds that act as prebiotics in your digestive tract, they feed your gut flora and keep everything running smoothly.

Plus, certain fiber types—like insoluble fiber—can help reduce cholesterol levels and lower your risk for heart disease. Veggies are good for your eyes: Besides promoting eye health by preventing macular degeneration, eating plenty of fruits and veggies may also help protect against cataracts. A study published in 2004 found that people who ate at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day had a 23 percent lower risk for cataracts than those who ate less than one serving per day.

Add veggies to everything.

Eat More Vegetables
Eat More Vegetables

Eat More Vegetables

If you’re trying to eat healthily, try adding vegetables to everything—yes, everything. Add cauliflower and broccoli florets and minced onions to your tacos. Chop carrots up into your spaghetti sauce. Throw a handful of frozen peas on top of your pizza. Blend spinach into your morning smoothie. To get yourself accustomed to eating more veggies, turn them into a habit by making them a part of every meal.

Leafy greens first!

Most vegetables are great for your health and can help you lose weight—but leafy greens are some of the best. One study in Nutrition Journal found that men who ate spinach, Swiss chard, or a mixed green salad with dinner lost almost three times as much weight as men who just ate chicken breast. Spinach is rich in nitrates, natural compounds found in many plants that have been shown to boost levels of nitric oxide (NO) in our bodies.

This chemical helps relax blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure and improves circulation. Spinach is also rich in carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, which play an important role in eye health by filtering out blue light from devices like smartphones.

Know how much you should eat

According to registered dietitian Katherine Tallmadge, it’s easy for Americans—especially younger ones—to fall short on their vegetable intake, with about half of all kids and teens not eating enough veggies daily. Aim for five servings a day of a variety of vegetables. For reference, one serving is one cup of raw or one-half cup of cooked vegetables; you can use 1/2 cup as your serving size.

Cut off the stems and use it all up.

The stems of most vegetables are perfectly edible and can even be cooked in stir-fries and soups. Stems are full of fiber, so you don’t want to skip them. It’s also a good idea to chop your veggies into smaller pieces. Studies have shown that people who cut their veggies into smaller pieces tend to eat more veggies than those who just munch on a big hunk of broccoli or cucumber. Plus, chopping up your veggies makes it easier for your body to digest them—meaning they get used as energy rather than stored as fat!

They are good for your skin!

Though it might not be a good idea to use them as a moisturizer, eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can help keep your skin looking healthy. The antioxidants in these foods combat free radicals and boost collagen production, helping you look younger for longer. Focus on dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale for extra nourishment.

Other packed with vitamins and minerals, they’re also low in calories, so you can eat large portions without feeling guilty. If that doesn’t sound enticing enough, research shows that people who eat lots of green veggies are more likely to have healthier hearts than those who don’t!

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