Jun 03 2016
You’ve probably been told to make sure you’re eating enough vegetables and getting your five-a-day for as long as you can remember. Yet despite this many of us still aren’t getting enough veg in our diet! But whats the big deal? Why are vegetables so important for health? Well, we…
You’ve probably been told to make sure you’re eating enough vegetables and getting your five-a-day for as long as you can remember. Yet despite this many of us still aren’t getting enough veg in our diet!
But whats the big deal? Why are vegetables so important for health?
Well, we all know vegetables are vital to our diets but what are the main benefits to our health and how can they really help us?!
One of the main reasons vegetables are so beneficial is because they are packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants!
It is vital that we eat more vegetables tas many of us are deficiant in vitamin and minerals as the average diet has been shown to contain less than it did 30 years ago.
Leafy green veggies like spinach and kale are high in Vitamin A and have been shown to keep eyes, skin, organs and teeth healthy.
While, veggies that are high in Vitamin C, like broccoli, peppers and tomatoes can help to build a strong immune system, with a large number of studies showing a reduced cancer risk in those with a diet containing more Vitamin C.
Vitamin E, found in avocado, leafy greens and broccoli, also has immunity boosting benefits as well as helping the body to fight infections and for those of you getting on a bit, its been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts by up to half!
Vegetables like broccoli, red peppers, onions and leafy greens are also high in antioxidants.
These anti-oxidants fight against damage to the cells caused by free-radicals in the body helping to prevent diseases such as cancer and heart disease, while helping provide us with more energy. Antioxidants have also been found to help slow down the process of aging, so we can have less wrinkles and look younger!
The easiest way to ensure you’re getting sufficient vitamins, minerals and antioxidants is to eat a wide variety of different coloured, fresh, locally sourced, in season vegetables.
Vegetables are also great for helping us to get lean and manage our weight.
This is because they are very low in calories, so we can eat lots of them without substantially increasing our overall calorie intake.
For example, a cup of spinach contains only 20 calories. Compare this to a cup of pasta which contains around 200 calories.
Adding vegetables like spinach, kale, celery or broccoli to a meal instead of higher calorie foods will not only, cut your overall calorie intake, but it will also help us to feel more full throughout the day.
Vegetables also contain lots of fibre. Fibre is a very important nutrient that is only found in plant foods Fibre is great for helping our digestive health and keeping us “regular”.
The high fibre content is also great for keeping us feel full and helps controls blood sugar levels stopping it from spiking and crashing later in the day, which can lead to us binging on sugary foods and undoing all the good work we may have done throughout the day!
When it comes to how much veg we should be eating, I recommend that we should be having two portions of veg with every meal and one with every snack (minimum 8 portions per day). One portion is equal to half a cup of chopped veg or one cup of leafy green veg. The majority of this should be from highly nutritious vegetables such as spinach, kale, onions, peppers, broccoli, celery, cucumbers and asparagus. Also, dark green vegetables are the best for weight loss as they are the best for helping us feel full while being low in calories.
For all of you who hate vegetables, and I know many of you do. I find the best way is to blend them into a shake along with some fruit. This way you can simply have a glass with each meal, hydrating and filling you up! I use juicerecipes.com, it’s a great resource I recommend to all my clients. PS don’t use a juicer that removes all the fibre, you’re blended drink shold be thick!
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