People who eat vegetables as part of their daily diet have a reduced risk of many chronic diseases.
Vegetables are important part of healthy eating and provide a source of many nutrients, including potassium, fibre, folate (folic acid) and vitamins A, E and C. Options like broccoli, spinach, tomatoes and garlic provide additional benefits, making them a super-food!
Potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure.
Dietary fibre from vegetables helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease.
Folate (folic acid) helps the body form healthy red blood cells. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant and those in the first trimester of pregnancy need adequate folate to reduce the risk of neural tube defects and spina bifida during fetal development.
The nutrients in vegetables are vital for health and maintenance of your body.
Most vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. None have cholesterol. (Sauces or seasonings may add fat, calories, or cholesterol.)
Potassium rich nutrients Vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fibre, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin C.
Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Vegetable sources of potassium include sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white beans, tomato products (paste, sauce, and juice), beet greens, soybeans, lima beans, winter squash, spinach, lentils, kidney beans, and split peas.
Dietary fibre from vegetables, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fibre is important for proper bowel function. It helps reduce constipation and diverticulosis. Fibre-containing foods such as vegetables help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories.
Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant and those in the first trimester of pregnancy should consume adequate folate, including folic acid from fortified foods or supplements. This reduces the risk of neural tube defects, spina bifida, and anencephaly during fetal development.
Vegetables, like fruits, are low in calories and fats but contain good amounts of vitamins and minerals. All the Green-Yellow-Orange vegetables are rich sources of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, beta-carotene, vitamin B-complex, vitamin-C, vitamin-A, and vitamin K.
Eating a diet rich in vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for stroke and perhaps other cardiovascular diseases.
Eating a diet rich in vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for type 2 diabetes.
Eating vegetables as part of a diet may protect against certain cancers, such as mouth, stomach, and colon-rectum cancer.
Diets rich in foods containing fibre such as vegetables may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Eating vegetables rich in potassium as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and may help to decrease bone loss.
Eating foods such as vegetables that are low in calories per cup instead of some other higher-calorie food may be useful in helping to lower calorie intake.
As in fruits, vegetables too are home for many . These health benefiting phyto-chemical compounds ; help protect the human body from oxidant stress, diseases, and cancers, and ; help the body develop the capacity to fight against these by boosting immunity.
Additionally, vegetables are packed with soluble as well as insoluble dietary fibre known as such as cellulose, mucilage, hemi-cellulose, gums, pectin...etc. These substances absorb excess water in the colon, retain a good amount of moisture in the faecal matter, and help its smooth passage out of the body. Thus, sufficient fibre offers protection from conditions like chronic constipation, haemorrhoids, colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, and rectal fissures.
Recently, vegetable nutrition has widely drawn the attention of fitness conscious as well as food scientists alike for their proven health benefits. Majority of day-to-day used vegetables are very low in calories, and saturated fats. Just for example Celery holds just 16 calories per 100 g. There is a long list of vegetables whose calorie is less than 20 per 100 g such as bottle gourd, bitter melon, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, bok-choi, eggplant, endive, spinach, summer squash, swiss chard, etc. Scientific studies have shown that these low-calorie but nutrient-rich foods help human body stay fit, and free from diseases.
Furthermore, human body spends a considerable amount of energy for the metabolism of foods, which is known as BMR or Basal metabolism rate. So just imagine…when you add lots of vegetable nutrition in your everyday diet, in fact, you set to lose more weight than you would gain…Right!..This is the concept behind the "negative calorie foods."
HOW MUCH VEGETABLES SHOULD BE IN OUR DAILY DIET?
Eat at least 5-7 servings of fresh vegetables every day. Federal dietary guidelines now recommend at least nine servings of vegetable nutrition and fruit nutrition per day. Seasonal vegetables should be encouraged. Bring variety in the choice of vegetables in your everyday diet. Yellow and orange colour vegetables are rich in Vitamin-A, beta-carotenes, zea-xanthins and crypto-xanthins, whereas dark-green vegetables are a good source of minerals.
SELECTION OF VEGETABLES
Whenever possible, go for organic farm vegetables to get maximum health benefits. They are not very expensive if you can find them from the nearby local farm owners. Organic verities tend to be smaller but have rich flavour, possess some good concentration of vitamins, minerals and loaded with numerous health benefiting anti-oxidants.
In the markets, however, always buy small quantities so that they should last within a day or two. There is no point in eating unfit greens!
Buy vegetables that feature freshness, bright in colour and flavour, and feel heavy in your hands.
Look carefully for blemishes, spots, fungal mould and signs of insecticide spray.
Buy whole vegetables instead of section of them (for example, pumpkin).
HOW TO USE VEGETABLES
First thing you need to do soon after shopping your choice of vegetables is to wash them thoroughly, especially green leafy vegetables. Rinse in salt water for few minutes, and gently swish in cool water until you are satisfied with cleanliness. This way, you ensure them free from dirt, sand and any residual chemical sprays.
....making effort to "STAY WELL"
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