It might be common knowledge that vegetables are healthy for you, but many people think that they can get away with just a few small portions of vegetables each day. The reality is that the best diet will primarily focus on vegetables, not fatty meats or starchy grains. The roots, leaves, stems, and other parts of plants are packed with nutritious and helpful compounds. Eating a plant-based diet loaded with vegetables comes with many useful benefits.
Get Beneficial Fiber
Fiber is an indigestible matter that can be eaten without being broken down for nutrition. It is primarily found in plants like peas, broccoli, corn, artichokes, pumpkins, and potatoes with the peel left on. Fiber helps to move food through the digestive tract and keep bacteria levels balanced, but it also plays a role in good health throughout the body. Studies consistently find that fiber helps to lower overall risk of heart disease by reducing cholesterol levels, and it also helps to moderate blood sugar and reduce diabetic symptoms. To make sure your diet includes adequate fiber, try to eat plenty of fresh, crunchy vegetables.
Increase Antioxidant Intake
Antioxidants are naturally occurring compounds that have a protective effect on the body. They help to reduce inflammation and decrease cell damage from free radicals. Having high antioxidant levels has been linked to lower cancer risks, reduced arthritis symptoms, improved immunity, and better overall health. A good rule of thumb is that vegetables with rich colors have more antioxidants. Orange and yellow vegetables, like peppers, squash, and carrots, contain a lot of antioxidant carotenoids, as do blue and purple vegetables like onions, eggplant, and cabbage contain helpful ellagic acid. You can also get beneficial lutein antioxidants from bright green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, kale, and asparagus.
Have Delicious Meals
Enjoying the foods you eat each day are an important part of your overall quality of life. The wide range of vegetables makes it easy to plan meals that you will love. You can enjoy the sweet, caramelized flavor of roasted butternut squash, the funky tasted of seared brussels sprouts or the refreshing crunch of cucumber. Vegetables are quick to cook or can be eaten raw, so they are available whenever you need something quick and tasty to eat.
Enjoy a Balanced Diet
One of the most useful functions of vegetables is that they typically contain a lot of bioavailable nutrients in forms that the body can easily digest. The average low-vegetable diet eaten in modern times can lead to malnutrition which occurs when a person is not getting enough vitamins and minerals even though they are eating enough calories. Nutrients are important for maintaining a lot of bodily functions, such as producing red blood cells, regenerating liver tissue, and keeping brain cells healthy. All essential vitamins and minerals can be found in vegetables, so it is easy to stay healthy and get enough nutrients when you are eating several servings of vegetables each day.
Stay Full Without Packing on Pounds
In addition to tasting great and being loaded with the nutrients, vegetables are also great at helping people to maintain a healthy weight. Most vegetables do not contain a lot of calories, but their fiber-rich content keeps you feeling full and satisfied for hours. Therefore, many people find that a vegetarian or vegan meal plan helps them to lose weight without feeling starved. The key is to enjoy freshly cooked vegetables that are not prepared with excessive amounts of oil or other fats. Vegetables are not just helpful for weight loss because they are low in calories. A 2017 study also found that eating primarily vegan food helped to boost overall metabolism by reducing fat and improving glucose metabolism.