The Health Benefits of Vegetables
Why You Should Eat Your Veggies
No matter which way you slice it, vegetables are healthy for you and you should be eating them every day.
They’re a great way to fill up without taking in extra, unwanted calories. Choosing carrots over donuts will definitely curb weight gain and risk of heart disease.
Even just adding veggies into your regular diet can have health benefits, since vegetables may help lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, and even certain types of cancers.
Unfortunately, most Americans do not get enough fiber (which lowers your cholesterol levels and regulates blood sugar) as well as potassium (which enables normal heart and kidney function and normalizes your blood pressure). Adding in vegetables can help you increase your intake of those important nutrients.
Pick Colorful Vegetables
You’ve likely heard that it’s a good idea to eat a wide variety of colorful foods. Think red peppers, cauliflower, and spinach – the ones that are colorful naturally.
The reason is that different colored vegetables contain various compounds called phytochemicals. These nutrients found in plants that we eat are beneficial to our bodies in many ways.
For instance, you’ve likely heard of beta carotene which is found in carrot and sweet potato can help your vision. Well, it can also benefit your immune system, your skin, and your bones. Lycopene, found in tomatoes and red peppers, is good for your heart, while the lutein in kale and broccoli is also good for your eyes.
I’ve singled out some particularly delicious and good-for-you vegetables that I hope you’ll consider adding to your diet.
Did you know that one pepper can give you nearly 170 percent of your daily recommended allowance of vitamin C? These veggies come in a variety of colors – yellow, red, orange, and green – and also contain antioxidants, vitamin A, potassium, and folate (which is really good for healthy cell growth and function).
Popeye was on to something. This leafy green vegetable is a great source of vitamins and antioxidants, calcium, and iron. Plus, it’s very low in calories and provides essential nutrients to your diet if you don’t eat meat or dairy. One cup of spinach contains a full day’s requirement of vitamin K, which is great for your bone health. The magnesium in spinach is also good for muscle and nerve function.
Broccoli sprouts look similar to alfalfa sprout and are easy to grow at home. They are rich in sulforaphane, which is amazing for liver health, and these sprouts also help protect your skin cells from sun damage and can suppress some cancer cells from forming.
Brussels sprouts, part of the cruciferous vegetable family, are packed with vitamins, nutrients and help fight inflammation. They contain the antioxidant kaempferol, which can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, especially cancer. They’re high in fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, and also have folate and potassium. These veggies help support your immune function too.
Asparagus isn’t just delicious, it also helps fight certain forms of cancer. The green veggie contains a detoxifying compound called glutathione which helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals.
The folate in asparagus and other vegetables is great for brain health and reducing a decline in cognition. What’s more,it’s a natural diuretic. Asparagus helps your body release excess fluids and salt, which is good if you have high blood pressure or other heart-related diseases.
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To your health,
The content on heartroothealth.com is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.