Would you like to live longer and have less chronic health problems as you age?
I know I know… Everyone understands that eating vegetables is important for your health…
The research is very clear: People who eat more vegetables (and more variety of vegetables) live longer and have better health overall.
But I want to be honest with you… Even as a former vegetarian, I sometimes find it difficult to get enough veggies on my plate. That’s why our challenge this month is to Eat Veggies With Every Meal!
So here are my top 5 reasons to eat more vegetables.
Vegetables Are Packed With Micronutrients
Micronutrients are those essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function at its best. In fact, if you’re missing any of the 13 essential vitamins or 10 essential minerals then your cells won’t work properly and over time this leads to serious health problems.
The challenge is that most vegetables only contain a subset of these essential micro nutrients so it’s important to eat a variety of different fruits and vegetables every day. Quality is also something to consider, with local, organic vegetables providing you with the most bang for your buck. For more on this, check out this post on why buying local is best.
Lastly, there are a few micro nutrients that you simply cannot find in vegetables… but fortunately, those ones are abundant in high-quality animal products like grass fed beef.
Vegetables Are Your Best Source Of Carbohydrate
We often get asked if Eat By Design is a low-carb diet… And the answer is – it depends. To learn how we make the distinction, come check out our next seminar!
There’s a big difference between the simple sugars found in breads, cereals, rice and processed foods and the complex carbohydrates (starches) contained in whole vegetables (and some fruits). Essentially, the more complex a sugar is, the longer it takes to break down into individual sugar molecules. For most people, this means that your blood sugar doesn’t spike, and that removes much of the otherwise negative impacts of consuming carbohydrates.
Foods like potatoes, sweet potatoes, squashes, and carrots are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates and provide a ton of other valuable nutrients to boot.
Vegetables Have A Ton Of Fibre
We’ve been told for years that fiber is essential for healthy digestion and that you need to eat lots of grains and oats to get your fill of fiber… The truth is that eating a variety of vegetables will provide you with a ton of fiber, without any of the negative side-effects of eating grains!
Consuming adequate fiber is associated with lower incidence of bowel cancers among other digestive health concerns. Partly this is because a specific type of fiber – insoluble fiber – is not easily digested and therefore provides bulk to the food-stuff traveling through your bowel. But more importantly…
Vegetable Fibre Is An Excellent Prebiotic
You’ve probably heard of probiotics – the trillions of bacterial cells that live in your digestive tract… A ‘prebiotic’ is a word used to describe the food those healthy bacteria live on. It turns out that the fiber contained in vegetables provides the best foods for those bacteria and allows them to maintain healthy colonization of your gut.
And as you feed and grow the healthy bacteria, they outcompete the unhealthy ones, further improving your gut microbiome and this has a tremendous impact on every aspect of health, from keeping your immune system healthy to optimizing your brain!
Vegetables Provide a Blast Of Antioxidants
An Antioxidant is a type of molecule that helps cells from breaking down and becoming unhealthy. While a healthy body produces the majority of its own antioxidants naturally, an unhealthy body will produce less and that will make your cells more susceptible to things like cancer.
Eating a wide variety of colorful veggies each day will make sure you get a good dose of antioxidants, helping to protect your cells from breakdown which ultimately means a healthier body!
For more tips and strategies to improve your diet, download our Eat By Design Quick Start Guide!