Updated: Dec 6, 2021
There's a reason our mothers told us to eat our veggies...because they're good for you! Now we have years of science showing that our mothers were right.
Most people know that vegetables are good for our health. But if everyone knew HOW GOOD vegetables are for our health...we'd be eating a lot more of them.
If I told you that eating certain foods would make you feel good, would you try them?
We all have something in common. We want to feel good everyday and we don't want to get sick. Here's a secret...eating more vegetables in a variety of colors everyday can make you feel good and prevent disease!
10 Reasons Why We Should Eat More Vegetables:
1. They're loaded with nutrients...even more than you thought!
Vegetables are foods with very high nutrient density. This means that they have a high level of nutrients at a relatively low calorie content. That's a big bang for your buck!
2. They have vitamins, minerals, AND phytochemicals (plant nutrients). Phytochemicals provide benefits to your body beyond what vitamins and minerals provide.
3. They're a great source of dietary fiber.
Fiber promotes regular bowel movements, which is important for natural toxin removal and preventing constipation.
4. They strengthen the gut microbiome.
Vegetables provide food for the healthy bacteria in the GI tract. A healthy microbiome is needed for optimal immune system function, normal digestive function, hormone balance, and mood regulation.
5. They help with weight control.
Vegetables are high in fiber which makes you feel full without many calories.
6. They have disease fighting phytochemicals.
Many phytochemicals in vegetables are strong antioxidants that can reduce free radical damage which contributes to chronic disease, such as digestive disorders, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
7. They have multiple super powers!
Various phytochemicals in vegetables protect the body in different ways. Phytochemicals can work as antioxidants (mentioned in # 6), and some can have positive interactions with our genes! Broccoli contains a super power phytochemical called sulforaphane, which targets multiple pathways in the cell to slow down, reverse, or block the effect of carcinogens...and reduce the expression of a particular cancer gene!
8. They're a rainbow of opportunity!
Eating vegetables of all colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple...and white) on a regular basis will provide health benefits to different parts of the body. Green vegetables contain phytochemicals that promote healthy circulation. Yellow vegetables have phytochemicals that benefit the gastrointestinal tract and digestion. Blue/purple veggies help with cognition and mood. (Fruits in these color categories have the same benefits).
9. They can satisfy the need to crunch!
Most of us desire a variety of texture in our foods. Unfortunately, many tend to grab chips, pretzels, or cookies when they want something crunchy. Carrot, celery, or bell pepper sticks easily fulfill the desire to crunch and deliver a much greater nutrient value to help you feel better! Making this swap not only boosts your nutrient intake, but also removes a source of empty calories that likely has artificial ingredients...which we all know do not promote good health.
10. They have anti-inflammatory phytochemicals.
Chronic inflammation in the body is the kind of inflammation you can't see, but it creates havoc for your health. This inflammation is associated with an altered immune response that can result in a wide variety of health conditions, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, lung disease, and neurological abnormalities. Red vegetables, such as tomatoes, red bell peppers, and red beets have phytochemicals that can help squelch the inflammatory fire.
You can see that vegetables are not a boring food group at all. Their vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals work like busy bees to protect so many systems in your body. If you decide to make only one health improvement this week...eat more vegetables!
Minich DM. A Review of the Science of Colorful, Plant-Based Food and Practical Strategies for "Eating the Rainbow". J Nutr Metab. 2019 Jun 2;2019.
Bayat Mokhtari, Reza et al. “The role of Sulforaphane in cancer chemoprevention and health benefits: a mini-review.” Journal of cell communication and signaling vol. 12,1.2018.