You know vegetables are healthy for you, but you don't like eating them. Perhaps it's the bitter taste, or maybe you struggle to cook them in exciting and tasty recipes. Whatever your reasoning is, it could be holding back your health.
There are plenty of health benefits that come from eating more vegetables, and if some of them were explained to you in a way you could relate to, would that change your opinion of eating more vegetables? I hope so.
Health Benefits Of Eating More Vegetables
Eating more vegetables is a great way to improve your health. Here are a few of the health benefits that eating more vegetables can provide:
#1: Nutrition and well-being
Vegetables promote well-being in several ways. They are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
Vegetables also contain a number of other beneficial substances called phytonutrients. These include carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lycopene, flavonoids such as lutein and anthocyanins, isothiocyanates (such as sulforaphane), indoles, and phenolic acids.
#2: Improved eye health
Many fruits and vegetables contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are helpful for eye health. Lutein is a yellow pigment that helps prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), while zeaxanthin is another carotenoid found in many fruits and vegetables.
Studies show that consuming foods rich in these two nutrients can lower your risk of developing AMD. This disease causes gradual vision loss in the centre of your field of vision, but there are ways to prevent it: one way is to eat more spinach or carrots.
#3: Healthy digestion
As you know, vegetables are one of the healthiest and most nutritious foods. They're also full of fibre, which is a type of carbohydrate that helps with digestion. Fibre slows down how quickly your body digests food, so it makes you feel full for longer and keeps blood sugar levels stable.
#4: Weight loss
A diet rich in vegetables is going to help you shed pounds. That's because they're low in calories and high in fibre, which means they fill you up and keep you feeling full for longer.
That means that when you eat a vegetable-based meal per day, at the end of the month (or year), the weight will come off.
#5: Reduced risk of diabetes
Diabetes is a condition where the body does not produce enough insulin or cannot use it properly. It can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness.
#6: Reduced risk of heart disease
Heart disease is a significant problem today, and it doesn't take much to reduce your risk. Eating more vegetables can help you achieve that. Vegetables are a good source of fibre, which helps lower cholesterol levels by binding with it in the digestive tract, so it's not absorbed into the bloodstream.
They're also high in potassium and antioxidants, both of which help protect against heart disease by reducing blood pressure and inflammation.
#7: Reduced risk of cancer
Antioxidants are an essential part of a healthy diet, and vegies have them in spades. Antioxidants are compounds that help to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals—unstable molecules that can cause tissue damage.
Antioxidant-rich foods include fruits and vegetables, which contain compounds called polyphenols (found in things like berries, cherries, and chocolate), as well as carotenoids (from tomatoes, carrots, and spinach) and vitamin C (from citrus fruits).
These antioxidants may actually help prevent cancer by neutralizing damaging free radicals before they can do any harm.
Polyphenols have also been shown to fight viruses by boosting immunity; this may explain why raw-food diets seem to be linked with improved health outcomes if you're taking antibiotics for an infection - though it's worth noting that this has not yet been confirmed by research studies.
#8: Pregnancy benefits
You are pregnant, and you want to know what the best food is that you can eat? The answer is simple: vegetables. Whether you're a vegetarian or not, this is your chance to start eating more vegetables than ever before.
Note: Cooking and eating vegetables is one way that you can improve your health. There are many health benefits of incorporating vegetables into your daily diet. Try to include different vegetables in your meals, as each type contains a unique combination of nutrients that can protect you against certain diseases and help promote general well-being.
How to Make Vegetables Taste Better and Eat More of Them
Have you ever eaten a vegetable and thought: "This is fine, but it could use more flavour"?
If so, then you're not alone. Most people who eat vegetables have had that experience at some point or another. But there's no need to despair—there are things you can do to make vegetables taste better and make them more enjoyable for everyone in your family.
#1: Dress your veggies right
If you're like most people, you've never considered the possibility that dressing your veggies might be an option. But once you hear about how you can dress up your veggies with just a few simple ingredients, you'll be hooked.
Here are some tips for dressing your vegetables:
- Vinegar or lemon juice—If you want to add a little zing to your veggies, try adding a splash of vinegar or lemon juice. The acidity will give them a nice kick without overpowering their natural flavours.
- Olive oil and garlic—Olive oil is always good on vegetables, but try adding a bit of garlic for extra flavour as well! You might not think about putting garlic on vegetables, but it's delicious!
- Butter or margarine—Butter is another classic way to get that rich taste into your dishes without using too much fat (which is what makes butter so great). Just make sure that it's melted before adding it in to mix evenly throughout the dish.
#2: Spice things up
One way to make vegetables taste better is to add some heat. A little chili powder or garlic powder can help make even the blandest vegetables more appealing. And don't forget about salt: just a dash will bring out all the natural flavours of your veggies and make them taste incredible.
#3: Roast, steam, sauté or eat raw
There's no wrong way to eat vegetables—just pick your favorite method! Roasting brings out the sweetness in carrots and broccoli while steaming preserves the crunchy texture of broccoli and cauliflower.
Sautéing makes veggies milder and easier to chew on their own, but it also makes them an ideal addition to soups or stews. Or, if you like eating veggies raw, consider adding a few slices of avocado as a topping or dressing on top of your salad—it'll add a creamy texture while still keeping everything raw.
#4: Get creative with condiments and toppings
Instead of just plain old salt, try adding a bit of lemon juice or vinegar—or even some spices like cayenne pepper! You can also pair your veggies with nuts or seeds, which will add texture and creaminess to your meal.
And if you're looking for something more filling than plain old veggies, try roasted ones! Roasting brings out the natural sweetness in most vegetables and makes them taste delicious without much effort at all.
Also, here are some ideas for what to use with different types of veggies:
- Broccoli: Mix with ranch dressing or a cheese sauce and top with bacon bits or shredded cheddar cheese.
- Cauliflower: Mix with sour cream and curry powder, then top with chopped peanuts or dried cranberries.
- Carrots: Mix with a sweet sauce like honey mustard or BBQ sauce and top with crushed peanuts or blue cheese crumbles.
#5: Make veggies the star of the meal
I know, I know—this sounds like a no-brainer. But when you're scrambling to get dinner on the table in the evenings, it's easy to get caught up in making sure everyone else gets their fill of protein and carbs and forget about how much of those things are coming from vegetables.
The key is making sure that your veggie portions are just as significant as your meat portions—and that they have enough stuff going on to satisfy your appetite.
For example, you can make a really delicious stir-fry with brown rice and broccoli and some chicken or shrimp; this will give you plenty of vegetables without feeling like you're eating a side dish instead of a meal. And if you can't eat all of it right away? Freeze it for later!
You can also use less meat by adding more vegetables into your favorite pasta sauces or stews; this way, you'll still be getting protein from the meat but also from the veggies themselves.
The same goes for soups and chili—just make sure there are plenty of beans or lentils in addition to whatever meat you're using.
Most of us are aware that we should be eating more vegetables in our diet every day, but maybe we tend to put it off. Perhaps you think it's too time-consuming; or maybe you don't like how they taste. If this sounds like you, just remember that plenty of great benefits come with a diet filled with veggies. Whether your goal is to lose weight or increase your energy level, eating a wide variety of fresh veggies will help you along the way.