Eating veggies is good for your health, but did you know that it can also improve your vision? Or that it may help reduce inflammation in your body? Here are ten health benefits of eating vegetables.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection. It is an important part of the healing process, but if inflammation is not managed it can cause pain, swelling and other problems.
The best way to reduce inflammation is through food. A diet rich in vegetables contains antioxidants that are known for their anti-inflammatory effects. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon and other fish as well as walnuts and flax seeds also help reduce inflammation. Here are some examples of foods that help reduce inflammation:
Turmeric – This spice has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy for various illnesses including arthritis, heart disease and cancer
Ginger – Ginger has been used for thousands of years as a traditional medicine that relieves nausea, vomiting and diarrhea caused by infections like tuberculosis
Improve blood pressure
High blood pressure is not only unhealthy, but it can also be detrimental to your heart. A diet rich in potassium and magnesium can help lower your blood pressure. Vegetables are naturally low in sodium, which is one of the primary causes of high blood pressure. Vegetables and fruits are good sources of potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure by balancing out sodium levels in the body. Vegetables have a high water content that helps prevent dehydration, another common cause of high blood pressure. If you’re looking for ways to live a healthier lifestyle, including more vegetables into your meals could prove beneficial for improving your overall health!
Up your fiber
Eating vegetables can help you feel less constipated, lower your cholesterol, lose weight and improve digestion. Here’s how:
Fiber helps prevent constipation by softening stool and allowing it to pass through the intestines more easily.
Fiber also helps lower cholesterol by binding bile acids, which are produced in the liver and aid in digesting fat; they’re then excreted from the body in bowel movements along with any excess cholesterol that might have been absorbed.
The insoluble fiber found in whole-grain foods like beans and oats also adds bulk to stools and keeps them firm as well as softens them for easier passage through your digestive system when combined with other sources of soluble fiber (soluble fiber forms a gel that traps water).
Help your eyes
While most people realize that eating vegetables is good for their overall health, they may not realize the extent of their benefits. One of the reasons why eating veggies can be so beneficial is because they provide plenty of antioxidants and other nutrients that help your body function at its peak.
One such nutrient is lutein and zeaxanthin, which are found in leafy greens like spinach and kale. Studies have shown that these two compounds can help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition where you lose vision due to damage in the macula—the part of your retina responsible for central vision.
Other nutrients found in vegetable include vitamin A and C, beta carotene (which converts into vitamin A), zinc and thiamine (vitamin B1).
All of these substances play an important role in maintaining healthy eyesight as well as general physical health
Improve your skin
You’re probably familiar with the word “antioxidants,” which refers to a group of nutrients that help protect your cells against damage caused by free radicals. Free radical damage can lead to skin inflammation, premature aging, and even cancer.
Antioxidants are found in many foods (especially fruits and vegetables), but they’re especially high in dark leafy greens like kale and spinach—what dietitians refer to as “super foods.”
Super foods are packed with vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene (a form of vitamin A). They also contain zinc for healthy skin; folic acid for glowing hair; selenium for maintaining a healthy immune system; probiotics—or good bacteria—for keeping digestion running smoothly; biotin for preventing hair loss; B12 for boosting energy levels.
Reduce risk of heart disease
A diet rich in vegetables can help lower your risk of heart disease. The high fiber content of most veggies reduces your overall calorie intake, which helps you maintain a healthy weight. The abundant amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants found in vegetables also helps reduce inflammation throughout the body—which is thought to play a significant role in lowering cholesterol levels.
And finally, eating more fruits and vegetables reduces blood pressure (a risk factor for heart disease) by improving vascular function in arteries.
Benefit for blood sugar
One of the biggest benefits of eating a diet rich in vegetables is that it can help to lower your blood sugar. Vegetables are naturally low in fat and high in fiber, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking to maintain a healthy weight. The fiber found in vegetables helps slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream, which ultimately keeps your blood sugar levels from spiking or dipping too quickly (15).
Riboflavin is another B vitamin that’s beneficial for maintaining good health when consumed on a regular basis. Riboflavin helps convert food into energy so that you feel energized throughout the day, but it also plays an important role in maintaining strong bones and teeth. If you’re looking for ways to boost your energy level, consider adding more riboflavin-rich foods like spinach to your diet!
Reduce risk of cancer
Healthy eating is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
Research shows that people who follow a healthy diet have a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions.
While vegetables are not the only factor in preventing these diseases, they play an important role. Vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals necessary for good health—plus fiber to help keep you full so you don’t overeat on empty calories like sweets or salty snacks. In addition, some vegetables have antioxidants that help fight off free radicals that can damage cells in your body and lead to cancer. Eating lots of different types of vegetables will give you more variety in terms of nutrients as well as flavor!
Keep your brain young
Brain health is not just about memory. Your brain relies on a steady supply of oxygen to function properly, and antioxidants can help prevent cell damage from free radicals that cause inflammation. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is one way to get antioxidants into your system, which may help protect the neurons in your brain from damage.
The importance of healthy eating for brain health shouldn’t be underestimated: some research suggests that consuming more antioxidant-rich foods could help lower the risk of cognitive decline as we age—and even potentially prevent neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. Plus, when it comes to staying sharp well into old age, there are few things better than eating right!
Improve your immune health
One of the most important vitamins for immunity is vitamin A. It’s responsible for many of the body’s functions and helps promote healthy skin, mucous membranes and immune system health.
Vitamin C is another key vitamin that can boost your immunity by helping with wound healing, fighting infections and protecting against oxidative stress.
Both of these vitamins are found in vegetables like spinach, kale, sweet potatoes and broccoli—and luckily there are tons more to choose from! You can also get them from fruits like oranges or kiwis if you prefer fruit over vegetables (I don’t recommend doing this!).
Boosting your veggie intake can make a huge difference to your health.
You’re already on the right track with your vegetable intake. The average American consumes four servings of vegetables per day, according to a report from the CDC and USDA. That’s not too bad—but it can be better. When dietitians asked about their clients’ eating habits, they found that people who ate nine or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day were significantly healthier than those who ate fewer than five daily portions (6). And while five daily servings are a good start, there are plenty more benefits you could be reaping by adding even more veggies to your routine.
One way it can improve your health?
By helping you lose weight—or at least keep off what you’ve lost after shedding pounds. A study in The British Journal of Nutrition looked at 80 overweight adults who followed either a low-fat or low-carbohydrate diet for six months (7). While both groups lost weight over time, those eating more veggies had better results: They shed nearly twice as much fat and three times as much belly fat than their peers on a lower-carb diet plan did! This shows just how effective adding veggies can be when paired with any kind of diet—and why so many experts recommend getting them into your life if you’re trying to slim down or maintain an ideal weight
The benefits of eating vegetables are clear, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough of them. Not only is this good for your overall health, but it can also help keep your body weight in check if that’s something you struggle with.
If you want to try out more vegetarian dishes or change your diet in another way, our blog has plenty of great tips on how to go about doing just that!