Vegetables and fruits, when included in the daily diet, show a reduced risk of chronic diseases and general health problems. Every dietitian stresses on the point that eating healthy is important and encourages their clientele to pursue the same. Vegetables are an important part of healthy eating that provide the body with nutrients such as potassium, fiber, folate (folic acid) and vitamins A, E and C. Some vegetables like spinach, garlic, tomatoes, etc. provide extra health benefits, deeming them as superfoods.
The nutrients gained from a healthy diet in vegetables are vital for health and maintenance of the human body along with beauty benefits. It reduces the chances of major ailments such as a stroke, cardiovascular diseases and even cancer. It is advisable to consume one to four cups of seasonal vegetables depending on the calorie needs of an individual’s body to attain the full benefits offered by them.
- Spinach is a green leafy vegetable which happens to be a great source of calcium, vitamins, iron, and antioxidants.
- It contains a high amount of vitamin A, in addition to vitamin C, magnesium, folate and vitamin K.
- Vitamin K is one of the most important coagulant factors responsible for blood clotting. Spinach is one of the rare food supplements that provides vitamin K.
- Vitamin K also helps improve the absorption of calcium which makes bones stronger.
- Iron and magnesium in spinach improves nerve and muscle function. Iron also improves haemoglobin content in blood, improving oxygen content of the body, and thus, reinvigorating and energizing the human body.
- The antioxidants help in enhancing immunity and keep the body healthy and reinvigorated.
- Kale is another green leafy vegetable that is a great source of vitamins A, C and K.
- Regular consumption of kale leads to a nearly 10% decrease in bad cholesterol and about 27% increase in good cholesterol, according to a study.
- Kale juice may reduce blood cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure.
- Tomatoes are an excellent source of antioxidants and enhances immunity.
- They contain lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant that may have an anti-carcinogenic effect.
- A study suggests that lycopene can help prevent prostate cancer.
- Other potent antioxidants in tomatoes, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, may protect the vision and enhance immunity.
- Dietary intake of these powerful antioxidants have shown a 25% reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration.
- Tomatoes are also a good source of vitamin C and potassium.
- Onion is an allium vegetable which contains sulphur and manganese, containing anti-carcinogenic effects.
- Regular consumption of onions is known to reduce the risk of prostate, esophageal and stomach cancer.
- It is also a great source of dietary fibers, vitamin A and B6 (pyridoxine).
- Garlic is low in vitamins and minerals; however, it is a natural antibiotic.
- A compound called diallyl sulfide, present in garlic, may be effective in fighting Campylobacter Bacteria.
- Garlic is also known to be healthy for cardiovascular functioning.
- The benefits of garlic can be reaped best when consumed raw.
- Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that may have anti-carcinogenic effects.
- The sulforaphane in it may inhibit the growth of tumours and prevent breast cancer.
- It is also a good source of vitamin K and C.
- Peas are a sweet and starchy vegetable which adds flavor to a variety of dishes like salads to entres.
- Peas, like other legumes, contain a high amount of fiber which supports good bacteria in the gut to ensure regular bowel movements and a healthy digestive tract.
- They also contain saponins. They are beneficial plant compounds that have antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic effects.
- Peas also contain proteins, vitamins A, C, K and certain B vitamins.
- Sweet potatoes contain low glycemic index and high fibre content which may help in the regulation of blood sugar in diabetic patients.
- It is a good source of vitamin A, C, and B6 (pyridoxine).
- The beta carotene in sweet potato can improve eye health and has anti-carcinogenic effects.
- It is also a great source of potassium and contains enough calories to keep up one’s energy.
- A cup full of beets contains nearly 58 calories, 442 milligrams of potassium, and 148 micrograms of folate.
- Beets contain an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid which might help in dealing with diabetic neuropathy.
- Diabetic neuropathy is a nerve problem related to dealing with chronic high sugar problems.
- Beetroot contains healthy nitrates that are beneficial for the heart and may prove significant in lowering blood pressure.
- Carrots contain very high levels of vitamin A and beta carotenes.
- They improve vision and keep sight-related problems at bay.
- It may have certain anti-carcinogenic effects, and it also happens to be a good source of fibre which may aid in the healthy functioning of the digestive tract and bowel movements.
Eating plenty of vegetables is one of the easiest ways to improve health and well-being.
All the vegetables contain nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. They are also an excellent source of fibre. They offer additional health benefits, depending on different varieties of vegetables. One’s overall health and nutritional needs can be satisfied by vegetables and should definitely be a major part of our daily diet.