Vegetables: The Essential Key to Your Dietary Health
Mothers, fitness gurus and dietary experts will all tout the benefits of eating vegetables. While there are literally dozens of tasty and readily available treats, the majority of us rely upon nothing more than the humble tomato; not good in terms of variety and our overall health.
It is impossible to deny the important roles that veggies play although we often choose to neglect them. Perhaps we downplay vegetables in favour of substances such as protein which provide more visible results. While the benefits of these foods cannot be argued, we often (although perhaps not intentionally) choose not to care.
We are nonetheless discussing an essential category of food. In terms of the “you are what you eat” theory, what we put into our bodies will ultimately reflect how we look and feel on the outside. Along with protein, the regular consumption of veggies will help us to achieve a slim and trim physique. Those who fail to eat these vitamin-packed organic powerhouses are not likely to ever be truly lean.
Will Eating Vegetables Completely Cover My Vitamin and Mineral Requirements?
The short answer here is no. Although veggies contain a plethora of these vital substances, they are not offered in sufficient quantities. In fact, we require them just as much for their fibre content.
Fibres are carbohydrates that cannot readily be digested. Each type of veggie contains a certain amount of fibre and when consumed, this substance will descend into the digestive tract; eventually passing through. So, why is fibre so essential when maintaining a healthy diet?
Fibre plays a critical role within the digestive process. Fibre allows us to metabolise more of the nutrients that are present within foods. It should also be mentioned that carbohydrates will be absorbed at a slower and smoother rate. In turn, our blood sugars levels are prevented from rising or falling too fast. A “sugar rush” is a typical example of when sugars are ingested without the presence of fibre. The same holds true for vitamins and minerals. In other words, slower rates of digestion will help our bodies to absorb more of what they need to function properly.
Although most veggies do not contain large amounts of carbohydrates, they are excellent choices in terms of dietary health. Let’s also not fail to mention that fibre increases feelings of satiety; enabling us to avoid the excess consumption of carbs such as bread.
What Types Should We Consume?
While perhaps the most well-known variety, tomatoes are not considered to be rich sources of fibre. Cucumbers are excellent options and they are very popular. Still, keep in mind that you can choose any vegetable that is offered at your local grocery store. Veggies are primarily consumed in two ways: steamed or raw.
Many greens are commonly steamed. Examples include broccoli, asparagus, spinach, and green beans. It is still wise not to steam these foods for too long, as their nutrient content will diminish. This is why many individuals choose to eat their veggies raw, as all of the vitamins and minerals remain fully intact.
How Many Should We Eat on a Daily Basis? What is the Ratio to Other Foods?
Health experts say that we consume a minimum of between 30 and 40 grams of fibre every day. Still, the fibre content within most of these substances is comparatively low. This is why a sizeable number should be included within your diet. Other common sources of fibre include oatmeal, many types of seeds, brown rice, and wheat bran. The main issue here is that these alternatives can sometimes be harsh on the digestive system. The good news is that veggies will not produce the same effects.
The concept of “how many” should be eaten is rather tricky. Some claim that 0.5. kilograms is the standard recommendation, but this will also depend upon the type consumed. For instance, 0.5 kilograms of parsley contains many different nutrients when compared to the same amount of celery. This is why it is a good idea to mix and match.
What Types Should be Chosen?
Some excellent options to add a bit of variety to any meal can include:
- Iceberg lettuce
- Mixed salads
Never be afraid to experiment. If you have become tired of bland diets such as chicken and rice, you will be in for a tasty (and healthy) treat!
Veggies represent a massive portion of your diet, so be sure to consume them at every meal.