In the early nineties, the World Health Organization came up with the five-a-day fruit and veg plan that most people are familiar with. A significant amount of servings have been added since then, and most health organizations now recommend between seven and thirteen cups of fruits or vegetables per day, with vegetables making up the majority.
Are vegetables more important than fruits?
The problem is that even on the five-a-day system, only 30% of the population achieved the WHO target. The importance of vegetables in a diet cannot be overstressed. Vegetables are four times healthier than fruit, and with the exception of those high in starch, they can be eaten without limit and are thus great and healthy snacks to grab when you are feeling hungry.
What’s so super about vegetable?
Many of the dark green vegetables are known as superfoods. These include spinach, kale, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts. These superfoods have a lot of benefits that many people don’t know about. The biggest benefit provided by these foods is the high amount of nutrients that is present in them. These foods are more nutrient dense than any other vegetables on the list. Spinach is especially good, with plenty of vitamin K, which helps promote bone health and has lots of antioxidants and plenty of anti-inflammatories. It’s no wonder spinach is often considered one of the best superfoods.
Many of the red and orange vegetables have plenty of nutrients that promote not only bone health but eye health as well. Nutrients like zeaxanthin play an important role in the health of your eyes. They help protect your eyes when they are exposed to UV rays and other harmful high-energy light.
Lycopene is another antioxidant that is incredibly beneficial to your body. This antioxidant can protect your body from any harm that pesticides can induce. Pesticides are full of harmful chemicals that people digest on a daily basis. Lycopene is a great way to help stop any damage in its tracks.
Starchy vegetables are a great source of fiber. Fiber is one of the nutrients that some people don’t consume enough of. It aids in digestion and helps keep your blood sugar levels stable, thus making fiber an incredibly important nutrient.
B-vitamins are also prominent in starchy vegetables. Many scientists agree that these vitamins can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. They also aid in promoting positive moods. They interact with the dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain, guarding against memory loss. Most adults do not eat the recommended amount of starchy vegetables that they should. One cup of potatoes can go a long way.
There are tons of benefits from beans and peas.
Many beans are a significant source of protein, which is beneficial to those who are vegetarian or vegan. They are also full of different minerals, including copper, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. Copper is very important throughout life, and infants who are deprived of copper by being given cow’s milk may have many issues as they get older. Copper is stored in the liver. A deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, increased risk of infection, impaired neurological growth, and stunted growth. Adults and adolescents don’t need a significant amount of copper, only 900 micrograms a day.
Peas, on the other hand, have different benefits. While many of the nutrients are similar, the top two nutrients in specifically found in green peas are vitamin K and manganese. Vitamin K is important for bone health and also plays a huge role in making sure your blood clots correctly. Meanwhile, manganese also has a ton of benefits for your bones. It’s also used as a co-enzyme in the metabolism, thus helping with digestion.
How vegetables are classified?
People who eat large quantities of vegetables have a significantly lower risk of premature death than those who do not. Those with a high intake are also much less likely to get cancer. Adults should eat at least 2 ½ to 3 cups of vegetables each day. It’s suggested to eat different kinds of vegetables of various colors. This variety will let you remain enthusiastic in consuming your food, aside from offering a wider range of nutrients. Below is a chart that would enable you to become familiar with the various types of vegetables.
Dark Green Vegetables: Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Collard Greens, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Spinach, Kale, Dark Green Leafy Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens
Red and Orange Vegetables: Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash, Carrots, Red Peppers, Orange Peppers, Pumpkin, Hubbard Squash, Tomatoes, Sweet Potatoes
Starchy Vegetables: Corn, Cassava, Green Bananas, Cow peas, Green Peas, Potatoes, Green Lima Beans, Taro, Water Chestnuts, Plantains
Beans and Peas: Garbanzos, Black-Eyed Peas, Black Beans, Lentils, Kidney Beans, Pinto Beans, Navy Beans, Split Peas, Soy Beans, White Beans
Other Vegetables: Artichokes, Asparagus, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Beets, Bean Sprouts, Cucumbers, Celery, Eggplant, Green Peppers, Green Beans, Onions, Okra, Mushrooms, Iceberg Lettuce, Zucchini, Wax Beans, Turnips
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