We all know that vegetables are great, but how many of us actually eat enough vegetables? And we have the guts to try to convince (if not force) kids to eat their broccoli? Except you’re a vegetarian, you must have had one of those times when it is hard to eat vegetables.
Talking about vegetarians, here is a quick question for you if you’re one, “how do you do it? How do you eat no meat for so long?” It takes some form of superpowers to stay on a vegan diet, literally! But the benefits are over-the-roof mind-blowing. Thinking about those benefits alone is enough to make anyone want to be a vegetarian.
This article is not about trying to get you to be a vegetarian but serves as a gentle reminder that there are consequences you’ll eventually face if you don’t eat enough vegetables.
If vegetables are properly represented in your day to day diet, you’re going to experience a healthy and happy life. Here are 10 benefits (out of many others) of eating enough vegetables regularly.
1. You’ll Look and Feel Alive
How will you like to be described like this – younger, happier, glowing skin, full and lustrous hair, brighter eyes, stronger bones, stronger teeth, very energetic, and smart?
Vegetables are filled with different forms of nutrients that work in diverse ways to make your skin look good. According to research, eating vegetables regularly will even reduce your aging process, and you can look younger by as much as 10 years. (What?!!!)
Looking 10 years younger is one thing. The energy to live like you’re 10 years younger is another thing entirely. Eating a lot of vegetables will not only make you look younger, but it will also make you feel like you’re younger. You’ll have so much energy and strength to live a happy life.
2. Eating Vegetables Will Help You Stay in Shape
One very obvious thing about vegetables is their high fiber content. And one thing about eating fiber-rich foods is they help you stay in shape.
Fibers promote a healthy digestive system. They flush out gastric irritants and wastes that may contribute to bloating and unflattering body weight gain.
Another factor that contributes to bloating and weight gain is sodium/salt, and we eat a lot of them on a daily basis. The high potassium and water content of vegetables flushes out any excess sodium from the body to maintain a healthy balance.
3. Vegetables Can Reduce Stress
It is rare to come across anyone that does not go through stress every now and then. Life in itself can be very stressful, especially for adults who have to toil to meet up with their career goals. If you find yourself in this position all the time, then you’re probably not eating enough vegetables.
Vegetables are rich in nutrients like magnesium, vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acid, B vitamins, and potassium. These nutrients are effective in fighting stress by relaxing your blood vessels and regulating your blood pressure.
4. Eating Vegetables Can Improve Your Mental Acuity
The reasoning vegetables are effective in weight control has been linked to the retention of memory according to scientific studies. According to the studies, those who have higher saturated fat contents in their diets tested really low in mental tests while those with higher fiber and low-fat diets tested very high.
It is important to point out here that variety is key. If you want to get the best benefits as offered by vegetables, then you have to try varieties of them.
For instance, talking about high mental functionality, tomatoes are said to have a more memory-friendly compound (lycopene) than many other vegetables.
5. Vegetables Can Improve Eyesight
There have been claims that vitamin A, which is found in vegetables, can increase eye sights. A lot of studies were carried out and it turned out that the claims were valid. Having sufficient vegetables in your diet can sure prevent eye diseases like cataract, glaucoma, and even blindness.
6. Eating Vegetables Can Help You Fight Depression
Vegetables have compounds that suppress depression and allow for a happier outlook and personality. There is even scientific evidence to back up the fact that eating a lot of vegetables can give you an increased sense of happiness.
When you’re unhappy, stressed, or depressed, some hormones are released in your system. These hormones deplete the level of vitamins that are responsible for sound judgment and effective stress management. Taking vegetables regularly is a good way to ensure that your vitamin level does not go down too much, even when you’re stressed.
7. It is a Cheap Way to Stay Healthy
Making vegetables a part of your diet is an easy way to save a lot of money and not compromise on healthy eating. There have been claims that eating healthy on a tight budget is challenging. But, that is not completely true.
If you put in some effort into researching and trying to find out the cost of healthy foods in your area, you’ll be amazed at how cheap and underrated some of them are. A lot of vegetables are more affordable than we’re led to believe.
8. Vegetables Are Hydrating and Refreshing
If you make it a habit to take vegetables regularly, you’ll notice an increased feeling or freshness and hydration. Do not get this wrong; vegetables cannot replace water. Water still remains the number one source of hydration. However, vegetables are not so far off.
Some vegetables with high water content are
- Spinach, etc.
These vegetables are not necessarily water based, but they play a notable role in improving body hydration and freshness.
9. Vegetables Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Eating healthy is one of the ways you can reduce the risk of cancer, or manage it. On the other hand, unhealthy eating has triggered cancer in a lot of people according to history. Also, cancer is one of the leading cause of mortality in adults. Sometimes, even people without a history of cancer in their families end up having cancer.
One proven way to reduce the risk of cancer is to avoid foods that are high in fats and eat a lot of high fiber foods like vegetables. Good fats, like the type found in fatty fishes, are also great for maintaining good health.
10. Vegetables Can Increase Your Lifespan
When you’re in good shape from the inside out, you’ll live stronger and for longer. When you can eat your way to 10 years younger, then you definitely have the chance to live a longer and happier life.
There are many things that come into place talking about increased lifespan. Exercising, cleanliness, drinking a lot of water, eating right (a lot of fruits and vegetables), and staying away from stress generally. You don’t have to have it all put together immediately. You can start with eating healthy foods, fruits, and vegetables, and then build up from there till it becomes your lifestyle.
How Many Servings of Vegetables Should You Eat Per Day?
Honestly, there is really no quantity that’s too much for a day. You can have a serving of vegetable a day, or you can have 10 servings. Just do what works for you, but make sure you at least double your usual serving.
Also, note that the more vegetables you eat, the more benefits you enjoy.
How to Get Kids To Eat Vegetables
It’s true that you have to put in some extra work to get kids to eat vegetables, but you don’t really have to do that. Once vegetables become a household food in your house, your kids will get used to them with time. For a start, you can apply any of the following tips to get kids to enjoy their plates of vegetables without much drama (if at all).
- Try vegetable dip.
- Use butter on the vegetables.
- Get the kids involved in the cooking process.
- Process the vegetable to vegetable puree or vegetable juice.
- Hide the vegetables in foods they love.
- Make the vegetable more attractive.
If you, as an adult, find it difficult to eat vegetables, you can try any of these tips to help you get over your unwillingness towards vegetables.
You can eat your veggies anyhow you like. You can make juices out of them, cook them, or eat them raw. Whatever you do, just make sure you eat a good portion of vegetable on a regular basis.
You’ll enjoy a sickness free life, an increased sense of happiness, healthy body weight, a more youthful appearance, and a longer lifespan.